A work permit is a legal document which authorizes a foreign worker to work legally in Canada. Barring certain exceptions, most foreign temporary workers need this document to work. A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) might also be required to enter Canada based of your country or residence or citizenship.
There are two different types of work permits:
- Open Work Permit
- Employer Specific Work Permit
Open Work Permit: With an open work permit you can work for any employer in Canada except one ones who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours. An open work-permit is non-job specific, therefore you will not need a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to apply.
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you are in one of the following situations:
- Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada
- Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants
- Spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students
- Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members,
- Some temporary resident permit holders, or
- Some young workers participating in special programs.
In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.
Employer-Specific Work Permit: An employer-specific work permit allows a foreign worker to work for a specific employer for a certain amount of time. This type of work permit will include the name of the employer you can work for, the duration and location of work if applicable. It is also known as a closed-work permit and is often subject to a job offer by a Canadian employer supported by a positive LMIA which proves that there is no Canadian citizen or permanent resident available to do the job which is being offered.
Eligibility: To find out if you are eligible to apply for a work permit, certain conditions need to be met. There are some general eligibility criteria and some of them depends on where you are applying for the work permit from.
- You must be able to prove that you will leave the country after your work permit expires.
- Must not work for any employers who have failed to comply with the employment standards or businesses who engage in sex trade such as strip clubs, escort services, or erotic massage parlours.
- Must get your security and background check done and submit your police clearance certificate.
- Must get your medical exam done.
- Must have enough funds required to support yourself and your family members for the entire stay in Canada.
If Applying from Outside Canada: Depending on your country of residence or origin, you can apply for the work permit through your visa office outside Canada. They will be able to guide you on the documentation, fee and procedure. You also need to get your police clearance certificate issued from your consulate and medical examination conducted by a designated medical officer.
If Applying from Inside Canada: You are eligible to apply for a work permit while you are in Canada if :
- You or your spouse are currently living in Canada on a valid study or work permit.
- You have graduated from a designated educational institution in Canada. You are eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit.
- You have applied for your permanent residency and waiting for a decision to be made. You can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit.
- You have asked for a refugee status inside Canada and are waiting for a final decision, or when you have been granted the status of a convention refugee or a protected person.
A work permit can be granted when you land into Canada if you are from a visa-exempt country with a valid medical certificate or if you are eligible to apply for an open work permit.