Canada Work Permit

A Canadian Work Permit (or Visa) is a document that allows you to work in Canada legally and for a specific period. To apply for one, you will need to have an offer letter from your employer or an employment contract stating the job title and salary. You also need to prove that you are qualified to do the job by providing educational qualifications, experience, English language skills etc. The process can take up to 12 months because there are many steps involved, including submitting all required documents with processing fees.

How to get a work permit in Canada?

The simple answer to this question is – get hired by a Canadian employer. Before applying for a work permit, your employer needs to apply with ESDC to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Types of Canada Work Permit

Employer-specific work permit

As the name suggests, an employer-specific work permit is also known as a closed work permit. Meaning, you can work only for that particular employer who has sponsored you under LMIA. You cannot switch jobs to another employer under an Employer-specific work permit. Closed work permits have restrictions based on employer, job type or region.

Employer requirements:

Employers should determine if they need an LMIA before starting the hiring process. Most employers in Canada will require to submit an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) through Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). 

Canadian Employers can also hire a temporary foreign worker without an LMIA under the International Mobility Program after submitting an offer of employment through the Employment Portal of Canada.

Thus, if you want to work in Canada, and employer-specific work permit allows a Canadian business to hire applicants from abroad. However, in the majority of the cases, you will require a Positive LMIA assessment to apply for a Canadian work permit unless your profession falls under LMIA-exempt occupation.

Eligibility for Canada Employer-specific Work Permit:

Positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or offer of employment

LMIA-exempt jobs

Employers are not required to get an LMIA for jobs that fall under the below categories:

  • Jobs that fall under an international trade agreement such as CUSMA or GATS or any other non-trade agreement.
  • Jobs that are part of an agreement between the federal government and a provincial/territorial government
  • Opportunities that are in Canada’s best interest

Open work permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer. It is not bound to a specific job or employer, or region. However, open work permit holders with a job offer in Quebec will need to get the Certificate of Acceptance (CAQ) from the provincial government.

An open work permit is a special type of Canadian visa that lets you work for any employer in the country, no matter what they’re offering. You can only get it under specific conditions, though.

Eligibility for Canada Open Work Permit:

  • An international student who graduated from a Designated Learning Institution and is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • A student who cannot afford to pay for their study (Destitute Student)
  • Employer-specific work permit holders who are being abused or at risk of being abused concerning their job in Canada
  • Canada PR Applicant
  • A dependent family member of a Canada PR applicant
  • Spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • Spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
  • Someone under a removal order which is not enforceable
  • A temporary resident permit holder
  • Young workers participating in special programs

Documents required for Canada Work Permit

Original passport (Must be a valid passport) along with all cancelled or expired passport. The expiry date on the passport must be equal to or greater than your duration of work in Canada.

For example, if you have received an employment offer for two years, your passport expiry cannot be less than two years from the date of application. The work permit’s validity will be limited to the validity of your passport.

Submit proof that you meet all the eligibility requirements of the job offer, such as:

Proof of required Education which include education certificates, diploma or degree including mark sheets of all semesters

Copies of employment letters from past employers outlining your job duties and copies of past pay stubs. The letters should also give contact information for people who can speak about the work you have done in the past.

Proof of language proficiency by showing test results for a language you are fluent in. Language test results must be valid, which means the test results should not be older than 24 months from the date of application.

Income and personal funds proof. You must include your taxes from the last two years or if you have bank records or books from the past three months. You also need to submit property documents or other proof of income, like investments.

A marriage certificate and the birth certificates for the children who will be coming with you.

If you choose to get a medical exam before making your application, please submit IMM 1017 form.

Duly filled and signed Family Information Form (IMM 5707)


Canada Work Permit from India

You can apply for a Canadian work permit from India if you land a job from an employer willing to complete the LMIA formalities with the ESDC. The most challenging step is to get hired directly from India; however, it is not impossible.

Best practices to find a job in Canada from India

Create a Canadian Style Resume and update it on Canadian job hunting sites such as,, etc.

Search job opportunities on sites like LinkedIn (highly recommended)

Network with professionals in Canada through social media platforms such as Linkedin or Facebook groups

A candidate can also apply directly to a Canadian employer from India by writing an email about their work experiences and attaching the Canadian-style resume along with it.

We recommend searching online for employers in your field via Linkedin and connecting with the hiring managers directly. Make sure you optimize your Linkedin profile to match the expectations of your Canadian employer.

Canada Work Permit Processing Time

It may take up to 12 months or more to get your work permit for Canada. Unfortunately, CIC is no longer providing timeframes due to pandemic delays.