Do you need a work permit?
Find out if you need a work permit to work temporarily in Canada.
What you should know if you want to work in Canada
- Your employer may need to get a labour market opinion (LMO) to hire you. This is a document from the Government of Canada that gives your employer permission to hire a foreign worker.
- Some jobs do not need an LMO.
- You must meet the requirements to:
- enter the country,
- stay in Canada and
- get a work permit.
This means you may also need a visitor visa.
- A work permit does not let you live in Canada permanently. To do so, you must qualify under an immigration category as a permanent resident.
- Live–in caregivers who meet certain requirements can apply to stay in Canada permanently.
- Your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children may apply to come to Canada with you.
Apply for a work permit
Find out if you are eligible for a work permit. You normally have to apply for a work permit from outside Canada. Sometimes, you can apply as you enter Canada or from inside Canada, but many of the requirements are the same.
How you apply and how long it will take to process your application will depend on the kind of work you will do when you come to Canada.
If your spouse wants to work in Canada
If you have a spouse or common-law partner who wants to work while in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same rules as you do. This includes their employer getting a LMO, if needed.
Your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an “open” work permit. This is a permit that will let them accept any job with any employer if:
- You are
- approved to work in Canada for six months or longer,
- doing work in Canada that meets a minimum skill level (usually work for which you need at least a college diploma) and
- doing a job at Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification.
Note: If you have a post-graduation work permit, your spouse must attach a copy of your work permit to their application for an open work permit, as well as a:
- letter from your current employer that confirms you work there, or a copy of your employment offer or contract, and
- copy of one of your pay slips.
- You are approved to work in Canada and your spouse or common-law partner is eligible for a work permit through a pilot project.
In each case, your spouse’s permit will be valid no longer than yours.
If your children want to work in Canada
Your dependent children may also apply for an open work permit in some provinces.
How-to videoA Step-by-step look at biometrics
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