Completing an Application to Work in Canada – IMM 1295

Table of Contents

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?

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
  • Clergy
  • 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
  • Diplomats
  • 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.

Personal Details

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.

Contact 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.

Background Information

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
Austria Estonia Iceland Lithuania^ Poland^ Spain
Bahamas Finland Ireland Luxembourg Portugal St. Kitts and Nevis
Barbados France Israel Malta Samoa Sweden
Belgium Germany Italy Monaco San Marino Switzerland
Brunei Greece Japan Netherlands Singapore Taiwan*

#Includes holders of passports issued by the Holy See that are not citizens of Vatican City

^Passport must be biometric

*Passport must include personal identification number

Includes citizens of the following territories:

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Montserrat
  • Pitcairn
  • 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”

^^Includes permanent residents provided they can show their green card and proof of permanent residence

Have someone from our team call you back and answer all your questions.


List of Visa Offices by Country

Afghanistan Islamabad
Albania Rome

Paris (if sent by courier)

American Samoa Sydney
Andorra Paris
Angola Pretoria
Anguilla Port of Spain
Antigua and Barbuda Port of Spain
Argentina Buenos Aires
Armenia Moscow

Mexico City

Ascension Accra
Australia Sydney
Austria Vienna
Azerbaijan Ankara
Bahamas Kingston
Bahrain Abu Dhabi
Bangladesh Singapore
Barbados Port of Spain
Belarus Warsaw
Belgium Paris
Belize Mexico City
Benin Accra

New York

Bhutan New Delhi
Bolivia Lima

Mexico City

Bosnia and Herzegovina Vienna
Botswana Pretoria
Brazil Sao Paulo
British Indian Ocean Territory Colombo
Brunei Singapore
Bulgaria Bucharest
Burkina-Faso Dakar
Burma (Myanmar) Bangkok
Burundi Nairobi
Cambodia Bangkok
Cameroon Dakar

Los Angeles or New York

Canary Islands Paris
Cape Verde Dakar
Caroline Islands Manila
Cayman Islands Kingston
Central African Republic Dakar
Chad Dakar
Channel Islands London
Chile Buenos Aires

Beijing, Hong Kong or Shanghai

Christmas Island Sydney
Colombia Bogota
Comoros Island Nairobi
Cook Islands Sydney
Costa Rica Mexico City
Croatia Vienna
Cuba Havana

Mexico City

Cyprus Tel Aviv
Czech Republic Prague
Democratic Republic of the Congo Nairobi
Denmark London
Djibouti Nairobi
Dominica Port of Spain
Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo

East Timor Jakarta
Easter Island Buenos Aires
Ecuador Bogota
Egypt Cairo
El Salvador Mexico City
England London
Equatorial Guinea Dakar
Eritrea Nairobi
Estonia Warsaw

Addis Ababa (in person for processing in Nairobi)

Nairobi (if sent by courier)

Falkland Islands Buenos Aires
Faroe Islands London
Federated States of Micronesia Manila
Fiji Sydney
Finland London
France Paris
French Guiana Port of Spain
French Polynesia Sydney
Gabon Dakar
Gambia Accra
Georgia Ankara
Germany Vienna
Ghana Accra
Gibraltar Paris
Greece Rome
Greenland London
Grenada Port of Spain
Guadeloupe Port of Spain
Guam Manila
Guatemala Mexico City

In person at the office of the IOM in Conakry, for processing in Dakar

Dakar (if sent by courier)

Guinea-Bissau Dakar
Guyana Port of Spain
Haiti Port-au-Prince
Honduras Honduras
Hong Kong Hong Kong
Hungary Vienna
Iceland London
India New Delhi
Indonesia Jakarta
Iran Ankara
Iraq Amman
Ireland London
Israel Tel Aviv
Italy Rome
Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire) Dakar
Jamaica Kingston
Japan Manila
Johnston Atoll Manila
Jordan Amman
Kazakhstan Moscow
Kenya Nairobi
Kiribati Sydney
Kosovo Vienna
Kosrae Manila
Kuwait Abu Dhabi
Kyrgyzstan Moscow
Laos Bangkok
Latvia Warsaw
Lebanon Beirut
Lesotho Pretoria
Liberia Accra

Tunis (if sent by courier)

Liechtenstein Paris
Lithuania Warsaw
Luxembourg Paris
Macao Hong Kong
Macedonia Vienna
Madagascar Nairobi
Madeira Paris
Malawi Pretoria
Malaysia Singapore
Maldives Colombo


Malta Rome
Marianas Manila
Marie-Galante Port of Spain
Marshall Islands Manila
Martinique Port of Spain
Mauritania Dakar
Mauritius Nairobi
Mexico Mexico City
Micronesia Manila
Midway Island Manila
Moldova Bucharest
Monaco Paris
Mongolia Beijing
Montenegro Vienna
Montserrat Port of Spain
Morocco Rabat
Mozambique Pretoria
Myanmar (Burma) Bangkok
Namibia Pretoria
Nauru Sydney
Nepal New Delhi
Netherlands Vienna
New Caledonia Sydney
New Zealand Sydney
Nicaragua Mexico City

Niamey (in person for processing in Dakar)

Dakar (if sent by courier)

Nigeria Lagos
Niue Sydney
Norfolk Island Sydney
North Korea Beijing
Northern Ireland London
Northern Mariana Islands Manila
Norway London
Oman Abu Dhabi
Pakistan Islamabad
Palau (or Belau) Manila
Palestinian Authority (Gaza) Cairo
Palestinian Authority (West Bank) Amman
Panama Mexico City
Papua New Guinea Sydney
Paraguay Buenos Aires
Peru Lima
Philippines Manila
Pitcairn Islands Sydney
Poland Warsaw
Ponape Manila
Portugal Paris
Puerto Rico

New York

Qatar Abu Dhabi
Republic of Congo Nairobi
Reunion Paris
Romania Bucharest
Russia Moscow
Rwanda Nairobi
Saba Port of Spain
Samoa Sydney
Samoa (American) Sydney
San Marino Rome
Sao Tome and Principe Accra
Saudi Arabia Riyadh
Scotland London
Senegal Dakar
Serbia Vienna
Seychelles Nairobi
Sierra Leone Accra
Singapore Singapore
Slovakia Vienna
Slovenia Vienna
Solomon Islands Sydney
Somalia Nairobi
South Africa Pretoria
South Korea


South Sudan Nairobi
Spain Paris
Sri Lanka Colombo
St. Barthélemy Port of Spain
St. Eustatius Port of Spain
St. Helena Accra
St. Kitts and Nevis Port of Spain
St. Lucia Port of Spain
St. Maarten/St. Martin Port of Spain
St. Pierre et Miquelon

New York or Paris

St. Vincent and the Grenadines Port of Spain
Sudan Cairo
Suriname Port of Spain
Svalbard London
Swaziland Pretoria
Sweden London

Paris or Vienna

Syria Amman or Beirut
Tahiti Sydney
Taiwan Hong Kong
Tajikistan Moscow
Tanzania Nairobi
Thailand Bangkok
Togo Accra
Tokelau Sydney
Tonga Sydney
Trinidad and Tobago Port of Spain
Tristan da Cunha Accra
Truk Island Manila
Tunisia Tunis
Turkey Ankara
Turkmenistan Ankara
Turks and Caicos Islands Kingston
Tuvalu Sydney
Uganda Kampala, for processing in Nairobi
Ukraine Kyiv
United Arab Emirates Abu Dhabi
United Kingdom London
United States of America

Los Angeles or New York

Uruguay Buenos Aires
U.S. Trust Territories of the Pacific Islands Manila
Uzbekistan Moscow
Vanuatu Sydney
Vatican City Rome

Mexico City

Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City
Virgin Islands (British) Port of Spain
Virgin Islands (US)

New York

Wake Island Manila
Wales London
Wallis and Futuna Sydney
Western Sahara Rabat
Yap Island Manila
Yemen Abu Dhabi
Zambia Pretoria


Seafarers on tankers at sea destined to offload oil and gas in the Atlantic provinces London or New York

Have someone from our team call you back and answer all your questions.


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