Who needs a work permit?
Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who wishes to work in Canada must have permission to do so. This permission usually takes the form of a work permit. However, citizens of certain countries may be eligible to work in Canad on a temporary resident visa (TRV) or through NAFTA.
What are the basic requirements for a Canadian work permit?
There are requirements for both the employer and the employee when applying for a work permit.
Employers must prove:
- Their job offer is genuine;
- They obey both federal and provincial laws;
- If an employer has hired other employees on work permits in the past 2 years, they must show that they have abided by the terms of those employees contracts. This means they must show that they have paid the employee in accordance with the terms of their contract.
Employees must prove:
- You will leave Canada at the expiration of your work permit and will not stay in Canada illegally;
- You have enough money to support yourself and your family while your are in Canada;
- You are law abiding and do not have a criminal record;
- You are in good health;
- You will not be employed by an ineligible employer;
- You have not worked in Canada on a work permit for longer than 4 years.
Additional documents may be requested by CIC at the officer’s discretion. When you speak with Immigroup regarding a work permit in Canada, we will advise you which of these requirements you should give consideration given your background and circumstances. We will also tell you of any additional requirements that apply to your situation.
How do I get a job offer from a Canadian employer?
You will need to look for Canadian jobs online. If you have connections in Canada, you should ask them to see if they know anyone who is hiring.
How do I get a Labour Market Opinion (LMO)?
Employers must complete the appropriate Labour Market Opinion application form once they are in a position to know they must hire a foreign worker. Applications that are not complete or are filled out incorrectly can cause delays. The employer must include the National Occupation Classification code. There are no government fees for obtaining an LMO. The processing time for a Labour Market Opinion is dependent on the type of employment and the province of employment. LMO processing times can vary from a few weeks up to six months.
What about my family members?
Family members who wish to accompany you to Canada while you are on a work permit may need to apply for a visitor visa.
Family members who need visas while in Canada to work must apply for their own work permits and children who will attend school must also have study permits.
For the purpose of a work permit or visitor visa, ‘family member’ means your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children, and their dependent children (your grandchildren).
- ‘Spouse’ means your legally married spouse.
- ‘Common-law Partner’ means your conjugal partner with whom you have lived for at least one year.
- ‘Dependent Children’ means your children or your spouse or common-law partner’s who are
- 22 years old or younger and single, or
- Financially dependent on the parent since before 22 years old and still in school, or
- Financially dependent since before 22 years old due to a medical condition.
Any of the family members who wish to visit Canada must file separate applications for a Visitor Visa (each family member will receive their own visa).
How long is a work permit valid?
Work permits are generally valid for a period of 1 – 2 years; however the specific length of validity granted is at the discretion of the CIC officer and is also influenced by the Labour Market Opinion (LMO) issued by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Work permits are not generally issued for less than one year unless the type of work being done is seasonal or temporary.
How long is a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) valid?
The length of validity of an LMO is completely at the discretion of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. They are usually valid for a period of at least one year, but they are also influenced by the length of time the employer has issued the job offer for in the employee’s contract.
Can I renew my work permit?
If your work permit is expiring, you may apply to renew it from inside of Canada. However, there are restrictions on renewing your work permit if you are in any job that is classified other than NOC 0 – A.
If you are working in Canada temporarily in a NOC 0 – A occupation, you can apply to renew your work permit without restriction, provided your LMO is still valid (if applicable).
If you are working in Canada on a work permit in an occupation of any other skill level, you can only apply to renew so that your time in Canada on a work permit does not exceed 4 years. Once you have worked 4 years on a work permit, you must leave Canada for at least 1 year before returning.
Please note that to renew your work permit you must have a valid LMO (if applicable). If you do not have a valid LMO and you work in an occupation that requires an LMO, you must get a new, valid LMO before applying to renew your work permit.
What happens if I overstayed on my work permit?
If you have stayed in Canada longer than the amount of time your work permit was valid, or that a border officer advised that you may stay in Canada, this is an issue that could cause problems for you in the future.
You could be denied entry to Canada if you try to come again in the future, or even denied entry to other countries, such as the United States.
But, there is a solution. If you’ve overstayed your work permit, it may be possible to restore your status renew your work permit, minimizing any problems you may have in the future. Contact us for a consultation to determine the best way to help you move forward.
How do I prove I have been law-abiding?
You must submit police certificates (clearances) from all countries where you have lived in for more than six-months since turning 18. If you are married or have children, you must also have your spouse and children submit police certificates (if applicable); even if they are not coming to Canada. If you fail to do this, your application may be rejected (if applicable) or you make experience problems entering Canada or applying for permanent residence down the road.
How do I prove I am in good health?
You need to have a medical exam performed by a physician authorized by the Canadian government (a Designated Medical Practioner). If you are married or have children you must also have your spouses and children submit medical exams, even if they are not coming to Canada. If you fail to do this, you may experience problems later if you wish to apply for permanent residence and you want to include your family in the application.
If you applied outside of Canada find your local visa office in the table below to the see the approximate processing time for your work permit application:
|Region||Location||Average Processing Time in Months|
|Africa and the Middle East||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates||6|
|Pretoria, South Africa||4|
|Riyadh, Saudi Arabia||5|
|Tel Aviv, Israel||7|
|Colombo, Sri Lanka||3|
|Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam||6|
|Hong Kong, China||4|
|New Delhi, India||2|
|Seoul, South Korea||2|
|London, United Kingdom||2|
|Prague, Czech Republic||1|
|Buenos Aires, Argentina||2|
|Detroit, United States||3|
|Guatemala City, Guatemala||2|
|Los Angeles, United States||2|
|Mexico City, Mexico||1|
|New York City, United States||2|
|Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago||1|
|Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic||2|
|Sao Paulo, Brazil||2|
|Seattle, United States||1