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How to Apply for a Work Permit in Canada

Explore the step-by-step process of obtaining a work permit in Canada, including the role of the employer, LMIA requirements, and application procedures. Learn the importance of working with an immigration consultant to ensure a successful application and seamless transition to working in Canada.

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IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant

Mar 21, 2023

Navigating the work permit application process in Canada can be complex, but with the right guidance and understanding, it becomes a manageable task. In this article, we will cover the essential steps to apply for a work permit in Canada, including key aspects such as the application process, processing times, and required documents for various work permit categories.

Work Permit Application Process

The work permit application process for Canada typically involves the following steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility: Before applying, determine if you are eligible for a work permit in Canada. This will depend on factors such as your nationality, job offer, and the specific work permit category you are applying for.

  2. Gather required documents: Collect all the necessary documents required for your work permit application. This may include a job offer, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a passport, educational documents, and other supporting materials.

  3. Submit your application: Depending on your specific circumstances, you may be required to apply for a work permit online, through a paper application, or at a Canadian visa office abroad.

  4. Pay the application fees: Pay the required fees for your work permit application, which may vary depending on the type of work permit and other factors.

  5. Wait for processing: After submitting your application, wait for the Canadian authorities to process it. The processing time will depend on various factors, such as the type of work permit and the workload of the processing office.

  6. Receive the decision: Once your application is processed, you will be informed about the decision. If your work permit is approved, you will receive an approval letter, and in some cases, a temporary resident visa (TRV) or an electronic travel authorization (eTA).

The proecss of obtaining an LMIA supported Work Permit.

Step 1: Employer applies for a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that Canadian employers may need to obtain before hiring a foreign worker. The purpose of an LMIA is to assess the potential impact of hiring a foreign worker on the Canadian labor market and ensure that the employment of the foreign worker will not negatively affect Canadian workers.

To apply for an LMIA, the employer must:

  1. Determine if their job offer requires an LMIA by consulting the LMIA exemption list.

  2. Complete the appropriate LMIA application form, providing detailed information about the job offer, the company, and the recruitment efforts made to hire a Canadian worker for the position.

  3. Pay the LMIA processing fee, which is CAD 1,000 per position as of September 2021 (subject to change).

  4. Submit the LMIA application to Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

  5. Wait for the LMIA decision, which can take several weeks to a few months, depending on the job category and processing times.

If the LMIA is approved, the employer will receive a positive LMIA confirmation letter, which will be required for the foreign worker's work permit application.

Step 2: Employer extends Temporary Job Offer

Once the positive LMIA is obtained (if required), the employer can extend a temporary job offer to the foreign worker. The job offer must include important information such as the job title, duties and responsibilities, salary, duration of employment, and the location of work. The employer must also provide a copy of the positive LMIA confirmation letter to the foreign worker (if applicable).

Step 3: Foreign Worker applies for Work Permit

With the temporary job offer and LMIA confirmation letter in hand (if applicable), the foreign worker can now apply for a work permit. The foreign worker must:

  1. Complete the necessary application forms, including the Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295) or the Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM 5710), depending on their situation.

  2. Gather the required supporting documents, such as a copy of their passport, job offer letter, LMIA confirmation letter (if applicable), and any additional documents required for their specific work permit category.

  3. Pay the required work permit application fees.

  4. Submit the work permit application either online or at a Canadian visa office, depending on their country of residence and specific circumstances.

Step 4: Work Permit is Issued

Once the work permit application is submitted, it will be reviewed by Canadian immigration authorities. The processing time for work permit applications varies depending on factors such as the type of work permit, the applicant's country of residence, and the workload of the processing office.

Canada Work Permit Processing Time

The processing time for a Canada work permit can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as the type of work permit, the applicant's country of residence, and the workload of the processing office. Generally, processing times can range from a few weeks to several months. It is essential to plan ahead and take these processing times into account when preparing your work permit application.

Documents Required for Work Permit in Canada

The documents required for a work permit in Canada depend on the specific work permit category and your individual circumstances. Some of the common documents you may need to provide include:

  1. A valid passport

  2. A job offer from a Canadian employer

  3. A positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), if applicable

  4. Completed application forms

  5. Proof of funds to support yourself and any accompanying family members while in Canada

  6. Educational documents, such as diplomas, degrees, or transcripts

  7. Professional qualifications or licenses, if applicable

  8. Medical examination results, if required

  9. Police clearance certificates, if required

  10. Any additional documents specific to your work permit category

Open Work Permit Canada Requirements

An open work permit allows foreign nationals to work for any employer in Canada, without needing a specific job offer. The requirements for an open work permit in Canada include:

  1. Meeting general eligibility criteria for a work permit in Canada, such as having a valid passport and being admissible to the country

  2. Demonstrating that you fall under a specific category that allows you to apply for an open work permit, such as being the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled foreign worker or international student, or applying for a Post-Graduate Work Permit

Applying for an Open Work Permit from Outside Canada

To apply for an open work permit from outside Canada, follow these steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility for an open work permit based on your specific circumstances

  2. Collect the required documents for an open work permit application

  3. Submit your application online or through a paper application, depending on your country of residence and specific situation

  4. Pay the required application fees, including the open work permit holder fee

  5. Wait for your application to be processed and receive the decision from the Canadian authorities

Documents Required for Work Permit in Canada After Study

International students who have completed their studies in Canada may be eligible for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP). The documents required for a work permit in Canada after study include:

  1. A valid passport

  2. A copy of your final transcript from the Canadian educational institution

  3. Proof of completion of your study program (e.g., a diploma, degree, or certificate)

  4. A letter from your educational institution confirming the completion of your program

  5. Completed application forms for the Post-Graduate Work Permit

  6. Payment of the required application fees

Why should you consider hiring a professional for your work permit application?

Hiring an immigration consultant can be highly beneficial when navigating the complex process of obtaining a work permit in Canada. Immigration consultants are experienced professionals who specialize in guiding individuals through various immigration procedures. Their expertise can provide invaluable support and guidance, ensuring that applicants understand and fulfill all requirements and avoid potential pitfalls. Some of the key advantages of working with an immigration consultant include:

  1. Expertise: Immigration consultants possess in-depth knowledge of the Canadian immigration system, work permit categories, and application procedures. They stay updated on the latest changes in immigration policies, ensuring that clients receive accurate and up-to-date information.

  2. Personalized guidance: Immigration consultants offer personalized advice tailored to each client's unique situation, taking into account factors such as nationality, work experience, and job offer specifics. This tailored approach increases the likelihood of a successful work permit application.

  3. Time-saving: The work permit application process can be time-consuming and confusing for applicants unfamiliar with Canadian immigration procedures. Immigration consultants help streamline the process, guiding clients through each step and ensuring that all required documentation is gathered and submitted correctly.

  4. Avoiding mistakes: Errors or omissions in work permit applications can result in delays, additional costs, or even rejections. Immigration consultants help clients avoid such mistakes by reviewing application forms and supporting documents, ensuring that all information is accurate and complete.

  5. Effective communication: Immigration consultants can act as a liaison between the applicant and the Canadian immigration authorities, helping to address any questions or concerns that may arise during the application process.

  6. Peace of mind: Hiring an immigration consultant provides peace of mind, knowing that a knowledgeable professional is handling your work permit application. This allows applicants to focus on other important aspects of their move to Canada, such as preparing for their new job and life in a new country.

  7. Appeals and alternative options: In the event that a work permit application is rejected, an immigration consultant can provide assistance with the appeal process or suggest alternative immigration pathways that may be more suitable for the applicant's situation.

  8. Navigating complex cases: Some work permit applications may involve complex situations, such as job offers from multiple employers or the need to apply for a work permit while already in Canada. Immigration consultants can help clients navigate these complexities, ensuring that all requirements are met and the best possible outcome is achieved.

  9. Compliance with immigration laws: Immigration consultants are well-versed in Canadian immigration laws and regulations, helping clients ensure that they remain compliant throughout the work permit application process and during their stay in Canada.

  10. Post-arrival support: An immigration consultant's support doesn't end with the issuance of a work permit. They can provide assistance with post-arrival matters such as applying for a Social Insurance Number (SIN), extending or renewing a work permit, or transitioning to permanent resident status.

Ready to apply? Book an appointment now.

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