How You Can Work in Canada

How You Can Work in Canada

DEC 20, 2022



With an affordable cost of living, a healthy work-life balance and a comfortable fulfilling lifestyle, the Great White North makes immigration easy for foreign nationals who want to live and work in Canada. To make this happen, immigrants will require a Canadian work permit, which will also enable the option of permanent residency.

The work permit you require will depend on the job offer and the line of work. Either way, Canada allows you to explore several options when applying for a Canadian work permit. Most importantly, you want to ensure you're working for a legitimate Canadian employer who complies with the list of authorized employers in Canada.  

In this article, we will outline the details about work permits in Canada, how to get a work permit in Canada and in-demand jobs in Canada.

Types of Canadian Work Permits

Work permits in Canada allow foreign nationals to live and work in Canada legally - this is of utmost importance. However, obtaining a Canadian work permit while working for an illegitimate Canadian employer will defeat the objective of your work permit to begin with. Therefore, you first want to ensure that you take all the right legal steps while executing the proper measures. There are two types of relevant work permits in Canada. The type of work permit you obtain will depend on which one you are eligible for. Below we highlight the types of work permits in Canada:

Employer-specific Work Permit

This work is aimed at foreign nationals who have arranged employment through a valid job offer, from a Canadian employer with a positive LMIA.

This permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:

  • The name of your employer
  • The length of contract your employer has offered you
  • The physical address of where you will be working

In turn, before you can apply for an employer-specific work permit, you must receive the following from your Canadian employer:

Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer who:

  • Has been blacklisted or listed as ineligiblefor failing to comply with IRCC rules and regulations for the hiring of foreign nationals, or
  • offers striptease, exotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages to clientele.

Open work permits are issued under unique circumstances such as, but not limited to, the following:

  • Participants of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program,particularly the working holiday visa holders, are issued open work permits typically valid for 12-24 months. Participants will be travelling across the country, working in holiday resorts and similar situations to earn money to fund their travels. There is an age limit for participants, which varies from 30 to 35 years for participating countries.
  • Caregivers are granted open work permits for several reasons, primarily the temporary nature of their jobs. The person they are caring for could expire before the end of their contract, requiring them to find alternative employment. It also allows caregivers to seek better-suited employment if a situation is not ideal.
  • Partners and spouses of foreigners coming to Canada either to study or on a Temporary Foreign Work Permit (TFWP) are eligible to apply for an open work permit from the IRCC to help cover the costs of living in Canada.
  • Post Graduate Work Permit - if you complete a qualification at a designated Canadian learning institution, you may be eligible for a special work permit which will be valid for a duration equal to that of your studies. You can work for any employer in Canada as long as they have an LMIA.

What Is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

A positive LMIA proves that a Canadian employer can hire temporary foreign workers after exploiting local talent in the province or city. The Canadian employer should seek local skills to fulfill the labour market needs before seeking a foreign worker abroad.

What Is a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code?

NOC code is Canada's national system for classifying occupations. Job seekers can find their NOC, which will outline their main duties and educational requirements.

Who can Apply for a Canadian Work Permit?

If you are looking to apply for a work permit in Canada, you must understand the requirements and ensure you meet the criteria. Depending on where you are applying for a Canadian work permit, below we break down the eligibility factors for all applicants:

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a work permit, an applicant must:

  • Show that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires.
  • Prove that you have sufficient funds to care for yourself and your relatives once they arrive in Canada.
  • Prove that you have no criminal record and will not threaten Canada's security - you may have to present a police clearance certificate.
  • Show that you are in good physical health by producing a medical exam (where applicable).
  • Ensure that you work for a legitimate employer who does not fall under the list of ineligible employers.
  • Provide the necessary documents required to prove that you are admissible to Canada (can enter Canada) and other additional documents.

What are the Requirements if you Apply from Outside Canada?

If you apply outside of Canada, you may be subject to different visa requirements, depending on the country or territory you are applying from.

You may be able to qualify for the Global Skills Strategy (GSS), which processes eligible applicants within two weeks.

However, different countries may be subject to different processes when applying. Therefore, we advise you to contact our immigration experts to assist you throughout the process.

What are the Requirements if you Apply from Inside Canada?

If you are already in Canada, it means you underwent a certain process that shows you are admissible to Canada.

The following is important to note when applying from inside Canada:

  • You must have a valid study or work permit in place.
  • You have a spouse, common-law partner or parent with a valid study or work permit.
  • You already meet the criteria for a post-graduation work permit while your study permit is still valid.
  • You have a temporary resident permit valid for six months or more.
  • You are waiting on the immigration officer to decide on your permanent residence application.
  • You have placed a claim for refugee protection.
  • The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada classifies you as a convention refugee or protected person.
  • You are exempted from a work permit due to the nature or circumstances of your job, but you require a work permit because you are applying for a different job. Note, this is not subject to business visitors, traders, investors, intra-company transferees or a professional under the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

What is the International Experience Class (IEC) Working Holiday Visa?

The IEC allows Canadian citizens (18 to 35) to work and travel by obtaining a work permit or visa, enabling them to travel to one of over 30 countries or territories, according to the official Canadian government site.

The program allows you to:

  • Gain international work experience that looks good on your resume, giving you an advantage when applying for jobs.
  • Nurture valuable connections while you contribute to Canada's workforce.
  • You get to travel around Canada, support yourself and discover your aspirations.

In-demand Jobs in Canada

If you want to apply for a work permit, you must know which jobs to target first, as well as have an understanding of the labour shortages within the province or cities. Most importantly, you want to ensure you are targeting industries or jobs in high demand in Canada.

Below we have listed some of the most popular, recent in-demand jobs in Canada in various provinces/cities:

Volunteer Work in Canada

If you intend to take on any form of work, even if you are not being paid, make sure you follow these guidelines:

  • If it is a paid position, do not do the work - for example, don't help someone develop an app, as this is normally paid work. Working at a non-profit, such as a soup kitchen, is generally deemed unpaid.
  • If the work is unpaid but will lead to a paid position, do not do the work - for example, internships and training positions.
  • If you have a scheme for alternative payment, do not do the work - any deferred payment or barter scheme is off the table. If you are taking away an opportunity that could be had by a Canadian, do not do the work. There are some unique circumstances, such as: Working on a non-commercial farm, such as a hobby farm, in exchange for room and board for up to four weeks does not require a work permit.
  • Foreign full-time students do not require a work permit for off-campus paid part-time work. Part-time is 20 hours or less a week. During scheduled breaks, you may work full-time as long as you are still registered and enrolled at a DLI.

If you are an international student seeking a job in Canada, find out more about the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

Seeking a job is stressful, and finding a job abroad can be even more daunting. Therefore, we urge you to contact our immigration experts for help and guidance.

Kindly note that our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) do not provide you with a job but can assist in curating your resume based on Canadian standards - this will maximize your chances of securing a job offer.

What makes Canada a Great Country to Work In?

At this point, you have identified your ideal job, but you may be completely unaware of what working life is like in Canada. To give you an idea, we have listed below what makes Canada the ideal country to work in.

You have a Sense of Security

Canada has a labour shortage and is trying to bridge the work-to-retiree ratio. Therefore the chances of you finding your ideal job in a country with a wealth of job opportunities is highly possible. As a result, the Canadian government has introduced a myriad of immigration visas and programs to make the work permit application process easier.

Earn a Decent Wage

Depending on the industry or line of work, with an in-demand job, you can find comfort in knowing that the average salary in Canada is $72,000 per year or $36.92 per hour. Additionally, entry-level positions start at $52,000 per year, and experienced workers make up to $100,000 per year, according to

You can Enjoy Shorter Work Hours

The standard work hours for an employee or student intern is eight hours a day, amounting to 40 hours per week, according to the official Canadian government. Regarding immigrants, Canadian companies are highly accommodating and welcoming in the working environment.

Enjoy Leave Benefits if you are Expecting and Parental Benefits

Canada has something called "Employment Insurance" maternity and parental benefit, which aims to offer financial assistance to those who cannot be at work because they are pregnant or have recently given birth. Additionally, parents who cannot be present at work due to responsibilities such as caring for their newborn will also benefit from this. According to the official Canadian government site, parents could receive 55% of their earnings, up to a maximum of $638 a week.

Happiness and Job Satisfaction

With a safe and secure country that offers political stability, job creation, a low crime rate and a responsive police force, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are in good hands. Moreover, the country is highly inclusive, progressive and flexible in their thinking, which speaks volumes of its welcoming nature towards foreign workers.

How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit

Finally, you know which work permit suits you, and now you must apply. Below we give you a breakdown of the steps:

Step 1

Ensure your eligibility and speak to our immigration experts to assist you in applying. Your process may differ depending on the country you are applying from.

Step 2

Apply online, where you will be asked a few questions, such as where you are applying from. You must select your country and follow the steps in the instructions guide to fill out the forms. We strongly advise you to contact our immigration experts for the necessary help and support.

Step 3

Pay the fees and submit your application.

Find out more about the IRCC processing times and what you expect after you submit your application.

We have you covered if you want the opportunity to live and work in Canada full-time. Using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs), you will optimize your chances of success and receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. Contact our RCICs today!



How Can I Get a Work Permit for Canada?

You can apply online by selecting the country you are applying from. However, you may be subject to a different process. Furthermore, you can contact our immigration experts for the proper guidance and advice.

How Long is a Work Permit Valid in Canada?

This PGWP can be valid for between eight months to three years. The length of your permit is determined by your study period.

How can I get PR After a Work Permit?

One of the most popular immigration pathways would be the Express Entry system,which comprises three versatile immigration options, and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), you can easily gain permanent residency (PR) in Canada.