What is a work permit?
A work permit is a written authorization that is:
- issued by an officer that allows a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to work in Canada;
- needed if you want to work in Canada, even if your employer is not in Canada;
- usually valid only for a specific employer, job and length of time;
- issued based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), or an Offer of employment from an LMIA-exempt employer.
What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?
An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.
ESDC will assess the employer’s LMIA application to determine what impact hiring a temporary foreign worker would have on Canada’s job market. ESDC will issue a positive or negative LMIA letter to the employer. Your employer should give you a copy of this letter to include with your application for a work permit.
The LMIA is usually given for a specific period of time and the work permit issued will match that period. If you want to renew your work permit beyond this period, you will likely need a new LMIA.
Offers of Employment from a specific employer for LMIA-exempt foreign workers
If you do not need an LMIA to work in Canada, your employer must submit your offer of employment to CIC through the Employer Portal. Your employer must give you an Offer of Employment number and pay the Employer compliance fee before you start your work permit application. The Offer of Employment number starts with the letter “A” and is followed by seven numbers.
If your employer does not need to pay the employer compliance fee, they must upload proof of their fee exemption in the Employer Portal.
You must show the officer that you are eligible under Canada’s Immigration law and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must:
- satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment;
- be law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to give us a Police Clearance Certificate);
- not be a danger to the security of Canada;
- be in good health and complete a medical exam, if needed;
- not intend to engage in employment with an employer on the List of Ineligible Employer
- not plan to work with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
- provide any other documents the officer needs to establish your admissibility.
Are there any conditions on my work permit?
An officer may impose, change or cancel conditions when issuing a work permit. These may include any of the following:
- the type of employment;
- the employer you can work for;
- where you can work;
- how long you can continue to work; and
- the times or periods of work
There are some important forms for Work Permit – Outside Canada
IMM5488E (Application Form)
IMM1295E (Check List for Work permit – outside Canada)
IMM5645E (Family Information form)