Salahi Paralegal

What is a Work Permit for Canada?

Canadian work permits allow foreign workers to gain access to employment opportunities in Canada. It’s a legal document that guarantees your pass through Canadian customs and immigration borders. Every year, the Canadian government issues 500,000+ work permits to temporary foreign nationals from various continents. These work permits help foreign nationals from developing countries secure a spot to live and work freely in Canada.

Canada has been the prime destination for foreign workers, students, and experts for decades now. People that seek high-paying employment opportunities from other countries can now apply for work permits today. Working in Canada guarantees you the job security needed to live a comfortable life abroad. With your work permit, you’d get a headstart to apply for your permanent residency status in no time.


Year of industry experience

From taking care of your documentation to reducing the processing time, we help you out with everything involved in the application procedure.

Do I Need a Work Permit to Work in Canada?

As a foreign national, you need a work permit to gain access to any job in Canada. This is often the case except your employment meets the criteria of very few exemptions.

To start your work permit application process, you must have a Canadian job offer that meets the criteria of a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Only foreign nationals that are recent graduates of a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) are exempted from getting job offers.

Also, applicants with spouses or partners that also work, live, or do school in Canada with work or study permits are exempted.

In the case that you don’t fall in either of the above-mentioned categories, you are required to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Must have verifiable proof of your intentions to leave Canada after the contract expires
  • Provide proof of your being financially capable of supporting your family members in Canada
  • Proof that you’re not medically criminally inadmissible to Canada
  • Must have plans to start working with your employer immediately
  • Must provide all the requested documents to verify your claims for employment in Canada

Types of Work Permits

Foreign nationals looking to secure their job offers in Canada must apply for either of these two work permit programs.

Foreign workers applying under this program must have LMIA-approved job offers.

 Foreign nationals applying under this program are not mandated to have LMIA-approved job offers.

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) Explained

LMIA helps to manage Canada’s existing marketplace by restricting Canadian employers from overpopulating it. Employing foreign nationals for jobs and positions that Canadians qualify for shouldn’t be encouraged. The federal department of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) monitors the employment of foreign nationals. Making it impossible for employers to displace existing Canadian residents from their jobs.

Most employers prefer to hire foreign nationals because of the difference in their hiring rates. The ESDC fights this and thoroughly reviews all job offers to ensure they pass LMIA criteria. This prevents Canadian employers from placing downward pressure on the wages of their existing Canadian staff. All foreign nationals that need an LMIA for their job offers are categorized under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

International Mobility Program (IMP) Explained

The LMIA process might be a compulsory requirement for securing job offers in Canada but there are other LMIA-exempted work permits. These work permits are issued as a result of the free trade agreements between Canada and other nations. One of the common examples of these agreements is the Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). CUSMA was formerly known as the North American Free Trade Agreement and it is a free trade agreement between the United States and Canada.

With these free trade agreements, foreign nationals can send in their applications for work permits without an LMIA. Your employer does not have to obtain an LMIA for your job offer to be accepted. Aside from the sponsored work permits, foreign nationals under the free trade agreements can access post-graduate work permits and work holidays. You are to apply under the International Mobility Program (IMP) if you do not need an LMIA.

Open Work Permit

Open work permits come with added benefits to a foreign worker migrating to Canada for work purposes.

Most work permits assigned to foreign nationals are tied to their employers. They are called job-specific work permits which restrict the employee from taking other job offers while in Canada.

Open work permits, on the other hand, offer the liberty to work for another employer. This allows you to gain more work experience, hence making you eligible for a PR card.

Close Work Permit

Closed work permits allow you to migrate to Canada temporarily before processing your permanent residency. Unlike the open work permit, you’re restricted to working with a single employer.

However, this restriction may be lifted if the immigrant works in Canada for at least one year. This only works while you’re applying for permanent residency meeting all the criteria of the process. Working for at least one year for your Canadian employer qualifies you to apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Closed work permits issued to foreign nationals have the following limitation information as their requirements:

  • The immigrant’s employer’s name
  • The location of the immigrant’s workplace
  • The duration of the work (if applicable)


Foreign workers currently living in Canada could also be eligible for Canadian closed work permits.


Yes, you can. Foreign nationals can reapply for an extension on their temporary work permits. Ensure you reapply within 90 days after expiration.

Yes, there’s a process for you to switch employers if you’re already a Canadian resident with a closed work permit.

How can Salahi Paralegal Help?

Our consultants at Salahi Paralegal Services help you get through this complicated process efficiently. We make the process smooth.

This information and resources presented through this website is strictly for your information. The contents of this website are not intended to be considered as legal advice of any kind. No legal obligation or paralegal relationship with this firm or its paralegals arises or exists from your use of this website or from your sending us an e-mail or any other communication. Any information viewed at or received from this website must in all cases be verified independently by you by hiring a paralegal from this firm or by you obtaining independent legal advice from other sources.

Retaining a paralegal from this firm can only be accomplished through personal contact with the paralegal entering into a formal engagement agreement signed by you and accepted by us in writing. Unless you are an existing client, information provided to us in an e-mail may not be considered confidential, and information should not be sent to us by e-mail or otherwise without prior written agreement of this firm. The presentation of information on this website does not establish any form of paralegal-client relationship with Salahi Paralegal or with any of its paralegals or agents.

The information of this website is public information and is not individualized legal advice. Readers should neither rely on nor take any action based upon this information. Professional legal advice should be obtained. While we strive for accuracy, it is possible that the information on our site may contain errors or omissions. We disclaim any liability for such errors or omissions.