Apply for a work permit

New measures have been introduced for foreign workers in Canada and Canadian employers who are hiring them.

Read about these changes and how they might affect you.

Follow these steps to apply for a work permit.

1. Decide how you will apply

Apply online

You must have:

  • access to a scanner or camera to make electronic copies of your documents to upload, and
  • a valid credit card to pay with.

Determine your eligibility and apply online.

Note: If you provide an email address on your application, please check your email account often for automated emails from CIC regarding your case. Some spam filters block these emails. Make sure that emails from CIC are not blocked. If you are not sure whether emails from CIC are being sent, please check your myCIC account often.

Apply on paper

Follow steps 2 to 4 below.

Note for IEC applicants: If you are an applicant under the International Experience Canada program, you can only submit your work permit application online. Paper applications will not be accepted.

2. Get the application package

The instruction guide has instructions on how to fill out the application. It also tells you which documents you will need to submit to get your work permit.

There are different ways to apply for a work permit, depending on where you apply from.

Before you apply or ask for a work permit at a port of entry, you will need:

  • a written job offer from your employer and
  • proof that you meet the requirements of the job (for example, proof of education or work experience).

You may also need:

  • the positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) your employer got on your job offer (if the job needs an LMIA, we will not accept your application without it).

If you need an LMIA, it is up to your employer to get it and send it to you. After the Government of Canada confirms your employer can offer you a job, the employer will send you the LMIA confirmation letter. You must submit the detailed job offer and the LMIA with your application.

Note that even with a positive LMIA, there is no guarantee that you will get a work permit.

Some jobs do not need an LMIA. For these jobs, you will need to give:

  • proof of who you are (a valid passport or travel document that guarantees you will be able to return to the country that issued it) and
  • proof of your immigration status in the country you are applying from (if you are not a citizen of that country).

Passport and visitor visa

To work in Canada, you must meet the requirements for a work permit. You must also meet the rules to enter Canada. This means that you might also need a passport and a temporary resident visa (TRV), also known as a visitor visa.

The TRV is an official document that is put in your passport.

If you need a TRV, you do not have to apply for it separately or pay another fee. If we approve your work permit, we will issue you a visa at the same time as we issue the documents you need to enter Canada as a worker.

If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of

  • the United States,
  • Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, or
  • Greenland,

you do not need a passport or a TRV to enter Canada. However, you must give proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.

3. Pay the application fees

There is a fee to apply for a work permit.

In many countries, you can pay the fee in the local currency.

Check the website of the visa office that serves the country or region where you live to find out more about fees and how to pay them.

We will not refund your fee, even if we do not accept your application.

4. Submit your application

Once you have filled out your form, make sure you sign and date it. Check that you have included all the documents and fees that we asked for. Make sure you have a receipt for your fees and that the amount is right.

We will send your application back to you if you do not fill it out properly or if documents are missing.

If you apply from outside Canada

You must apply to the visa office that serves the country or region where you live. You must have legal status in the country you live in.

If you apply as you enter Canada

If you are eligible, you can ask at a Canadian port of entry to be approved to work in Canada. There is no application form in this case, but there is still a processing fee and you still must show the same documents as you would if you were applying from outside Canada.

If you apply from inside Canada

You can either mail your application to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, Alberta, or apply online for your work permit.

If you apply to work temporarily in Quebec, you must meet all the same rules and get a certificate from the province.

Where to send your application

Find out where you should send your application
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