Guide 5487 - Applying for a Work Permit outside Canada

Table of Contents



Overview

Application package

This application package consists of:

  • an instruction guide and
  • the required forms

The instruction guide is a tool that provides:

  • the information you must know about this application before sending it to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and
  • assistance with how to fill out the forms and the required supporting documents

Read the instruction guide thoroughly and then fill out each of the applicable forms.

The forms are specifically designed with questions that will assist the processing of your application.


Symbols used in this guide

This guide uses the following symbols to indicate information of particular importance.

Required step
What you must do to have your application processed.
Important information
Important information that you need to be aware of in order to avoid delays or other problems.
Get more information
Where to get more information.
Note:
Tips that will assist you with this application.

The application process

The instructions provided in this guide follow the basic steps you will need to know to complete your application.

  1. Gather documents
  2. Complete the application
  3. Pay the fees
  4. Mail the application

Before you apply

Who can use this application?

This application guide is designed for persons who wish to apply for a work permit from outside Canada.

Note: The processing time of an application may vary from one visa office to another. Find out more about local application processing times by visiting our website.


What is work?

Work is an activity for which wages or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market.


What is a work permit?

A work permit is a written authorization issued by an officer that allows a person who is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident to work in Canada. It is required whether or not the employer is in Canada. Usually, it is valid only for a specific employer, job and length of time, and is issued based on a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Service Canada.


Regulatory changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations contain requirements that enable CIC to better protect your rights when you come to work in Canada by ensuring that employers respect the terms of their offers of employment.

In a work permit application, the employers will be evaluated on:

  • whether the job offer is genuine,
  • past history of employers compliance to the commitments outlined in job offers to foreign workers hired in the past two years in respect to wages, working conditions and the occupation, and
  • compliance with Federal-Provincial/Territorial Laws.

In cases where the employer is found to have not complied with previous commitments to foreign workers, the employer may be deemed ineligible to hire a foreign worker for two years.

You must not work for an ineligible employer. Check our webpage to view the current List of Ineligible Employers.


Cumulative duration

A temporary foreign worker can work in Canada for a maximum period of four years. Therefore, you need to keep track of the time you work in Canada after April 1, 2011. However, there are some exceptions to this rule if:

  • the work you intend to do in Canada creates or maintains significant social, cultural or economic benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents,
  • the work you intend to do in Canada relates to an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries (including seasonal agricultural workers),
  • your work is done while you are authorized to study,
  • 48 months have passed since you accumulated 4 years of work in Canada or since you last worked in Canada.

If you do not work for a period of time during the validity of your work permit (for example you have a work permit valid for four years and you fall sick or you leave Canada temporarily), you may need to submit proof of time not worked when you apply for another work permit later on and you are close to the four-year maximum. Examples of proof documents include but are not limited to:

  • passport entry and exit stamps,
  • Record of Employment from Service Canada,
  • receipt of severance pay,
  • letter from a foreign educational institution where you attended school,
  • travel receipts (tickets, boarding passes),
  • proof of receipt of maternity/parental benefits,
  • letter from physician confirming you were on medical leave,
  • any other document that demonstrates that you were not working in Canada while on a work permit.

What is a labour market opinion?

A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) is the opinion provided by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to the officer which enables the officer to determine whether the employment of the foreign worker is likely to have a positive or negative impact on the labour market in Canada. A LMO may be required in order for a work permit to be issued.

The LMO process begins by the prospective employer contacting ESDC to get a job offer form. Once the form is completed and submitted, ESDC considers several factors, including the availability of Canadians and the offered wages as well as the economic benefit the foreign worker would bring to Canada. ESDC then provides the opinion to the officer.

The LMO is typically given for a specific period of time, and the work permit issued will coincide with that period. Renewal of a work permit beyond the specified period will likely require a new LMO. Find out more about the LMO.

Note: For LMO-exempt work permits, these assessments will be completed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA). Find out if you need an LMO.


Who requires a work permit?

A person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who wishes to work in Canada requires a work permit. Depending on the nature of the activity, a person may be exempted from requiring a work permit by virtue of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. But in most cases, he or she will need to obtain a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to work legally in Canada.

Further details on persons exempted from a work permit may be obtained by visiting our website.

You may also contact a Canadian visa office.


When should I apply?

You should apply as soon as you receive written evidence of your job offer or contract of employment and your Labour Market Opinion (LMO) of ESDC. In cases where a LMO is not required, you may apply once you receive written evidence of your job offer from the employer.


What requirements must I meet to obtain a work permit?

You must show the officer that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations and that you will be in Canada for a temporary stay. You must also:

  • satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment,
  • show that you have enough money during your stay in Canada to take care of yourself and your family members and to return home,
  • be law-abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a Police Clearance Certificate),
  • not be a danger to the security of Canada,
  • be in good health and complete a medical examination, if required,
  • not intend to engage in employment with an employer on the List of Ineligible Employers found on CIC’s website,
  • not have worked in Canada for one or more periods totalling four years after April 1, 2011 (with certain exceptions),
  • provide any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility.

Are there any conditions on my work permit?

An officer may impose, change or cancel conditions when issuing a work permit. These may include one or more of the following:

  • the type of employment in which you may work
  • the employer for whom you may work
  • the location where you may work
  • how long you may continue to work

Do I need a Temporary Resident Visa?

If you want to work in Canada, you may require a temporary resident visa.

A temporary resident visa is an official document issued by an officer that is placed in your passport to show that you have met the general requirements for admission to Canada as a temporary resident.

When you arrive at the point of entry in Canada, an officer will make the final determination.

See Appendix A Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions for information on those who are exempt from obtaining a temporary resident visa to visit Canada.

If you submit a work permit application and you require a temporary resident visa, it is not necessary to make a separate application or pay a separate fee; an officer will issue it at the same time as the documentation necessary for your entry to Canada as a worker.


Entry to Canada

Important information. Entry to Canada is a privilege, not a right. You must meet the necessary requirements and you may need a Temporary Resident Visa.


Family members

Your family members include your spouse or common-law partner, your dependent children and any children that are their dependent children.

Spouse
Refers to either of the two persons (opposite or same sex) in a marriage legally recognized in the country in which it took place, as well as in Canada.
Common-law partner
Refers to a person who is living in a conjugal relationship with another person (opposite or same sex), and has done so continuously for a period of at least one year. A conjugal relationship exists when there is a significant degree of commitment between two people.

This can be shown with evidence that the couple share the same home, support each other financially and emotionally, have children together, or present themselves in public as a couple.

Common-law partners who have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year but are unable to live together or appear in public together because of legal restrictions in their home country or who have been separated for reasons beyond their control (for example, civil war or armed conflict) may still qualify and should be included on the application.

Dependent children
Refers to the children of the applicant or those of the spouse or common-law partner.

They must be:

  • under the age of 19 and not have a spouse or common-law partner, or
  • 19 years of age or older and unable to be financially self-sufficient since before the age of 19 due to a physical or mental condition.
Dependent child of a dependent child
Refers to children of dependent children of the applicant or those of the spouse or common-law partner.

Do I have to apply separately for my family members?

No, family members must complete their own application form (TRV, study or work permit). You may send their application forms along with yours in the same envelope and use one payment receipt for the total amount.

See section "Pay the Fee".

Your spouse or common-law partner and children must meet all the requirements for temporary residents to Canada.


May my spouse or common-law partner and children work in Canada?

In order to work in Canada, your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children must apply for their own work permit and must meet the same standards, including the LMO requirement, if applicable that regularly applies to the issuance of work permits.

They may, however apply for their work permit from within Canada. This guide does not provide general information about obtaining a work permit for your spouse or common-law partner or your dependent children. For more details including definitions, responsibilities, and conditions of eligibility, refer to our website.


May my children attend school?

Your children may attend school in Canada. You must apply for their study permit at the same time as your own. If they intend to join you at a later date, they must also apply for a study permit before coming to Canada.


Are there medical requirements

You and your family members may be required to undergo a medical examination in order to come to Canada. Find out more by checking the Medical examination requirements for temporary residents.

You may either:

  • undergo an upfront medical examination by contacting a Panel Physician; or
  • wait until your application is reviewed and medical instructions are provided to you by the visa office.

Get the instructions to complete the medical examination.

Note: When medical results are submitted up-front, routine cases benefit from faster processing since CIC does not have to request them at a later date. If you choose to have an upfront medical exam, you must submit proof that you completed the medical examination with your application. Failure to do so may result in processing delays.


The officer’s decision is based on the type of job you will have and where you lived in the past year.

If you wish to work in health services, child care, primary or secondary education, you will need a medical examination and a satisfactory medical assessment before a work permit can be issued to you.

If you want to work in agricultural occupations, a medical examination will be required if you have lived in certain countries.

Note: A medical examination may add over three months to the processing of your application.

Are there biometric requirements?

You and your family members may be required to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.

All family members who require their fingerprints and photograph taken and who are applying together should go to the same biometric collection service point.

Find out if you are required to provide biometrics.


Important information

You must not have your biometric fingerprints and photo taken before you submit your application. You can have your biometrics collected:

  • after you submit your application and have received a biometric instruction letter which will direct you to a list of points of service you may choose from;
    or
  • at the same time as you are submitting your application in person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

Step 1. Gather documents

What documents are required?

Use the Document Checklist (IMM 5488) provided with this package to assist you in gathering the required documents to submit your application.

Some visa offices may require additional supporting documents specific to your country. For further information on these requirements, visit our website under List of countries and corresponding Canadian visa offices.

Important information. If you do not provide all the requested information or documents, the processing of your application could be delayed.

  1. Proof of identity
    • A valid passport or travel document that guarantees you re-entry to the country that issued it and
    • Two (2) photos of yourself and accompanying family members according to the Visa application photograph specifications.

    Note: if you are required to provide biometric information (biometric fingerprints and a biometric photo), you are not required to include paper photos. Find out if you need to give biometrics.

  2. Proof of employment in Canada
    • Your job offer letter or contract from your prospective employer, including a description of job duties, anticipated duration of employment and salary.
    • A copy of Labour Market Opinion (LMO) provided by ESDC. Your employer should be able to provide you with this file identifier.
    • Evidence that you meet the requirements of the job. Proof may include a valid Canadian provincial/territorial trade certificate, educational requirements or past work experience outlined in a resume.
    • Evidence of a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), if you intend to work in Quebec or will be working in Québec. If you do not need a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) you will usually not need a CAQ.

      Note: It is your responsibility to keep track of any breaks in work while in Canada on a work permit. You will be required to provide documentary evidence to prove periods where you have not worked in order for that time not to count towards the four-year limit.

  3. Proof of relationship
    • You may be required to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family members.
    • If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner will accompany you to Canada, you must complete the enclosed form Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). Also provide evidence outlined on the form to support your relationship.
  4. Other documents
    • If you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must provide proof of your present immigration status in the country of application.
    • If the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a re-entry permit this must be obtained before you apply for a Canadian visa.
    • Additional documents may be required.

Do you intend to work in Quebec?

In order to work in Quebec, you must obtain a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) before requesting a work permit from any Canadian visa office.

The employer must first contact Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) but also the MIDI to get permission to hire you. Once the approval is received, you may apply for the CAQ in the province Quebec.

Please refer to the MIDI website for appropriate contact information and for the latest updates on the process and documents required for Quebec.


Translation of documents

If your documents are in a language other than English or French, check with the responsible visa office to determine whether they need to be translated.

Visit our website under List of countries and corresponding Canadian visa offices.


Certified true copies

To have a photocopy of a document certified, an authorized person must compare the original document to the photocopy and must print the following on the photocopy:

  • “I certify that this is a true copy of the original document”,
  • the name of the original document,
  • the date of the certification,
  • his or her name,
  • his or her official position or title, and
  • his or her signature.

Who can certify copies?

Persons authorized to certify copies include the following:

In Canada:

  • a commissioner of oaths (authority to certify varies by province and territory)
  • a notary public
  • a justice of the peace

Outside Canada:

  • a judge
  • a magistrate
  • a notary public
  • an officer of a court of justice
  • a commissioner authorized to administer oaths in the country in which the person is living

Family members may not certify copies of your documents.


Step 2. Complete the application

Filling out the application

The following are the forms that must be filled out and submitted:

  • Application For Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295)
  • Document Checklist (IMM 5488)
  • Family Information (IMM 5645)
  • Schedule 1 Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257 – Schedule 1)
  • Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409)
  • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Important information. It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information on these forms. The information you provide on your application is subject to verification.



Important information

Be complete and accurate

Complete all sections. If a section does not apply to you, write “Not Applicable” or “NA”, except for your name (last name and given name[s]). Refer to questions 1 and 2 under “Personal Details” section for further instructions.

If your application is incomplete it may be returned to you and this will delay the processing of your application.

If you need more space for any section, print out an additional page containing the appropriate section, complete it and submit it along with your application.


Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295)


Who must fill out this application form?

Each person requiring a work permit must complete this form.



Note

Completing the form

You must answer all the questions on this application form unless indicated otherwise.

Download and fill out the application form on a computer.

You also have the option of saving your form and completing it later.

Note: Completing the form electronically is easier and reduces the risk of errors that can slow down the application process.

In order to help you fill out the application form, read and follow the questions below.

Question 1

Type your universal client identification number (UCI), if known. Otherwise, leave it blank. If this is your first time dealing with CIC you will not have an UCI.

Question 2

From the list, select the language (English or French) in which you would like to receive service.

Personal Details

Question 1

Full name

Type your family name (surname) as it appears on your passport, travel or identity document (even if the name is misspelled). Do not use initials.

Note: If you do not have a family name on your passport, travel or identity document, enter all your given name(s) here and leave the given name field blank.

Type all of your given name(s) (first, second, or more) as it appears on your passport, travel or identity document (even if the name is misspelled). Do not use initials.

Note: If you do not have a given name on your passport, travel or identity document, leave this field blank. Do not enter “*”, “Not applicable” or “NA”.

Question 2

Nick names/Alias

Check the box to indicate if you ever used any other name. This could include your birth name, maiden name, married name, nick name, etc.

If you checked ‘‘Yes’’, type any other family name that you have ever used.

If you checked ‘‘Yes’’, type any other given name (first, second, or more) that you have ever used.

Question 3

From the list, select your sex (male, female or unknown).

Question 4

Indicate your date of birth. If your complete date of birth is unknown, please use ‘*’ (star sign/asterisk) to fill in the spaces for the year, month or day, where applicable.

Question 5

Type your city or town of birth.

From the list, select your country of birth.

Question 6

From the list, select your country of citizenship. To be a citizen of a country means that you were either born in that country (in most cases) or have been granted citizenship by that country. If you have dual citizenship, select the country that issued the passport you will be using for this trip.

Question 7

From the list, select the appropriate information to indicate:

  • The name of your country of residence. Your country of residence is the country in which you are living, provided that you have been lawfully admitted to that country.
  • Your immigration status in that country (indicate one of the following):
    • Citizen
    • Permanent resident
    • Visitor
    • Worker
    • Student
    • Other
    • Protected Person
    • Refugee Claimant
  • Other: This section must be completed if you selected ‘‘Other’’ as a status,
  • The dates (From – To) you have been living in your country of residence.
Question 8

Check the box to indicate whether you have lived in any country other than your country of citizenship or your current country of residence for more than six (6) months in the past five (5) years.

If you checked ‘‘Yes’’, from the list select the appropriate information to indicate the following:

  • The name of the country you lived in,
  • Your immigration status for the time you were in that country:
    • Citizen
    • Permanent resident
    • Visitor
    • Worker
    • Student
    • Other
    • Protected Person
    • Refugee Claimant
  • Other: This section must be completed if you selected ‘‘Other’’ as a status,
  • The dates (From – To) you were living in that country.
Question 9

Check the box to indicate if you are applying from your current country of residence.

If you checked ‘‘No’’, select the appropriate information from the list to indicate:

  • The name of the country where you are applying from,
  • Your immigration status in that country by choosing one of the following:
    • Citizen
    • Permanent resident
    • Visitor
    • Worker
    • Student
    • Other
    • Protected Person
    • Refugee Claimant
  • Other: This section must be completed if you selected ‘‘Other’’ as a status,
  • The dates (From – To) that you have been living in that country.

Note: If you are not a citizen of the country where you are making your application, you must provide proof of your legal status when you submit your application.

Question 10
  1. From the list, choose your current marital status:
    Annulled Marriage
    This is a marriage that is legally declared invalid. An annulment can also be a declaration by the Catholic Church that the marital union did not have a binding force.
    Common-
    Law
    This means that you have lived continuously with your partner in a marital-type relationship for a minimum of one year.
    Divorced
    This means that you are officially separated and have legally ended your marriage.
    Legally Separated
    This means that you are married, but no longer living with your spouse.
    Married
    This means that you and your spouse have had a ceremony that legally binds you to each other. Your marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it was performed and in Canada.
    Single
    This means that you have never been married and are not in a common-law relationship.
    Widowed
    This means that your spouse has died and that you have not re-married or entered into a common-law relationship.
  2. Enter the date (year, month and day) you were married or you entered into your current common-law relationship.
  3. Type the family name(s) and given name(s) of your current spouse or common-law partner.

Note: If you are in a common-law union, you must also complete the Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union (IMM 5409) form and include it with your application.

Question 11

Check the box to indicate whether you have previously been married or in a common-law relationship. If you checked ‘‘Yes’’, provide the:

  • Family name(s),
  • Given name(s),
  • Date of birth,
  • Type of relationship:
    • Common-law, or
    • Married.
  • Dates (From – To) for which you were in the relationship with your previous spouse/common-law partner.

Language (s)

Question 1
  1. From the list, select your native language (mother tongue).
  2. If your native language is not English or French, select from the list the one you would most likely use.
    • English
    • French
    • Neither
  3. From the list, select English, French or both as your language of communication:
    • English
    • French
    • Both
    • Neither
  4. Check Yes or No to indicate if you have taken a test from a designated testing agency to assess your proficiency in English or French.

Language(s)

Question 1

From the list, select your native language (mother tongue).

If your native language is not English or French, select from the list which one you would most likely use:

  • English
  • French
  • Neither

Passport

Question 1

Type your passport, travel or identity document number. Make sure there is no space between each number and/or letter.

Question 2

From the list, select the name of the country that issued your passport, travel or identity document.

Question 3

Enter the date your passport, travel or identity document was issued.

Question 4

Enter the date your passport, travel or identity document will expire.

Contact Information

Question 1

Indicate your current mailing address (where information should be mailed) by typing the following information:

  • Post Office Box (P.O. Box) number, if applicable. If you do not indicate post office box, the Street number must be provided.
  • Apartment (Apt.) or Unit, if applicable
  • Street number (No.), if applicable. This must be provided if you did not type in a P.O. Box
  • Street name, if applicable
  • City or Town
  • From the list, select the Country of your current mailing address.
  • Province or State
  • Postal code/zip code
  • District, if applicable.

Note: All correspondence will go to this address unless you provide your e-mail address.

If you wish to have a representative who can conduct business on your behalf, you must provide their email and mailing address(es) in this section and complete the Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) form.

For more information read the ‘‘Use of a Representative’’ section in this guide.

Question 2

Check the box to indicate whether your residential address (where you live) is the same as your mailing address. If ‘‘No’’, type the following information:

  • Apartment (Apt.) or Unit, if applicable
  • Street Number (No.)
  • Street Name
  • City or Town
  • Country
  • Province or State
  • Postal Code/zip code
  • District, if applicable.
Question 3

Check the appropriate box to indicate if the telephone number is from Canada/the United States (US) or Other (any other country).

From the list, select the type of telephone:

  • Residence (home)
  • Cellular (cell/mobile)
  • Business (work)

Type your telephone number including the country code, area/regional codes, etc.

If you have an extension number, write it after your phone number under ‘‘Ext.’’

Question 4

Check the appropriate box to indicate if your additional telephone number is from Canada/the United States or Other (any other country).

From the list, select the type of telephone:

  • Residence (home)
  • Cellular (cell/mobile)
  • Business (work)

Type your telephone number including the country code, area/regional codes, etc.

If you have an extension number, write it after your phone number under ‘‘Ext.’’

Question 5

Check the appropriate box to indicate if the facsimile (fax) number is from Canada and United States or Other (any other country).

If applicable, type your facsimile (fax) number, including country code, area/regional codes, etc.

Question 6

If applicable, type your e-mail address using a format similar to the following: name@provider.net

Note: By indicating your e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing transmission of correspondence including file and personal information to be sent electronically to you at the address provided.

Details of Intended Work in Canada

Question 1

From the list, select the type of work permit you are applying for:

  • Open Work Permit
  • Seasonal Agricultural Work Program
  • International Experience Canada Program (International Co-op)
  • International Experience Canada (Other)
  • International Experience Canada (Working Holiday)
  • International Experience Canada (Young Professionals Program)
  • Live-in Caregiver Program
  • Other
Question 2

Write the name of employer. Attach original offer of employment.

Write the complete address of your employer:

  • Province
  • City/Town
  • Address

Note: If you are employed by a foreign employer who provides services to a Canadian entity, indicate the name and foreign address of this employer.

Question 3

Indicate the address of the location where you will work in Canada:

  • Province
  • City/Town
  • Address
Question 4

Provide the following information about your intended work in Canada:

  • Job Title
  • Brief description of duties
Question 5

Type the expected start and end dates of your work in Canada (From–To).

Note: YYYY-MM-DD

Question 6

Write the 7-digit number of your valid Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

Live-In Caregiver Program

Question 1

If you are applying for a work permit under the Live-in Caregiver Program, check all the boxes that apply to the type of care you will provide:

  • Child care
  • Disabled
  • Elderly
  • Other
Question 2

Write the number of persons requiring care.

Education

Check the box to indicate if you have any post secondary education (including university, college or apprenticeship training).

The following table provides examples of post secondary education:

Trade/Apprenticeship

Training completed in a specific trade, such as carpentry or auto mechanics.

Non-university certificate/diploma

Training in a profession that requires formal education but not at the university level (for example, dental technician or engineering technician).

Bachelor’s degree

Academic degree awarded by a college or university to those who completed an undergraduate curriculum; also called a baccalaureate. Examples include a Bachelor of Arts, Science or Education.

Master’s degree

Academic degree awarded by a graduate school of a college or university. You must have completed a Bachelor’s degree before a Master’s degree can be earned.

PhD

Highest university degree usually based on at least three years of graduate studies and a thesis. Normally, you must have completed a Master’s degree before a PhD can be earned.

If you checked ‘‘Yes’’, provide full details of your highest level of post secondary education:

  • Enter the dates (year and month) you attended the institution
  • Field(s) of study (mechanics, social sciences, medicine, etc.)
  • School or Facility name
  • City or Town
  • From the list, select the country, and
  • Province or State.

Employment (Work/Occupation)

Provide the following information about your employment for the past 10 years. If you are retired, provide the 10 years before your retirement.

Question 1

Current Activity/Occupation

Provide details about your current Activity/Occupation:

  • Enter the dates (year and month) you have been working at your current occupation,
  • The activity/occupation or a brief description of your position. If you do not work, describe what you are currently doing (retired, not working, going to school, etc.),
  • Indicate the name of the company or employer or facility where you work,
  • City or Town,
  • Country,
  • Province/State, if applicable
Question 2

Previous Activity/Occupation

Provide details of your previous Activity/Occupation for the past 10 years. If you are retired, provide the 10 years prior to your retirement.

Note: If you need more space, print out an additional page of the form, complete this section and submit it with your application.

Background Information

Question 1

Check the box to indicate if:

  1. you or any of your family member(s) have ever had tuberculosis of the lungs or been in close contact with a person with tuberculosis within the past two years.
  2. you have any physical or mental disorder that would require social and/or health services other than medication during your stay in Canada.
  3. If you checked “Yes” to any of the above questions, provide details and the name of the family member, if applicable.

Note: Refer to the Family Members definition in this guide.

Question 2

Check the box to indicate if you have ever:

  1. remained beyond the validity of your status, attended school without authorization or worked without authorization in Canada.
  2. been refused any kind of visa, admission or been ordered to leave Canada or any other country.
  3. If you checked “Yes” to one of the above questions, provide details.
Question 3

Check the box to indicate if you have ever:

  • committed,
  • been arrested for, or
  • been charged with or convicted of any criminal offence in any country.

If you checked “Yes”, you may be required to complete Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257 – Schedule 1).

Question 4
  1. Check the box to indicate if you have ever served in any military, militia, civil defence unit, served in a security organization or police force (including non obligatory national service, reserve or voluntary units).
  2. If you checked “Yes”, provide your dates of service and the countries where you served.

If you checked “Yes” you may be required to complete Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257 – Schedule 1).

Question 5

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate if you have ever been a member or associated with any political party, or other group or organization which has engaged in or advocated violence as means to achieving a political or religious objective, or which has been associated with criminal activity at any time.

If you checked “Yes” you may be required to complete Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257 – Schedule 1).

Question 6

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate if you have ever witnessed or participated in the ill treatment of prisoners or civilians, looting or desecration of religious buildings.

If you checked “Yes” you may be required to complete Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257 – Schedule 1).


Note. To complete your form:

  1. Once the application is completed, click on the “Validate” button located at the top or bottom of the form. This will generate a barcode* page (page 5 of 5). If this application form is completed on a computer and printed, you must place the barcode page on the top of each individual application package when submitting the application.

    *See image below:

    Note: This barcode page will not appear if you fill out your application by hand.

  2. If you are 18 years of age or older, sign and date in the boxes provided at the bottom of the page.

    If you are less than 18 years of age, your form must be signed by one of your parents or a legal guardian.

Note: By signing, you certify that you fully understand the questions asked, and that the information you have provided is complete, accurate, and factual. If you do not sign and date the application form, it will be returned to you.


Family Information (IMM 5645)

Who needs to complete this form?

This form must be completed by each person, 18 years of age or older, applying for a Temporary Resident Visa, a study or work permit outside Canada.

Section A

Write the personal details about:

  • yourself,
  • your spouse or common-law partner, if applicable,
  • your mother,
  • your father.

Include: full name, relationship, date of birth, marital status (married, single, widowed, common-law, divorced, separated, annulled marriage), present address and occupation (job), and whether they will come with you to Canada by checking ‘‘Yes’’ or ‘‘No’’.

If a person is deceased, indicate this under ‘‘Present address’’, and write the city and the date they died.

If not currently employed, please indicate whether that person is retired, studying, etc.

You must answer all questions. If a section does not apply to you, write ‘‘Not applicable’’ or ‘‘N/A’’.

Note: If you do not have a spouse or a common-law partner, read ‘‘Note 1’’, then sign and date the declaration at the end of Section A.

Section B

Write the personal details about your children. It is very important that you list all of your children even if they are already permanent residents or citizens of Canada. This includes:

  • married children,
  • adopted children,
  • children of your spouse (step-children) or common-law partner,
  • any of your children who have been adopted by others,
  • any of your children who are in the custody of an ex-spouse, former common-law partner or other guardian.

Write full name, relationship, date of birth, marital status (married, single, widowed, common-law, divorced, separated, annulled marriage), present address and occupation (job), and whether they will come with you to Canada by checking ‘‘Yes’’ or ‘‘No’’.

If a person is deceased, indicate this under ‘‘Present address’’, and write the city and the date they died.

If not currently employed, please indicate whether that person is retired, studying, etc.

You must answer all questions. If a section does not apply to you, write ‘‘Not applicable’’ or ‘‘N/A’’.

Note: If you do not have children, read ‘‘Note 2’’, then sign and date the declaration at the end of Section B.

Section C

Write the personal details about your:

  • brother(s),
  • sister(s),
  • half-brother(s) and half-sister(s),
  • step-brother(s) and step-sister(s).

Write full name, relationship, date of birth, marital status (married, single, widowed, common-law, divorced, separated, annulled marriage), present address and occupation (job), and whether they will come with you to Canada by checking ‘‘Yes’’ or ‘‘No’’.

If a person is deceased, indicate this under “Present address”, and write the city and the date they died.

If not currently employed, please indicate whether that person is retired, studying, etc.

You must answer all questions. If a section does not apply to you, write ‘‘Not applicable’’ or ‘‘N/A’’.

Section D

Signature

Sign and date in the boxes provided at the bottom of the page.

Note: By signing, you certify that you fully understand the questions asked, and that the information you have provided is complete, accurate and factual. If you do not sign or date the form, your application will be returned to you.


Schedule 1 – Application for Temporary Resident Visa (IMM5257 – Schedule 1)

Who must fill out this application form?

This form must be completed by:

  • you, the principal applicant;
  • your spouse or common-law partner (whether accompanying you to Canada or not), and
  • your dependent children aged 18 or over (whether accompanying you to Canada or not).

Check the box to indicate whether you are the principal applicant or the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child aged 18 years or older of the principal applicant.

Question 1

Indicate your full last name (surname/family name) as it appears on your passport, travel or identity document.

Indicate all of your given name(s) (first, second or more) as they appear on your passport, travel or identity document. Do not use initials.

Question 2

Indicate your date of birth.

Question 3

Type your Unique Client Identifier number (UCI), if known. Otherwise, leave it blank. If this is your first time dealing with CIC you will not have a UCI.

Question 4

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether you served in any military, militia, or civil defence unit or service in a security organization or police force (including non obligatory national service, reserve or volunteer units).

If yes, provide details about your military service (if applicable) for each of the countries whose armed forces you served in including:

  • dates (From –To),
  • locations/place where you were stationed,
  • province and
  • country.

If you were not in any military service, write N/A.

Question 5

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether you have ever witnessed or participated in the ill treatment of prisoners or civilians, looting or desecration of religious buildings.

If yes, provide details of the circumstances including:

  • dates (From –To),
  • location (city, town, etc.),
  • province,
  • country, and
  • details (space is provided)
Question 6

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether you have had membership or association with any political parties, groups or organizations which have engaged in or advocated violence as a means to achieving a political or religious objective, or which has been associated with criminal activity at any time.

Include details such as:

  • dates (From –To),
  • name of organization,
  • activities or positions held,
  • province, and
  • country.

Note: Do not use abbreviations.

Question 7

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate whether you have held any government positions in the past such as:

  • Civil servant
  • Judge
  • Police officer
  • Mayor
  • Member of parliament, or
  • Hospital administrator.

Include:

  • dates (From –To),
  • country,
  • level of jurisdiction (examples: national, regional or municipal),
  • name of the department or the branch you worked for, and
  • activities and/or positions that you held.

Note: Do not use abbreviations.

Question 8

Check “Yes” or “No” to indicate if you have travelled to any country other than your country of citizenship or current country of residence since the age of 18 or during the past five years.

Include:

  • dates (From –To),
  • country,
  • location (city, town, etc.)
  • purpose of travel (tourism, business, etc.)

Validate

Once the application is completed, click on the "Validate" button located at the top or bottom of the form. If completed properly, the following information will appear on the top right corner of the form, (just before the page number):

  • family name
  • initial letter of the given name
  • year and month of birth

Note: This information will not appear if you fill out your application by hand.


Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Who may use this form?

Complete this form only if you:

  • used the services of a representative to help you prepare or submit your application; or
  • are appointing a representative; or
  • are cancelling a representative’s appointment.

If you have dependent children aged 18 years or older, they are required to complete their own copy of this form if a representative is also conducting business on their behalf.

Your spouse or common-law partner does not have to complete a separate request and must sign in the box provided under question 10.

What is a representative?

A representative is someone who has provided advice, consultation, or guidance to you at any stage of the immigration application process, or in an immigration proceeding. If someone represented or advised you to help you submit your application, then that person is your representative. A representative is also someone who has your permission to conduct business on your behalf of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

When you appoint a representative:

  • you also authorize CIC and CBSA to share information from your case file with this person;
  • your application will not be given special attention nor can you expect faster processing or a more favourable outcome;
  • the representative is authorized to represent you only on immigration matters related to the application you submit with this form;
  • you can appoint only one (1) representative for each application you submit;
  • you are not obliged to hire a representative. We treat everyone equally, whether they use the service of a representative or not.

Important information. You must notify us if your representative’s contact information changes or if you cancel the appointment of a representative.

Types of representatives

Family, friends, and non-profit groups often help applicants who feel the need for support and advice on immigration matters. You can appoint a representative who does not charge fees or receive any other compensation for providing immigration advice or services to represent you before CIC or the CBSA.

There are two (2) types of representatives.

Uncompensated representatives include:

  • friends and family members who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for their advice and services;
  • organizations that do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration for providing immigration advice or assistance (such as a non-governmental or religious organization);
  • consultants, lawyers and Quebec notaries, and students-at-law under their supervision, who do not, and will not, charge a fee or receive any other consideration to represent you.

Compensated representatives:

Compensated representatives charge a fee or receive some other form of consideration in exchange for the advice and representation that they provide. If you want us to conduct business with a compensated representative then they must be authorized by CIC.

Note: If an immigration representative is being paid or compensated by someone other than the applicant, then the representative is still considered to be a compensated representative.

It is important to know that anyone who represents or advises you for payment — or offers to do so — in connection with immigration proceedings or applications is breaking the law unless they are an authorized representative or they have a specific agreement or arrangement with the Government of Canada that allows them to represent or advise you. This applies to advice or consultation which happens before or after an immigration application is made or a proceeding begins.

Authorized representatives are:

  • immigration consultants who are members in good standing of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC);
  • lawyers and paralegals who are members in good standing of a Canadian provincial or territorial law society and students-at-law under their supervision;
  • notaries who are members in good standing of the Chambre des notaires du Québec and students-at-law under their supervision.

If you appoint a compensated representative who is not a member of one of these designated bodies, your application will be returned. For more information on using a representative, visit our website.

General Application Information

  • Check one box to indicate if you are appointing or cancelling the appointment of a representative.
  • Check both boxes and complete all sections if you are cancelling a representative and appointing a new one at the same time.

Section A – Applicant Information

Question 1

Write your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).

Question 2

Write your date of birth.

Question 3

If you have already submitted your application, write:

  • the name of office where the application was submitted;
  • location of office;
  • type of application you are sending.
Question 4

Write your Citizenship and Immigration Canada Identification (ID) or Unique Client Identifier (UCI) number (if known).

Section B – Appointment of Representative

Question 5

Write your representative’s full name.

If your representative is a member of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), a law society or the Chambre des notaires du Québec, print his or her name as it appears on the organization’s membership list.

Question 6

Check one box to indicate if your representative is unpaid or paid.

If your representative is paid, write the membership ID number of:

  • the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC); or
  • a Canadian provincial or territorial law society; or
  • the Chambre des notaires du Québec.
Question 7

Write your representative’s contact information.

Note: By indicating your representative’s e-mail address, you are hereby authorizing CIC to transmit your file and personal information to this specific e-mail address.

Question 8

To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must:

  • sign the declaration
  • date the declaration, and
  • include the Party ID, only if it is known.

Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative

Question 9

Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative. Write the representative’s full name.

Section D – Your Declaration

Question 10

By signing, you authorize CIC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.

If your spouse or common-law partner is included in this request, he or she must sign in the box provided.

Release of information to other individuals

To authorize CIC to release information from your case file to someone other than a representative, you will need to complete the form Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual (IMM 5475) (PDF, 1.8 MB). The form is also available from Canadian embassies, high commissions and consulates abroad.

The person you designate will be able to obtain information on your case file, such as the status of your application. However, they will not be able to conduct business on your behalf with CIC.


Step 3. Pay the Fees

Fees

Important information.

There are two types of fees:

  • an application processing fee;
  • a biometric fee.

Find out if you are required to provide biometrics.

Use the table below to calculate the total amount of fees to be paid (all fees are in Canadian dollars). The processing fees must be included with your application. If you or your family members are required to provide biometric information, the biometric fee should be paid at the same time and the same way as the processing fee in order to avoid delays in processing your application.

Note: You may be required to pay the fees in local currency.


Calculating your fees

*Subject to change at any time

Services* Number of persons Amount per person Biometric fee per person Amount due
*Work Permit   x $155 x $85  
*Work Permit – Group of performing artists (3 persons or more)      $465 $255  
Total $

Make sure that you are eligible to apply before you pay the fees and gather all the required documents before you submit the application.

The fees will not be refunded, regardless of the final decision. For example, being found ineligible for a study permit is part of the processing; the fees will not be refunded. If you apply again, you will have to pay the application processing fee, and if applicable to you, the biometric fee again.


Methods of payment

Outside of Canada

Go to the visa office website to find out how to pay the fees.




Important information

Incorrect fee payment

Incorrect fee payments may delay processing your application.

Payment issue – No fee included

CIC will return your application.

Note: Processing of your application will only start after you return your application with requested fees.

Payment issue – Insufficient fees included

CIC will inform you of how much to pay and how to pay.

Note: Processing of your application will only continue after you provide the missing fees.

Payment issue – Overpayment

CIC will:

  • start processing your application, and
  • send you a refund as soon as possible.

Note: You do not have to request a refund, it will be done automatically.

Payment issue – No biometric fee included (if you are required)

CIC will:

  • inform you on how much to pay and how to pay.

Note: Processing of your application will continue after you provide the missing fees.


Step 4. Submit the Application

Where do I apply?

You may submit your application to a Canadian visa office, a Visa Application Center (VAC) responsible for your area or online.

Consult the relevant visa office website  or VAC regarding accepted methods of submitting applications (for example, general mail, in person, by courier etc.)

Are there biometric requirements?

You and your family members may be required to appear in person to have your fingerprints and photograph (biometric information) taken at a biometric collection service point.

All family members who require their fingerprints and photograph taken and who are applying together should go to the same biometric collection service point.

Find out if you are required to provide biometrics.


Important information

You must not have your biometric fingerprints and photo taken before you submit your application. You can have your biometrics collected:

  • after you submit your application and have received a biometric instruction letter which will direct you to a list of points of service you may choose from;
    or
  • at the same time as you are submitting your application in person at a Visa Application Centre (VAC).

If I am required to provide my biometric fingerprints and photo, where do I go?

If you are required to provide biometric information you must provide your fingerprints and photograph at a biometric collection service point. These include:

  • Visa Application Centres (VAC);
  • US Application Service Centres (ASCs) in the United States; and
  • CIC offices outside Canada in a country where there is no VAC or ASC.

Applicants who use the services of a VAC to submit an application must provide their biometric information at the same VAC.

Consult the list of biometric collection service points.


Send the document checklist

Make sure you complete the Document Checklist (IMM 5488) and include it with your application forms and supporting documents.



Note

Sign the form

The application must be signed and dated before it is submitted.

If you are:

  • 18 years of age or older, sign and date in the boxes provided at the bottom of the page,
  • less than 18 years of age, your form must be signed by one of your parents or legal guardian.

Note: If your application is not signed and dated, it will be returned to you.


Submit the application form

When submitting your application, to ensure your encoded data is captured, you must include the last page or pages which contain your unique barcodes. See the image below:

Sample Barcodes

Note: This page is only available when you complete your application electronically (on a computer).


What Happens Next

The application process

Submission

Completion check

Once you have submitted your application, CIC will check to determine that:

  • all required application forms have been properly completed and submitted,
  • the application processing fee has been paid, and
  • all requested supporting documentation has been provided.

If your application package is incomplete:

  • CIC will return it to you,
  • no file will be created, and
  • no record will be kept until a complete application has been submitted.

Processing

Review for decision

Your application will undergo a detailed review by an Officer. The Officer will assess all the information and documentation you have provided, and determine if an interview is necessary. If so, he will send you a letter specifying date, time and place of the interview.

If your application is refused, any original documents, including your passport if submitted with your application, will be returned to you with an explanation of why your application was refused.

If your application is approved, any original documents, including your passport if submitted with your application, will be returned to you with a letter of introduction confirming the approval.

A letter of introduction is not a guarantee of entry into Canada.

Note: If we suspect that fraudulent documents were submitted, they will not be returned.


Arrival in Canada

If there has been a change in circumstances between the dates of your application for a work permit and your arrival in Canada, or if subsequent information is given which was not originally available to the visa office, you may be refused entry.

An officer at the port of entry will decide if you still meet the requirements for admission when you arrive and how long you may stay. You will be issued a work permit at this time.

You must leave Canada on or before the date set by the officer or you must apply for an extension of your status in Canada.

Note: for applicants who provided their biometric information as part of their application, when you arrive at the Canadian port of entry, the officer will:

  • check your travel documents and compare you to the photo taken at the time of your application, and 
  • may ask you to proceed to a secondary inspection line where your fingerprints will be compared with the fingerprints that were taken at the time of your visa application.

Factors that can facilitate processing

There are certain things you can do to help ensure that your application is processed as fast as possible:

  • ensure that all the documentation and information requested are provided with your application
  • advise the visa office of a change to your contact information. This includes:
    • mailing address
    • telephone number(s)
    • facsimile number (fax)
    • e-mail address

Factors that may delay processing

The following factors may delay the processing of your application:

  • missing signature on application forms
  • missing documentation
  • incorrect fee payment
  • unclear photocopies of documents
  • documents not accompanied by a certified English or French translation
  • verification of information and documents provided
  • a medical condition that may require additional tests or consultations
  • a criminal or security problem
  • consultation is required with other offices in Canada and abroad


For more information

Current processing times

Canadian visa offices receive large volumes of applications in the temporary residence categories, therefore processing delays can vary substantially. Current processing times can be found on our website.


How to contact CIC

The following shows the ways you can contact CIC:

Website www.cic.gc.ca
Outside Canada Contact a visa office at a Canadian:
  • Embassy,
  • High Commission, or
  • Consulate.
Consult the local phone pages or the Citizenship and Immigration website for addresses, phone numbers and website links at:
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/offices/apply-where.asp

Protecting your information

Your personal information, including biometric fingerprints and photograph, if provided:

  • may be shared with other Canadian government institutions as well as foreign governments as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act, and
  • will be available to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it in order to provide the services to you, and
  • will not be disclosed to anyone else except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act.

For more information

You can obtain additional information on the protection of your data by visiting the Help Centre.

Find out more about the protection of your biometric information.


Quality Assurance Program

Our quality assurance program randomly selects applications for a special review. If selected you will be asked to attend an interview with a Citizenship and Immigration official so that we can:

  • verify the documentation you submitted is accurate,
  • verify that your application has been completed properly.

Note: You will be notified in writing should your application be selected.


Online services

For more information on the programs offered by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, visit our website.



Appendix A:

Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions

Persons who do not require a visa to visit Canada include:

  1. citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel (National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia (Republic of), Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Poland, Portugal, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Solomon Islands, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western Samoa;
  2. persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can provide other evidence of permanent residence;
  3. British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the United Kingdom;
  4. citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands;
  5. persons holding a British National (Overseas) Passport issued by the Government of the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong;
  6. persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China;
  7. persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See;
  8. persons holding an ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number.

For more information

The list of countries that are exempt from requesting a visa to visit Canada is subject to change at any time. To obtain an updated list of Visitor Visa exemptions, consult our website.


Temporary Resident Visa application photograph specifications

Important note: if you are required to provide biometric information, you are not required to include paper photos as per this photo specification sheet. Find out if you need to give biometrics.

Photograph and head size specifications

Please review the brochure (PDF, 494 KB) for further photo examples.

Image described below

  • The face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression, neither frowning nor smiling, with the mouth closed.
  • If the photographs do not meet the specifications, you will have to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.

Requirements

  • Provide two photographs of yourself with your application.
  • Your photographs must comply with the specifications below. If the photographs do not meet the specifications, you will have to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.
  • Photographs must be printed on quality photographic paper.

Specifications

  • The photographs must be identical and taken within the last six months. They may be either black and white or colour.
  • The photographs must be clear, well defined and taken against a plain white or light-coloured background.
  • If the photographs are digital, they must not be altered in any way.
  • Your face must be square to the camera with a neutral expression, neither frowning nor smiling, and with your mouth closed.
  • You may wear non-tinted prescription glasses as long as your eyes are clearly visible. Make sure that the frame does not cover any part of your eyes. Sunglasses are not acceptable.
  • A hairpiece or other cosmetic accessory is acceptable if it does not disguise your normal appearance.
  • If you must wear a head covering for religious reasons, make sure your full facial features are not obscured.

Photograph and head size specifications

Image described to the right

  • The frame size must be at least 35 mm x 45 mm (1 3/8” x 1 3/4”).
  • The photographs must show the full front view of the head, with the face in the middle of the photograph, and include the top of the shoulders.
  • The size of the head, from chin to crown, must be between 31 mm (1 1/4”) and 36 mm (1 7/16”).
  • Crown means the top of the head or (if obscured by hair or a head covering) where the top of the head or skull would be if it could be seen.
  • If the photographs do not meet the specifications, you will have to provide new photographs before your application can be processed.

Photograph Specifications (PDF, 494 KB)
You may print this and bring it with you to the photographer.

Find out if you are eligible

Come to Canada
Date Modified: