Understanding Canadian Work Permits

Canada’s market for foreign workers has increased immensely in recent years and is continuing to experience rapid growth. If you are a skilled foreign worker wishing to work in Canada, you will need to apply to the Canadian government for a work permit.

A work permit is documentation authorizing a foreign citizen to work for a specified employer for a pre-determined amount of time. If a foreign worker receives a work permit, they must perform the job outlined in the work permit and are not allowed to work for other employers, perform other duties or stay in Canada to work on any dates not specified on the work permit.

Once a worker applies for a work permit, the history and background of both the worker and employer are looked into and confirmed in order protect both parties. When looking into the background of the employer the government agency issuing the permit will ensure that the job duties are as posted, pay falls within the local laws of the province and that the employer has a positive history of treating its employees well with little to no complaints. When checking the background of the applicant/foreign worker, their criminal history, among other details, will be checked. If the applicant has a severe criminal history, their work permit may be denied.


When applying for a work permit, the applicant must first find an apply to a job in Canada. Once the job has been found and the employer has determined the applicant to be a suitable candidate, the applicant may apply to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration department for a work permit either online or by mail. Once the application has been processed, a formal interview may be required before either approving or denying the application. If approved, the applicant will be provided with documentation allowing them to travel to Canada and will be provided with their official work permit upon arrival in Canada.