Canadian Work Permits. The Ultimate Guide

Canadian work permit is like a job visa. Canadian companies and the government is promoting skilled workers to find employment in Canada. With the job permits, the employees from overseas can work in Canada. But to get a work permit, you should have a job offer from the employer or organization which has to be submitted at the time of applying for a job visa. The Work Permit can also help the immigrant gain permanent residence. There are some things you should know regarding Canadian Work Permit before migrating to Canada.

  1. Labor Market Opinions


Before an employer provides a work permit to a person outside Canada, he has to submit it for market verification, and this is known as Labor Market Opinion. The LMO has to come out positive so that the person is provided with a Canada Work Permit. The employer will first advertise the position and will have to provide proof for the unavailability of Canadian citizens or residents to fill in the vacancy. Some job offers do not require advertisement which is taken care by the employer. The NAFTA work, Intercompany transfer, and Post graduate work permits do not require LMO’s.

  1. Open Work Permit

Open work permit, as the name suggests, is not issued by any particular employer. A person with an open work permit can work for any company in Canada. The open work permit is issued to foreign spouses or common-law partners of international students, temporary foreign workers. Foreign students who are eligible for an open work permit under the graduating international students section must meet the requirements mentioned by the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. The open work permits are timed ones and have a validity date that coincides with the temporary work or study period of the partner in Canada.[/caption]

  1. Bridging Open Work Permit

This provision of BOWP is for a foreign employee who is currently operating in Canada and has applied for a permanent residence or will soon apply for one. They should be working on the immigration programs of Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Program. The person can apply for the work permit if it is about to expire in four months time. If not for the BOWP provision, the applicant will have had to move out of Canada on expiry along with the dependents, take a visitor status, or the employer will have to apply for the LMIA.

With this open work permit, the employee will be able to find a good job browsing through the Canadian job market as he/she already has a permanent residence.

  1. Working in Canada without a work permit.

Some specific designations and work classifications do not require a work permit in Canada. Such employees can enter Canada with a Temporary Resident Visa. Business visitors who are in Canada for a brief visit and do not enter the labor market in Canada can move in without a work permit. They will be having an international scope and will have their bases in foreign countries. International representatives and their family members can gain a letter from DFAIT to stay in Canada without a work permit. Military personnel, foreign government officers, in-flight security officers, on-campus employment, performing artists, athletes, media, news reporters, convention organizers, clergy, judges, investigators, health care students, emergency service providers, and many other kinds can stay in Canada for a short period without a work permit.

  1. Determining Eligibility for Work Permit

There are certain eligibilities that you will have to prove to the concerned offices before you get a work visa. You will have to show that you will leave Canada on visa expiry. Will have to submit documents to prove your ability to look after yourself and your dependents till you leave. Will have to provide police clearance certificate, medical exam certificate and other required documents as requested by the officer. Certain employers are blacklisted, and you will have to assure that you may in no ways be working for those employers.


  1. Extending work permit

There might arise some situations whereby your work permit is about to expire and you will have to extend the permit. These may be situations like job extension, taking up a different job within Canada, looking for a permanent residence or you want to leave Canada and re-enter. If the work permit has already expired, then you must stop working immediately and apply for an extension within 90 days of expiry. There is no assurance that the extension will be approved. Therefore it is illegal to be working even when you have placed an extensions request.

In case you have not applied for an extension, it is required to exit Canada immediately else you might be deported which is a legal procedure, and it takes complicated procedures involving an immigration officer to enter back into Canada.

  1. Restoring Work permit

In order to restore work permit, the employee will have to submit an application to extend the stay and send it to the Case Processing Center in Vegreville in Alberta. The form will have to be filled in with details which include the request for the extension, and the reason for the stay beyond the work permit limit. It will cost C$200 for work permit restoration, and the extra amount for the work permit of C$155 will also have to be paid by the worker.

The processing time for work permits differs based on the application. The processing times for different kinds of application can be checked through the government website. If you have placed a work permit request, the status can also be regularly tracked online from inside or outside Canada. The processing times differ based on the requirements of the work permit like education, sponsor, refugee, etc.  All procedures like paying fees, change in address, medical checks, police checks, etc. can be accessed online. The maximum allowed period for a work permit extension is four years on a total. If a person is working in Canada, he can work on a temporary basis only for four years. After this period of four years, he is required to exit Canada and can come back for work only after another four years