You need to have a Canadian work permit to work on a temporary basis in Canada. You must have a job offer from a Canadian employer validated by HRSDC (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada). Some young people may qualify for a working holiday visa depending on their country of residence.
Working in Canada
Each year around 150,000 foreign workers get work permits to come to Canada as temporary workers. Temporary workers help Canadian companies fill jobs where there are skill shortages and some work as live-in caregivers.
If you want to work in Canada, you must meet the requirements for entering Canada, staying in the country, and obtaining a work permit. A work permit allows you to stay in Canada for a predetermined, temporary amount of time. If you want to stay in Canada after your work permit has expired, you may be able to apply to renew your work permit or apply for permanent resident status which will enable you to stay in Canada indefinitely.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires workers in many jobs to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) before you can apply for a work permit. A Labour Market Opinion is proof that a Canadian citizen or permanent resident could not be found to fill the available position and the employer must hire a foreign worker. Some jobs do not require an LMO to obtain a Work Permit.
How can we help you work in Canada?
To discuss your options for getting a work permit in Canada, contact us for a consultation. We can determine your eligibility to apply as well as advise you how you can prove you meet the requirements. We will also go over the procedure for obtaining a Labour Market Opinion as the first step toward getting your work permit.
Immigroup will assist you throughout the entire application process from start to finish, including:
- Determining your eligibility to apply;
- Determining the likelihood of success for your application;
- Ensuring your forms are complete and accurately reflect the details of your case for maximum chance of success;
- Ensuring you have the necessary and appropriate documents to support your application;
- Providing guidance on the best method to submit your application to the government for your circumstances;
- Advising the privileges a work permit gives you;
- Offering Top Priority service for extremely urgent cases;
- Determining the best way to proceed once the outcome of your case is reached (applying for permanent residence, renewing the work permit, re-application if necessary, etc.)
Contact us for a consultation to assist you with your LMO and work permit application.
Processing Time - Work Permit
If your application is submitted from outside Canada, the processing time for your work permit application depends on the location of the office where you submit the application.
Processing times can range between 1 - 9 months on average. Most visa offices process the applications in under 3 months’ time. For a complete list of visa offices and processing times, please refer to the table below.
Application times below are based on processing time for complete application, are averages, are subject to change without notice, and are not guaranteed. Applications may take longer than the timeframes stated by CIC at the officer’s discretion. Statistics are updated on our website every 30 days.
If your application was submitted within Canada, the average processing time is 1 – 3 months.
Processing Time - Labour Market Opinion (LMO)
The current LMO processing time is 6 – 9 weeks on average. This timeline is subject to change without notice and is not guaranteed.
Our fees are on a case-by-case basis, but Immigroup legal fees for an LMO application usually range from around $1200 for the most basic application to around $2000 for more complicated cases. After the LMO is approved, the average legal fee for a work permit application is between $900 and $1300. If you are applying for a work permit for a position that does not require an LMO, our legal fees average between $1300 and $1800.
Top Priority service for clients who need an LMO or work permit urgently carries additional costs.
If you do not know where you stand, whether you are eligible to work in Canada, or what to do next in the process, contact us for assistance.
In addition to the legal fees paid to a consultant or lawyer to assist you with this process, the applicant must also pay a fee to the Canadian government for filing their application. Please refer to the fee schedule below.
Work Permit: $150
Labour Market Opinion: no cost
Government application fees are subject to change at any time without notice and are not refundable from CIC even if the application is refused.
As of April 30, 2015, restrictions on work permits for jobs considered "low wage" have been put in place in certain industries in regions of Canada where the unemployment rate is above 6%. For a list of what is considered high wage and low wage, read this article.
Unemployment Rates by Economic Region
If your future employer is located in one of the below regions and the unemployment rate in that region is above 6%, they may not be allowed to offer you a job.
|Province/Territory||Economic Region||Rates effective
April 30, 2015
(%) - 2014
|Rates prior to
April 30, 2015
(%) - 2013
|Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House||3.9||4.0|
|Athabasca-Grand Prairie-Peace River||3.9||3.9|
|Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake||4.7||4.1|
|British Columbia||Vancouver Island and Coast||6.1||6.2|
|Saint John-St. Stephen||8.2||9.6|
|Newfoundland and LAbrador||Avalon Peninsula||8.2||7.8|
|South Coast-Burin Peninsula||18.9||17.4|
|West Coast-Northern Peninsula-Labrador||14.0||15.0|
|Notre Dame-Central Bonavista Bay||18.9||16.5|
|Nova Scotia||Cape Breton||15.0||14.1|
|Prince Edward Island||10.6||11.5|
|Quebec||Gaspésie - Îles-de-la-Madeleine||16.4||16.2|
|Centre du Québec||6.9||7.4|
|Swift Current-Moose Jaw||2.9||2.6|