Looking to move to Canada for work? You don’t need to look further, this article contains all you need to know about Canada work permits.
Canada is one of the best places to search for greener pastures for those looking to migrate. The reasons are not far-fetched, as there are a lot of job openings in Canada. The labor force in Canada is actually below the labor demand, which is why the government invests heavily in bringing workers from other countries.
Not only are there lots of jobs to do in Canada, but its proximity to the United States and other factors are an advantage. Canadian employees are paid well too.
If you have one or two skills, like, for example, truck driving, carpentry, furniture, plumbing, or other skills, there are a lot of opportunities, especially for skilled labor individuals in the country.
However, you can only work in Canada if you have a work permit; otherwise, you won’t be allowed to work in the country.
In this article, we explained how you can apply to get a 2-year work permit in Canada and beyond, as well as other things you need to know about a Canada work visa.
What is a Canadian work permit?
A Canada work permit is a legal document from the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada. Without it, you can’t work and get paid in Canada.
What are the requirements to get a Canada work visa?
In order to be able to work in Canada as a foreigner, you need to get a Canada work permit. To be issued a work permit, your job offer needs to be approved by the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). However, there are a few circumstances where immigrants can actually get a work permit without any need for an LMIA or a work offer.
For example, if you recently graduated from a designated learning institute (DLI) in Canada or your spouse already has a permit and has been working in Canada, there might be no need to go through much stress to get your work permit.
Aside from getting approved by the LMIA in order to get a work permit, there are actually some other requirements applicants for at least a 2-year work permit in Canada are expected to meet:
- Show that they intend to work and leave once their permit expires
- Good medical records
- No criminal record
- They have to show they have enough to cater for their needs and those of their family’s in Canada.
- Have the required documents and be committed to working with a good employer.
Types of Work Permits in Canada
There are a lot of ways to get a work permit in Canada. While getting a Canadian work permit may require that your employer provide an LMIA, there are some work permits that require that you have some kind of connection. For example, a previous education or that your spouse already works in Canada. However, there are a lot of Canadian schemes that can hasten the process of obtaining a work permit. Some of the categories include:
Work Permit that requires LMIA Approval
- Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP)
- Global Talent Stream
- Facilitated LMIA Quebec
Work permits require no LMIA but a job offer or contract
- International Mobility Program (IMP)
- Intra-companies transfer
- CETA work permit
- NAFTA work permit.
Open work permit No LMIA or Job Offer
- Sponsorship from a Spouse Working in Canada
- Post-graduation work permit (PGWP)
- Bridging open work permits (BOWP)
- Spousal support for workers or international students.
Documents Required to Get a Work Permit in Canada
A work permit often demands that you satisfy some requirements before you can obtain it. The documents you will need to get a work permit depend on the type and the program through which you want to obtain them. Generally, you may be required to provide the following documents before you are issued a work permit:
- Filled application forms
- Proof of status in Canada (if applicable)
- Proof of status in the family (if applicable)
- Labor Market Impact Assessment (if applicable)
- Offer of employment letter (if applicable)
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (if applicable)
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Proof of job requirement satisfaction
- A photocopy of your passport
- Photocopy of academic credential
- Proof of funds sufficient to stay in Canada and return to your home country
- Payment receipt for government fees
- Medical test results
Canada Work Permit Biometrics
The new IRCC measures actually exempt people applying for work permits from Canada. But it is important for applicants applying from outside to do biometrics. They are required to take the biometrics immediately after the biometrics letter is sent to them.
Do I need a medical examination to get a work permit?
As a foreigner who has come to seek employment in Canada, to get a work permit, you may have to take a medical exam. The aim is primarily to know your level of fitness for the jobs you are about to start. Though it actually depends on the area you plan to stay in Canada, duration of stay and the type of work.
If you will only be working for 6 months or a shorter time, you might not necessarily need to take any medical exams unless there’s a concern. For a longer work stay, it is crucial to get a permit. However, you have the option to postpone the examination during the course of your application.
The exam is taken by an IRCC panel physician. If you have not taken the examination but submitted the application, IRCC will send you instructions to take the exam and give you a deadline.
Are Police clearance certificates a requirement for work permits?
On a few occasions, you may also be required to submit a police clearance certificate to the officer in charge of your visa. Though it actually depends on the country you’re coming from and the countries you lived in for a minimum of 6 months when you were at least 18 years old. The submission must be part of your initial submission, as it’s sometimes among the checklists.
The process of obtaining a work permit in Canada
What can determine the process through which you will get a work permit is the type of permit you are applying to obtain. International students in Canada, for example, are issued a work permit automatically, which allows them to take part-time jobs. It is actually a part of their study permit. Most open permits need to be approved by LMIA, while a few others often require a job offer or contract from an employer.
There are actually two typical ways of obtaining a work permit. These are open-work and close-work permits.
Open work permits allow you to change jobs or contracts as long as your permit is still valid. On the other hand, a closed permit is only tied to a particular employer. People with this kind of permit are not allowed to change jobs or employers ordinarily unless they change to an open permit.
How long does it take to process a work permit?
The time it takes to have a fully processed and approved work permit is dependent on the applicant’s country of residence at the time of application and the type of permit being applied for. Often times, it only takes a few weeks and sometimes a few months for a work permit to be granted.
What can cause my application for a work permit to be rejected?
As much as a rejected application for a work permit can be traumatizing, there are possible reasons your application may be rejected, especially when you didn’t follow the guidelines and instructions or failed to meet the requirements. The following are other reasons why your application for a work permit in Canada may be rejected:
- The officer handling your application may feel you are not up to the task for the job you are intending to take
- You don’t meet all the requirements for the type of work permit you applied for
- You failed to convince the officer in charge that you would return to your country of residence after the permit expired.
How much does it cost to get a Canadian work permit?
The fee you are required to pay for a work permit depends on the work permit you want to apply for. Open permits, due to the wide opportunities they can offer, cost more than closed permits, which only tie you to an employer. Open permits cost about CAD$ 255, while closed permits cost only CAD$ 155.
What can I do in Canada with a work permit?
Every work permit issued contains restrictions and limitations. This includes the types of work you are allowed to do and the ones you are not allowed to do. It includes where you are allowed to work and where you are not allowed to work, as well as the employers you are permitted to work with.
The thing is, the limitations are not specifically aimed at being harsh to foreign nationals but rather to save them from any kind of exploitation.
Work permit holders are not permanent residents of Canada. So, you are expected to leave the country immediately after your permit expires. But, if you wish to remain in Canada, you can apply to become a permanent resident if you meet the requirements.
Can I be allowed to bring my family along with me with a work permit?
If your work permit is backed by an employer, you are allowed to include your family in the application and bring them along with you to Canada as dependents.
Your spouse may also become eligible for a work permit application, specifically the open permit. This can allow him or her to work with any employer.
Your children, if they are of school age, will not need a study permit and can study at a Canadian learning institution.
What’s the validity period of a work permit in Canada?
A typical Canadian work permit expires in 1-2 years, with only a few exceptions. Even with the few exceptions, if you have an LMIA-supported permit, you can’t be granted a work permit longer than the validity period of your passport. It is not also longer than the duration you applied for or the duration of the job offer.
The duration of the work permit may be shorter at times too; it all boils down to the program under which your application is submitted. Once your work permit expires, it is mandatory that you return to your home country or apply for an extension if you desire to still stay in Canada.
How do I extend my 2 years work permit Canada after/before expiry?
Ordinarily, most work permit holders are allowed to extend their permit if they want to prolong their stay in Canada. This can actually be done online on the IRCC website, but they are advised to do so at least 30 days before their permit expires. It’s just a recommendation anyway; you can actually do it on the day your permit expires.
Benefits of Working in Canada
The benefits that come with working in Canada are many. In Canada, there are various set rules and regulations that guarantee the safety and well-being of workers.
More so, Canada is one of the best countries for immigrants, especially skilled ones, to chase greener pastures, as the slots of opportunities and wages in Canada are worthwhile.
In addition, some Canadian work permits even allow immigrants to bring their spouse and family along. Another thing is that it is very easy for them to upgrade to permanent residence in Canada if they are qualified, as work experience is often a requirement to be granted PR status. It is even easier if they came in through the following immigration programs:
- Express entry
- Quebec immigration schemes
- Provincial nominee programs
- Atlantic immigration pilot Programs.
Getting a work permit in Canada is not that easy due to the many requirements and demands that are expected to be met. Regardless, getting a Canadian work permit is really well worth all the hassles. Canada is a country with many opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers, the wages are high and the welfare of workers is better put into consideration in the country.