Get a Canadian Work Permit From the Philippines

May 22, 2024


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Canada, a land of diverse opportunities and breathtaking landscapes, has emerged as a promising destination for skilled professionals from the Philippines. With its thriving economy, diverse job market, and welcoming immigration policies, Canada is an attractive option for Filipinos seeking career advancement and a better quality of life abroad. Using a Canadian work permit, you can unlock a world of job opportunities and a high standard of living in the Great White North.

Are you ready to leap at an exciting career opportunity in Canada? Then, join us in learning about obtaining a Canadian work permit from the Philippines, including eligibility requirements, application procedures, and important considerations.

How to Get a Canadian Work Permit as a Filipino?

Canada, with its robust economy, breathtaking landscapes, and multicultural tapestry, beckons skilled workers from across the globe, including Filipinos. If you are a Filipino professional looking for a rewarding career path in Canada, obtaining a Canadian work permit is the first crucial step. Here are the steps to follow to obtain a Canadian work permit as a Filipino.

Step 1: Choose A Canadian Work Permit Type That Works Best For You

Canada offers diverse work permits catering to various employment scenarios. Understanding the different types is vital in selecting the one that aligns perfectly with your situation. Here is a breakdown of popular options if you are Filipino.

Open Work Permit

This Canadian work permit grants flexibility to explore job opportunities within Canada. However, it doesn't guarantee a pre-arranged job offer. This option might suit you if you have diverse skill sets looking to network and find employment upon arrival. Prominent immigration visa streams you can apply for to obtain an open work permit include:

Employer-Specific Work Permit

This permit is ideal for Filipinos with a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The employer must demonstrate they have made a genuine effort to recruit Canadian citizens or permanent residents through a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) without success. This signifies a strong employer sponsorship, boosting your application's strength. Common immigration visa streams you can apply for to get an employer-specific work permit include:

Step 2: Check Your Eligibility to Work in Canada

Before applying, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen work permit type. Here are some general factors to consider.

Educational Qualifications

Canada values skilled workers, so it is crucial to have educational credentials recognized in Canada through an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) offered by a designated organization. If your qualifications were obtained in the Philippines, you might need an ECA by a designated organization to ensure equivalency to Canadian standards.

Work Experience

Relevant work experience in your field strengthens your application. Highlight your skills and expertise to showcase your value to potential Canadian employers.

Language Proficiency

Depending on your chosen program and province, proficiency in English or French might be required. Demonstrating language skills through tests like the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program (CELPIP) can significantly enhance your application.

Medical Examination

Certain work permit applications require a medical exam to confirm that you meet Canada's health standards.

Step 3: Gather the Required Supporting Documents

A well-organized and complete set of supporting documents streamlines the processing of your work permit application. Here is an overview of commonly required documents, with some variations depending on the specific program:

Valid Philippine Passport

Ensure your passport has sufficient validity to cover your intended stay in Canada.

Proof of Funds

Documentation demonstrating you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself during your stay in Canada. Bank statements, scholarship letters, or proof of support from a family member might be required.

Completed Work Permit Application Form

Download the appropriate form from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website and fill it out accurately and completely.

Job Offer Letter (if applicable)

A valid job offer letter from a Canadian employer with an LMIA approval is mandatory for employer-specific work permits.

Educational Credentials

Present your diplomas or degrees relevant to your field of work. An educational credential assessment might be required if your qualifications were obtained outside Canada.

Police Certificates

You might need to submit police certificates from all countries you have resided in for six months or more as an adult (age 18 or older).

Medical Examination Results (if applicable)

Medical exam results from a designated physician might be required depending on your program.

Step 4: Submit Your Canadian Work Permit Application

Once you have assembled all the necessary documentation, it is time to submit your application to IRCC. There are two primary application methods:

Online Application

IRCC offers an online application process for most work permits. This streamlines the process and provides real-time updates on your application status.

Paper Application

In some cases, paper applications might be necessary. Download the relevant application package from the IRCC website and mail it to the designated Visa Application Center (VAC).

Double-check the requirements and application methods for your chosen work permit type by referring to the official IRCC website. Remember to pay the processing fees associated with your application.

Step 5: Wait for the Processing of Your Canadian Work Permit

The processing timelines for work permit applications can vary depending on the type of permit, your background, and the current workload of IRCC. You can expect the following during the processing phase:

Processing Timeframes

Be prepared to wait for several months. Aim for a realistic timeframe based on IRCC's processing times published online.

Biometric Information

After submitting your application, you might be instructed to provide biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) at a designated service center.

Medical Examination Follow-Up

If a medical exam was required, you might receive communication from IRCC requesting additional information or clarification based on the medical report.

What Are the Most In-demand Jobs in Canada for Filipinos

Filipinos are in high demand across various sectors in Canada. Here is a breakdown of the top in-demand jobs for Filipinos in Canada, with National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes and annual average salaries from Canada's Job Bank.

Occupation NOC Code Annual Average Salaries (CAD)
Software Engineers 21231 118,787.73
Information Systems Analysts 21222 116,049.06
Registered Nurses 31301 107,500.60
Financial Auditors and Accountants 11100 102,412.15
Welders and Related Machine Operators 72106 74,548.38

Why Filipinos Choose to Work in Canada?

For many Filipinos in Canada, a strong work ethic and a desire for a better life was the reason for searching for opportunities beyond their home shores. With its strong economy and commitment to multiculturalism, Canada is a top destination for Filipino workers. Here is a breakdown of the key factors that make Canada so attractive:

Competitive Salaries in Canada

Canada boasts a significantly higher standard of living than the Philippines. This is evident in the highly competitive salaries in Canada compared to the Philippines, as shown below with figures from Numbeo.

Countries Annual Average Monthly Net Salaries (CAD)
Canada 3,932.54
Philippines 504.63

This disparity translates into significant financial security for you as a Filipino working in Canada.

Work-Life Balance in Canada

The concept of work-life balance is deeply ingrained in Canadian work culture. Employees in Canada typically enjoy a more balanced schedule. Standard workweeks average 40 hours and Canadian labor laws require paid vacation time, parental leave, and statutory holidays. This allows you to enjoy their interests, dedicate quality time to family, and explore Canada.

Learn more about work-life balance in Canada through its employment rights.

Professional Development Opportunities in Canada

Canada creates a culture of continuous learning, offering you opportunities to refine your skills and stay competitive. Many Canadian workplaces actively invest in their employees' professional development by providing training programs, workshops, and access to educational resources. Furthermore, Canada's well-established post-secondary education system provides a pathway if you are seeking to upskill or pursue higher education.

Path to Canadian Citizenship and Permanent Residency

Canada, unlike some countries with stricter immigration policies, offers clear pathways for skilled immigrants to obtain Canadian permanent residency and eventually Canadian citizenship. Programs like the Express Entry System and Provincial Nominee Programs streamline the immigration process for qualified Filipino professionals.

Canadian permanent residency provides access to social security benefits, voting rights, and unrestricted travel within Canada. If you are seeking a stable and long-term future, the possibility of Canadian citizenship holds immense appeal.

Education Opportunities in Canada

Many universities and colleges offer continuing education programs, certificates, and diplomas tailored to working professionals. These programs allow Filipinos to stay current in their fields, enhance their skill sets, and potentially qualify for higher-paying positions.

Canada's universities offer internationally recognized degrees across diverse fields. As a Filipino professional, you can pursue graduate studies to specialize in your chosen fields, while your children can benefit from a high-quality undergraduate education. Canada offers scholarship programs and financial aid options to assist international students, making education more accessible.

Travel Opportunities in Canada

Weekend getaways or extended vacations can be filled with hiking through national parks, skiing in snowy mountains, or relaxing on pristine beaches. Canada's natural beauty caters to various interests, offering Filipinos a chance to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

Canada has many vibrant cultures. You can explore vibrant Chinatowns, bustling European-inspired neighborhoods, and unique Indigenous communities. This exposure to diverse cultures fosters a sense of openness and global citizenship.

Learn more about multiculturalism in Canada.

Now that you have a better understanding of what is required to obtain a Canadian work permit from the Philippines, you can take the first step toward claiming your Canadian working dreams.


Is There a Limit to How Long I Can Stay in Canada on a Work Permit Obtained From the Philippines?

The duration of your stay in Canada on a work permit obtained from the Philippines depends on factors such as the type of work permit and your specific situation.

Can I Bring My Family to Canada on a Work Permit Obtained From the Philippines?

In some cases, you may be able to bring your family members with you to Canada on a work permit obtained from the Philippines, but they may need to apply for their permits or visas.

Learn more about the three easy ways to move to Canada with your Canada.

Can I Extend my Canadian Work Permit From the Philippines?

Yes, you may be able to extend your Canadian work permit from the Philippines, but you must meet certain eligibility criteria and apply before your current permit expires.

Learn more about how to extend or change the conditions of your work permit.