Work in Canada temporarily

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 Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you.
  • Your employer may need to pay an employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment form to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada through the Employer Portal.
    • If you are exempt from the LMIA process, your employer must take this step before you can apply for a work permit.
  • You do not have to submit any documents from an employer if you are applying for an open work permit.
    • If you are exempt from the LMIA process and are approved for an open work permit, you will be able to work for any Canadian employer as long as:
  • You must meet the requirements to:
  • A work permit does not let you live in Canada permanently.
  • Your spouse or common-law partner and your dependent children may apply to come to Canada with you, and, if they wish, apply for a study or work permit.

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 your spouse or common-law partner 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 an LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada, if needed.

Your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit if you are:

  • approved to work in Canada for six months or longer, and
  • doing a job at Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification.

    Note: If you have an open work permit (e.g. post-graduation work permit, International Experience Canada, et cetera) your spouse must attach a copy of your work permit to their application for an open work permit, along with a:

    • letter from your current employer that confirms you work there in a NOC 0, A or B occupation, or a copy of your employment offer or contract, and
    • copy of your recent pay slips.

Your spouse’s permit will not be valid longer than yours.

If your children want to study or work in Canada

Your dependent children may also apply to come with you to Canada, and if they wish, apply for a study or work permit.

Top questions about working in Canada

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