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Canada Work Permit – All You Need To Know

If at all you wish to work in Canada as a foreigner, it means you will be needing a Canada work permit in order to join the over 180,000 immigrants who are accepted to work in Canada every year. 

Every worker need workers permit except for a few exceptions which include those in the following category; foreign representatives, family members of foreign representatives, athletes and team members, performing artists, news reporters, media crews, public speakers, convention organizers, business Visitors, clergy, judges, referees and similar officials, examiners and evaluators, expert witnesses or investigators, foreign government officers, health care students, civil aviation inspector, transportation Crew, aviation accident or incident inspector, on-campus employment, military personnel, implied statusCanada Work Permit

This article covers every information about the Canadian Work Permit including visa, requirements, application, processing time and eligibility.

What is a Work Permit?

According to CareerWako, a work permit or work visa is the permission granted by a country to a foreigner to take a job within the country.

In Canada, work permits are issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) by Canada immigration and Citizenship. And the TFWP operates in four streams which include; high-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Live-In Caregiver Program.

There are two types of work permits which are the “open work permits” and “employer-specific work permits.” If you have an open work permit, you can work for any employer, but with an employer-specific work permit, you are allowed to work for just a specific employer.

How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit

It takes just two steps to apply for a Canadian work permit. Most times, applicants are required to already have a job offer before they can apply for a Canadian work permit. Moreover, it is possible to apply for a Canada work permit without having a job offer.

Step 1:

The first step to getting a Canadian Work permit is to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), as this is the option in the vast majority of cases. It is the duty of the Canadian employer to undertake domestic recruitment efforts and agrees that no Canadian permanent residents or citizens are qualified for the position at hand.

Step 2:

The applicant can go-ahead to apply for a Canadian work permit after a positive LMIA has been issued to them.

Usually, If there is a need for you to change an employer, you will have to apply for a new Work permit on your new job except you have an open work permit. It is important to note that the Canadian work permits also have limited duration.

Canada Work Permit Requirements

For All

Irrespective of where you apply from and the type of work permit you wish to apply for, you must:

  • make an officer believe by proving that you will leave Canada as soon as your work permit expires
  • show that there’s enough money with you to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home
  • obey Canadian law and should have no record of criminal activity. You might be asked to provide a police clearance certificate,
  • not cause a threat or be a danger to the Canada security
  • be healthy and not come to Canada with ill health. A medical exam might be taken if needed
  • not have it in your plans to work for any employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers that have failed to comply with the conditions
  • not have it in your plans to work for any employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and
  • provide any other document requested by the officer to prove you can enter the country

For Those Applying From Outside Canada

Requirements for applying for Canada Work Permit from outside Canda varies depending on your country or territory of application. Your Visa officer might require some documents, and this depends on the country or territory as said.

For Those Applying From Inside Canada

It is possible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:

  • you have a study or work permit that is still valid
  • your relatives such as; spouse, common-law partner or parents have a valid study or work permit
  • you’ve done any program and graduated at a:
    • Canadian university
    • community college
    • CÉGEP
    • publicly funded trade/technical school, or
    • other eligible schools
  • your temporary resident permit is valid for six months or more
  • you’re waiting for the result of your application for permanent residence from inside Canada
  • you have made or will make a claim for refugee protection
  • You are recognized as a convention refugee or protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
  • you’re allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job, or
  • you’re a trader, investor, intra-company transferee or professional under NAFTA

For Those Applying at Port of Entry (POE)

It is recommended by CareerWako that you apply for your work permit before you travel to Canada. But what if you do not apply? Then you can apply for a work permit when you enter Canada if:

  • you don’t need a visitor visa to come to Canada


  • you’re applying for an open work permit, or
  • your employer has completed all of the required steps for your employer-specific work permit
  • You may need to take a medical exam before you come to Canada.

The requirement information was gotten from Canada’s official immigration website – www.canada.ca.

Canada Work Permit Processing Time

Canada work permit processing time depends on the location of the office where you are applying from, especially if you are outside Canada

The average processing time ranges between 1 – 9 months. From observation, most visa offices take under 3 months to process the applications. Click here to see a table of the complete list of visa offices and processing times.

If you applied within Canada, the average processing time is 1 – 3 months.

What is the processing time at my local visa office?

Check the table below to know the approximate processing time for your work permit application if you applied outside of Canada.

The data below are based on processing time for a completed application. This report measures on average processing time and is subject to change without notice. This statistic is not a guarantee as applications may take a longer time than what we have below. We will always update this table as often as we can.

Region Location Average Processing Time in Weeks
Africa and the Middle East Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates 30
Accra, Ghana 7
Algiers, Algeria 14
Amman, Jordan 7
Ankara, Turkey 7
Beirut, Lebanon 8
Cairo, Egypt 11
Dakar, Senegal 7
Lagos, Nigeria 18
Nairobi, Kenya 7
Pretoria, South Africa 18
Rabat, Morocco 19
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia 10
Tel Aviv, Israel 9
Tunis, Tunisia 11
Asia Bangkok, Thailand 3
Beijing, China 8
Chandigarh, India 7
Colombo, Sri Lanka 8
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 34
Hong Kong, China 7
Islamabad, Pakistan 15
Jakarta, Indonesia 7
Manila, Philippines 6
New Delhi, India 7
Seoul, South Korea 6
Shanghai, China 7
Singapore 7
Sydney, Australia 12
Europe Bucharest, Romania 7
Kyiv, Ukraine 4
London, United Kingdom 15
Moscow, Russia 5
Paris, France 14
Prague, Czech Republic 7
Rome, Italy 6
Vienna, Austria 7
Warsaw, Poland 7
Americas Bogota, Colombia 7
Buenos Aires, Argentina 5
Caracas, Venezuela 7
Detroit, United States 3
Guatemala City, Guatemala 2
Havana, Cuba 7
Kingston, Jamaica 4
Lima, Peru 6
Los Angeles, United States 3
Mexico City, Mexico 3
New York City, United States 3
Port-au-Prince, Haiti 7
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago 1
Santiago, Chile 6
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 5
Sao Paulo, Brazil 8
Seattle, United States 3


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