Apply for a work permit

New fees to be paid by employers and open work permit applicants are being introduced on February 21, 2015. There is also a new process that employers must follow when hiring Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt foreign workers.

Read about the changes and how they may affect you.

Follow these steps to apply for a work permit.

1. Determine if you will apply online or on paper

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 documents required to 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 5 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 documents from your employer

Before you apply for a work permit, you will need:

  • the positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) your employer received from Employment and Social Development Canada and your job offer, or
  • a copy of the Offer of Employment form submitted by your employer and a copy of the fee receipt the employer received when they paid an employer compliance fee to Citizenship and Immigration Canada if you do not need an LMIA and you are not applying for an open work permit, and
  • proof that you meet the requirements of the job, such as:
    • proof of education, or
    • work experience.

3. 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:

  • inside Canada
  • outside Canada, or
  • as you enter Canada.

Find out the requirements for where to apply in order to choose the best option for you.

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.

4. 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.

5. 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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