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Who should apply for a work permit

A work permit is a written authorization to work in Canada issued to a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. It is required whether or not the employer is in Canada. Usually, it is valid only for a specified job and length of time.

In all cases, if you want to work temporarily in Canada, you must meet the general requirements for entering Canada.

Before applying for a work permit, verify the following:

  1. Do you need a work permit?

    Some jobs do not require a work permit. Check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a list of jobs that are work permit exempt. If the job you will be doing is not on the list, you will need to apply for a work permit. This is true even for unpaid work.

    If you are a citizen of a country that requires a temporary resident visa to enter Canada, you will need to apply for a visa if you do not need a work permit.
  2. Do you need a job offer from a Canadian employer?

    In most cases you will need a written job offer or contract of employment from your employer in Canada before you apply for a work permit. You will also need to provide evidence that you meet the requirements of the job offer.

    If you are applying for an open work permit you do not need to provide a written job offer with your application. Open work permits can only be issued to:
      
  3. Do you need a positive labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)?

    In most cases, if you need a work permit, you will also require written confirmation from HRSDC that your employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This is called a positive labour market opinion or LMO. It is up to your employer to get this written confirmation.

    After your employer gets confirmation that you can be offered a job, the employer will send you the LMO confirmation letter. You should submit this LMO confirmation letter with your work permit application..

    Some jobs that require a work permit do not require an LMO. Check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for a list of job categories that do not need an LMO.

    If you are applying for an open work permit or your job is work permit exempt, you do not need an LMO.

Eligibility to apply for a work permit as you enter Canada

Although it is possible in certain cases to apply for a work permit at the port of entry as you enter Canada, you are encouraged to apply to a visa office outside of Canada.

You must apply for a work permit outside of Canada if:You may apply for a work permit at a port of entry if:

you or your accompanying dependents need a temporary resident visa, or

your accompanying children (6-18 years old) need a study permit, or

you or your accompanying dependents require a medical examination, or

you are participating in International Experience Canada, or

you will be working as a live-in caregiver, or you will be working as a seasonal agricultural worker, or

you or your accompanying dependents have been convicted of a criminal offence.

your job does not need a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Development Canada (HRSDC) or you hold a positive labour market opinion from HRSDC,

AND

you are not listed in the first column.

 

If you will be applying at the port of entry, you should bring the following to show to the port of entry officer:

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Date Modified:
2012-01-13