A Step By Step Guide to Get a Work Permit for Canada

November 17, 2021


  • Beatrice Visser

Obtaining a work permit is one of the quickest way to gain access into Canada and to start your dream job. The application period for the work permit can range from 2 to 33 weeks. It is a visa issued to foreigners who would like to work within the country for a certain amount of time. Follow this step by step guide to acquire a work permit for Canada.

1.Types of Work Permits

There are two types of work permits to choose from. The first one is an open work permit, and the other is an Employer-Specific Work Permit.

Open work permit

An open work permit is a work permit that does not require the applicant to have a specific job. They are able to work for any employer within Canada, and a bonus would be that they are not required to have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in order to qualify for this visa type. There are two subcategories for the Open Work Permit:

  • Unrestricted Permit
  • Restricted Permit

The biggest difference between these two is that unrestricted work permits will allow you to work in any location and occupation, but the restricted permit will not. The unrestricted work permit initially offers more freedom to work in different areas in Canada.

Employer-Specific Work Permit

The employer-specific work permit is a work visa that allows you to work according to the specifications such as the conditions or limitations stated on your work permit. The applicant is only allowed to work for one specific employer, in one position in Canada.


2. Top Programs for Immigration

There are more than 70+ immigration programs to sift through, but these are the top two immigration programs that will count in your favour if you are looking to work in Canada.

Express Entry

Express Entry is a system that enables growth within the labour market sector to help boost the economy in the long run. This program is used to immigrate to Canada through various federal economic immigration programs. Express Entry is one of the fastest ways to immigrate to date. There are three Express Entry Programs within the Express Entry system:

  1. Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP);
  2. Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP); and
  3. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)

The Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP)

The local provinces within Canada made an agreement with the Canadian government so that they can nominate immigrants who wish to live, settle, and work in that particular province. This program helps accelerate the immigration process according to provincial needs and certain job skills needed within that province. This program will benefit those who have a job offer from a province, but you will still have to apply for said PNP.

3. How To Apply for a Work Permit

Check if you’re eligible

The requirements of the work permit to work in Canada that the applicant will need to meet depends on their country of origin. The general requirements the applicant will need to meet is as follows:

  • Prove that you will leave when your permit expires
  • Settlement funds
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Medical exam

Choose your work permit type

One of the main factors, when you apply for a work visa, is determining which visa will work for you. It will depend on the type of person you are, whether you are someone who loves to explore, or whether you are fine with settling in one place for a specific period of time. Most foreign nationals often choose employer-specific permits as it is a less complicated process.


Gather supporting documents

The supporting documents you will need to submit are:

  • Passport;
  • Recent language tests;
  • Provide Police Certificates;
  • National Occupation Classification (NOC);
  • Education credential assessment report;
  • Provide Proof of Funds to show you can support your family;
  • Prepare for a medical exam from certified health professionals;
  • Contact previous employers to provide job letters to prove you have valid work experience;
  • Canadian job offer (If you have one); and;
  • Provincial Nomination (If you have one)

Complete application form

Make sure all your information is correct before submitting the application form. If your information is incorrect it will delay the processing time. Once submitted, you will need to pay the visa fee.

Submit application

You can either submit your application to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), or you can do it online. It is recommended to do it online as it is easier and will cancel out any delays and extra fees. It is also the preferred method since the COVID19 outbreak. The country the applicant originates from will determine which forms will be submitted, and how many.

Benefits of a Temporary Worker

Being a temporary worker in Canada can have benefits that the average worker won’t necessarily get. Canadian companies have an employee benefit plan. The Employee benefit plan is created to complement provincial healthcare plans. Some companies will offer health insurance to their employees and others will often offer housing depending on what their work permit entails and the duration of their stay.


What Is the Cost of a Canadian Permit?

Canadian Visa Fees
Permit/Visa Fee
Work permit $155
Work permit (maximum fee for groups - performing artists/staff) $100
Study permit(single) $150
Visitor visa (single) $100
Visitor visa – (maximum family fee) $500
Visitor record $75

Can I move to Canada without a job?

While a job offer could improve your chances of immigrating, you do not need one to immigrate to Canada. Programs such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program or Federal Skilled Trades Program which are managed by Express Entry will not require you to have work in Canada.

What are the processing times for PNP applications?

The first step would be to get your application approved by the province. This process can take anything from two weeks to nine months depending on the province. PNP approval is commonly called being “nominated” by the Provincial Nominee Program. The second step is called federal approval. This process usually takes 6 - 8 months to complete, but sometimes can take longer depending on individual cases.

What is a good salary in Canada?

The amount of money you will need to live comfortably will often depend on the province you reside in. It will also depend on whether you will live in a city or a small town. The average salary per year in Canada is $68,000 per year or $34.87 per hour. The most experienced workers will start at $97,500 and entry-level positions will usually start out at $47,731. Here is a table of salaries per region.

Estimated salaries per region  
Nova Scotia $30,225
Quebec $39,975
Alberta $90,000
Ontario $97,500
Northwest Territories $99,353

Obtaining a work permit for Canada has never been easier, especially with the help of to simplify the journey and assist you with every step of the way