Application before entry
A foreign national may apply for a work permit at any time before entering Canada.
Application on entry
Subject to exception provided as under, a foreign national may apply for a work permit when entering Canada if the foreign national is exempt from the requirement to obtain a temporary resident visa.
A foreign national may not apply for a work permit when entering Canada if
- a determination of effect on labour market is required, unless
- the Department of Human Resources Development has provided an opinion in respect of an offer of employment — other than seasonal agricultural employment or employment as a live-in caregiver — to the foreign national, or
- the foreign national is a national or permanent resident of the United States or is a resident of Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon;
- the foreign national does not hold a medical certificate if they are seeking to work in an occupation in which the protection of public is essential.
- the foreign national is a participant in an international youth exchange program, unless they are a national or permanent resident of the United States or their application for a work permit was approved before their entry into Canada.
Application after entry
A foreign national may apply for a work permit after entering Canada if they
a) Hold a work permit;
b) Are working in Canada and no work permit is required for that work and are not a business visitor
c) Hold a study permit;
d) Hold a temporary resident permit that is valid for at least six months;
e) Are a family member of a person described in any of paragraphs (a) to (d);
f) Have no other means of support and has made a refugee claim which has not been determined or are subject to an unenforceable order
g) Applied for a work permit before entering Canada and the application was approved in writing but they have not been issued the permit;
h) are applying as a trader or investor, intra-company transferee or professional, as described in Section B, C or D of Annex 1603 of the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act, and their country of citizenship — being a country party to that Agreement — grants to Canadian citizens who submit a similar application within that country treatment equivalent to that accorded by Canada to citizens of that country who submit an application within Canada, including treatment in respect of an authorization for multiple entries based on a single application; or
i) hold a written statement from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade stating that it has no objection to the foreign national working at a foreign mission in Canada.
Subject to exception mentioned as under, an officer shall issue a work permit to the foreign national if, following an examination, it is established that
a) the foreign national applied for it in accordance with Act/Regulations
b) the foreign national will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay
c) the foreign national
- has no other means of support and has applied for refugee claim which is not determined yet or is subject to unenforceable removal orders. Or is a member of the Live-in-caregiver class, is a souse or common law partner in canada class, is a protected person, has applied to become a permanent resident and the minister has granted tem a permission or is a family member of any of these. OR holds a study permit and has become destitute through circumstances beyond their control or hols a temporary resident permit that is valid for at least 6 months.
- intends to perform work under any international agreements to which Canada is a member or intends to perform a work that would be in Canadian interest as defined in act.
- has been offered employment and an officer has determined that the offer is genuine and that the employment is likely to result in a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada; and
d) has provided medical examination, if required
An officer shall not issue a work permit to the foreign national if
a) there are reasonable grounds to believe that the foreign national is unable to perform the work sought;
b) in the case of a foreign national who intends to work in the Province of Quebec and does not hold a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec, a determination of effect on labour market is required and the laws of that Province require that the foreign national hold a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec;
c) the specific work that the foreign national intends to perform is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute, unless all or almost all of the workers involved in the labour dispute are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and the hiring of workers to replace the workers involved in the labour dispute is not prohibited by the Canadian law applicable in the province where the workers involved in the labour dispute are employed;
d) the foreign national seeks to enter Canada as a live-in caregiver and the foreign national does not meet the requirements as required for live-in-caregiver
e) The foreign national has engaged in unauthorized study or work in Canada or has failed to comply with a condition of a previous permit or authorization unless:
- a period of six months has elapsed since the cessation of the unauthorized work or study or failure to comply with a condition,
- the study or work was unauthorized by reason only that the foreign national did not comply with conditions imposed
- has no other means of support
- the foreign national was subsequently issued a temporary resident permit
Application for renewal
- A foreign national may apply for the renewal of their work permit if:
(a) The application is made before their work permit expires; and
(b) They have complied with all conditions imposed on their entry into Canada.
- An officer shall renew the foreign national’s work permit if, following an examination, it is established that the foreign national continues to meet the requirements.
Effect on the labour market
On application for a work permit made by a foreign national, an officer shall determine, on the basis of an opinion provided by the Department of Human Resources Development, if the job offer is genuine and if the employment of the foreign national is likely to have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada.
Opinion on request
The Department of Human Resources Development shall provide the opinion referred above on the request of an officer or an employer or group of employers. A request may be made in respect of:
(a) An offer of employment to a foreign national; and
(b) Offers of employment made, or anticipated to be made, by an employer or group of employers.
An opinion provided by the Department of Human Resources Development shall be based on the following factors:
- whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to result in direct job creation or job retention for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
- whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to result in the creation or transfer of skills and knowledge for the benefit of Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
- whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to fill a labour shortage;
- whether the wages offered to the foreign national are consistent with the prevailing wage rate for the occupation and whether the working conditions meet generally accepted Canadian standards;
- whether the employer has made, or has agreed to make, reasonable efforts to hire or train Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and
- whether the employment of the foreign national is likely to adversely affect the settlement of any labour dispute in progress or the employment of any person involved in the dispute.
Province of Quebec
In the case of a foreign national who intends to work in the Province of Quebec, the opinion provided by the Department of Human Resources Development shall be made in concert with the competent authority of that Province.
A work permit may be issued to a foreign national who intends to perform work pursuant to:
- An international agreement between Canada and one or more countries, other than an agreement concerning seasonal agricultural workers;
- An agreement entered into by one or more countries and by or on behalf of one or more provinces; or
- An agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces.
A work permit may be issued to a foreign national who intends to perform work that
- Would create or maintain significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents;
- Would create or maintain reciprocal employment of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada in other countries;
- is designated by the Minister as being work that can be performed by a foreign national on the basis of the following criteria, namely,
– the work is related to a research, educational or training program, or
– limited access to the Canadian labour market is necessary for reasons of public policy relating to the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions or economy; or
-is of a religious or charitable nature.
No other means of support
A work permit may be issued to a foreign national in Canada who cannot support themselves without working, if the foreign national
(a) has made a claim for refugee protection that has been referred to the Refugee Protection Division but has not been determined; or
(b) is subject to an unenforceable removal order.
Applicants in Canada
A work permit may be issued to a foreign national in Canada who
(a) is a member of the live-in caregiver class set and meets the requirements
(b) is a member of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class ;
(c) is a protected person
(d) has applied to become a permanent resident and the Minister has granted them an exemption
(e) is a family member of a person described in any of paragraphs (a) to (d).
A work permit may be to a foreign national in Canada who cannot support themselves without working, if the foreign national
a) holds a study permit and has become temporarily destitute through circumstances beyond their control and beyond the control of any person on whom that person is dependent for the financial support to complete their term of study; or
b) Holds a temporary resident permit issued that is valid for at least six months.
A work permit becomes invalid when it expires or when a removal order that is made against the permit holder becomes enforceable.
Following persons does not need Labour Market Opinion
i) NAFTA/CCFTA Trader
ii) NAFTA/CCFTA Investor
iii) NAFTA/CCFTA Professional
iv) NAFTA/CCFTA intra-company transferee
v) GATS Professional
ii) Intra-company transferees
Intra-company transferees may apply for work permits under the general provision if they:
• are seeking entry to work in a parent, subsidiary, branch, or affiliate of a multi-national company;
• will be undertaking employment at a permanent and continuing establishment of that company;
• are taking a position in a Executive, Senior Managerial, or Specialized Knowledge capacity;
• have been employed by the company outside Canada in a similar full-time position (not accumulated part-time) for one year in the previous three years prior to coming to Canada;
• are coming to Canada for a temporary period only;
• comply with all immigration requirements for temporary entry.
After intra-company transferees have reached their maximum work permit duration (seven years for executives and senior managers and five years for specialized knowledge workers), they must complete one year of full-time employment in the foreign company outside Canada if they wish to
re-apply as an intra-company transferee.
i) Youth Exchange Programs
ii) Exchange Professors, Visiting Lecturers
Designated by Minister
i) Research, educational or training programs
ii) Competitiveness and public policy
– Spouses of skilled workers
– Spouses of students
– Post-grad employment
– Post-doctoral fellows and award recipients
– Off-campus employment
d) Charitable or religious work
a) Refugee claimants
b) Persons under an unenforceable removal order
Applicants in Canada
a) Live-in-caregiver class
b) Spouse or common-law partner class
c) Protected persons under
d) Section A25 exemption
e) Family members of the above
a) Destitute students
b) Holders of a TR Permit valid for minimum of six months