2019 Update: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) strongly recommends you apply online for the following reasons:
- There are no courier fees and there is no lag from the mail delivery – IRCC receives your application instantly.
- Online applications are normally processed more quickly.
- Incomplete paper applications will be returned to you. Applying online helps ensure your application is complete before you submit it.
- If IRCC requests more documentation from you, you can submit it immediately online.
- You can keep your passport until it is requested by IRCC.
- You will receive updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.
If you want help with your online application, scroll down to the bottom of this page and press the button for a consultation.
The below article was published in 2013. It reflects the state of paper applications for work permits as of that year. We have not updated it because you are strongly incouraged to apply online.
If you live outside of Canada and want to apply for a work permit, you have to complete the IMM 1295 Application for Work Permit Made Outside Canada. This form is the main piece of the application. You must also submit the IMM 5645 Family Information Form, the IMM 5257 Schedule I, the IMM IMM 5409 Statutory Declaration of Common Law Union (if applicable), the IMM 5488 Document Checklist and the IMM 5476 Use of Representative form (if you are applying with help from a consultant, such as Immigroup). This article will explain:
- Who Needs to complete the IMM 1295 application
- Where to get the IMM 1295 application
- How to complete the IMM 1295 application
- Where to submit the IMM 1295 application
- Possible results of submitting your IMM 1295 application.
- Find a Visa Office
Who needs to complete the IMM 1295 application?
Most people currently residing outside of Canada who wish to work in Canada temporarily – and who are not “business visitors” – need to complete a work permit application; the IMM 1295 application is the standard work permit form. A business visitor is anyone who is travelling to Canada for business but who will not “directly enter the Canadian labour market”. Business visitors are those who are attending conferences, meetings, and the like.
There are many professional occupations that are normally exempt from requiring work permits. In order to practice one of the below professions in Canada temporarily, you may need to get some other form of permission to enter Canada, such as a visa. Here is the list:
- Athletes and their coaches
- Aviation inspectors and accident investigators
- Convention organizers
- Crew members of planes, boats, buses and trucks, as long as you are working on vehicles owned by a foreign company and you are working as crew
- Emergency Service Providers assisting with disasters
- Expert witnesses or investigators coming to testify
- some Health Care students (provided you meet the criteria)
- Judges for international competitions
- Military personnel
- Performing artists (provided you meet the criteria)
- Professors and other academic experts
- Public speakers attending events less than 5 days long
- Foreign Students working on campus require a different kind of work permit
If you are eligible to apply for an “open work permit”, you still have to complete this form.
If you are currently in Canada, you should not use this form.
Where to get the IMM 1295 form
The application form can be completed on or downloaded from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website, along with the accompanying forms you must submit along with it to successfully apply.
If you hire a representative, such as Immigroup, to help you with your application, the representative will often provide you with the forms.
How to complete the IMM 1295 application
You can apply online throuch IRCC’s website or you can download the form and send it in. IRCC provides instructions for applying online so here we will cover what to do with the pdf form. (Also, to apply online you must possess a scanner and have a valid credit card.)
If your browser is up to date and you have the current plugin, you can complete the pdf in your browser and then print it off. If not, you should “save a copy” or download it. Once you have done that, you can complete the form on your computer, or you can print off the form and complete it by hand.
If you have dealt with IRCC before and you have a client ID, you can enter it on the form. You must also pick which language you want Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to respond to you in. Canada is a bilingual country and the federal government must provide service in either English or French.
IRCC needs to confirm your identity, so in this section your vital information, such as your full name and your citizenship. The residence questions are used to establish if you have lived in Canada within the past few years. If you have previously worked in Canada on a work permit, you may not be eligible to work in Canada until the proper time has elapsed. You must provide your marital information regardless of whether or not your spouse – if you have one – is accompanying you.
You must also provide your native language and your passport information.
In case there are issues with your application, IRCC will need to get in touch with you, so you must provide current contact information. The information you provide in this section will be the only information IRCC uses in any correspondence they send to you.
Details of Intended Work in Canada
This form is used for multiple types of work permits. If you are applying under a specific program, you should select that here. You must also attach your job offer if applicable.
Education and Employment
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada needs information about your education and employment history so that they confirm you are being hired for an appropriate position.
People who wish to come to Canada re subject to certain standards: Canada will not accept those with criminal histories, with certain medical conditions, or those who have attempted to immigrate to Canada illegally. Providing your background information lets Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada confirm that you are a law-abiding person, that you are healthy and that you have not previously tried to sneak into Canada or stay in Canada past your permit’s validity.
If you are bringing family members with you, they must complete their own forms (if they are intending to work in Canada).
Where to submit the IMM 1295 application
You must submit your IMM 1295 form and the accompanying forms to your local visa office. You should note that, in addition to the forms listed at the beginning of this article, your local visa office may require you to submit additional documents. If you are not using a representative, you should contact the local office to get all the details. For the complete list of where to apply, see the end of this article.
Result: Work Permit Vs. Temporary Resident Visa
If your application is approved, you will either be issued a work permit or a temporary resident visa (TRV).
If you are from a country whose nationals do not normally require a visa to enter Canada, you will be issued a work permit and then you will be able to travel to Canada.
If you are from a country whose nationals normally require a visa to enter Canada, you will be issued a temporary resident visa (TRV) and you will receive your work permit at the port of entry as you entering Canada (provided you are granted entry).
If your application is denied, you will be informed in writing.
Citizens of the following countries do not need a visitor visa to visit Canada, provided they are carrying valid, correct travel documents:
|Andorra||Croatia||Holy See (Vatican City)#||Korea, South||New Zealand||Slovakia||United Kingdom and all british overeas territories##|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Cyprus||Hong Kong||Latvia||Norway||Slovenia||United States of America^^|
|Australia||Denmark||Hungary||Liechtenstein||Papua New Guinea||Solomon Islands|
|Bahamas||Finland||Ireland||Luxembourg||Portugal||St. Kitts and Nevis|
- British Virgin Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Falkland Islands
- St. Helena
- Turks and Caicos
And it also applies to
- British overseas citizens
- Citizens of British Overseas Territories not listed above
- British Nationals (Overseas)
- British Subjects – provided the passport notes the “Right of Abode”
List of Visa Offices by Country
|COUNTRY/TERRITORY||CANADIAN VISA OFFICE|
Paris (if sent by courier)
|Anguilla||Port of Spain|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Port of Spain|
|Barbados||Port of Spain|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Vienna|
|British Indian Ocean Territory||Colombo|
|Central African Republic||Dakar|
|Costa Rica||Mexico City|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Nairobi|
|Dominica||Port of Spain|
|Easter Island||Buenos Aires|
|El Salvador||Mexico City|
Nairobi (if sent by courier)
|Falkland Islands||Buenos Aires
|Federated States of Micronesia||Manila|
|French Guiana||Port of Spain|
|Grenada||Port of Spain|
|Guadeloupe||Port of Spain|
In person at the office of the IOM in Conakry, for processing in Dakar
Dakar (if sent by courier)
|Guyana||Port of Spain|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong|
|Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire)||Dakar|
Tunis (if sent by courier)
|Marie-Galante||Port of Spain|
|Martinique||Port of Spain|
|Montserrat||Port of Spain|
Niamey (in person for processing in Dakar)
Dakar (if sent by courier)
|Northern Mariana Islands||Manila|
|Palau (or Belau)||Manila|
|Palestinian Authority (Gaza)||Cairo|
|Palestinian Authority (West Bank)||Amman|
|Papua New Guinea||Sydney|
|Republic of Congo||Nairobi|
|Saba||Port of Spain|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Accra|
|St. Barthélemy||Port of Spain|
|St. Eustatius||Port of Spain|
|St. Kitts and Nevis||Port of Spain|
|St. Lucia||Port of Spain|
|St. Maarten/St. Martin||Port of Spain|
|St. Pierre et Miquelon|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||Port of Spain|
|Suriname||Port of Spain|
|Syria||Amman or Beirut|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Port of Spain|
|Tristan da Cunha||Accra|
|Turks and Caicos Islands||Kingston|
|Uganda||Kampala, for processing in Nairobi|
|United Arab Emirates||Abu Dhabi|
|United States of America|
|U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands||Manila|
|Vietnam||Ho Chi Minh City|
|Virgin Islands (British)||Port of Spain|
|Virgin Islands (US)|
|Wallis and Futuna||Sydney|
|Seafarers on tankers at sea destined to offload oil and gas in the Atlantic provinces||London or New York|
Riley Haas has been a leading expert since 2011 on immigration matters, with hundreds of publications online. Published author of three books about political philosophy, the Beatles and the Toronto Maple Leafs, respectively. BA from Bishop’s University, MA from McMaster University. You follow Riley on Substack https://rileyhaas.substack.com.