Work permits

What is considered work?

Work is any activity that:

Pay includes money or commission:

You usually need a work permit to work in Canada. Find out if you need a work permit.


What do I need to work in Canada?

It depends on:

In most cases, you will need one or more of the following documents to apply for a work permit:

In some cases, you might be exempt from an LMIA:


How can I find out about jobs in Canada?

You can find out about jobs in Canada through the Working in Canada tool, labour market information and job banks.


What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:


I have received a Canadian job offer. What documents do I need from my future employer?

In most cases, the employer must send you:

Once you have one of these numbers, you can apply to get, extend or modify a work permit.

If the employer is LMIA-exempt, find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.

If you apply for an open work permit, you don’t need to provide any documents from an employer.


Does my work permit allow me to work for any employer in Canada?

It depends on the work permit you have. Most work permits are tied to a specific employer. They will only allow you to work for the employer on the permit.

In some situations, you can get an open work permit, which does not include a specific employer. An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada unless the employer:


Where do I find out if the employer who offered me a job is an eligible employer?

Check the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions. This list shows employers who may be ineligible to hire a temporary worker through either the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program. If you apply for a work permit to work for an employer listed as “ineligible”, your application will be refused.


What happens if I want to work for an ineligible employer?

Your application for a work permit will be refused.


How long can I work in Canada as a temporary worker?

There is no set maximum amount of time you can work in Canada as a temporary worker. The length of time you can work depends on:

If you will be working in Quebec as a temporary worker, you may need to get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ). The CAQ will show the length of time you are allowed to work in Quebec. If you are exempt from the LMIA process, you don’t need to get a CAQ.


How do I apply for a work permit?

Generally speaking, you must apply for a work permit before you enter the country. In some cases, foreign nationals can apply at the border.

If you applied for a work permit before you entered Canada, the visa office may have sent you a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction that states your application was approved. If so, you must present it when you enter Canada so that your permit can be printed and issued.


Are there any conditions on my work permit?

Some conditions will be written directly on your work permit.

These may include:

Regulation 185 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations lists all the conditions that may be put on your work permit.

There are also standard conditions that apply to all work permit holders. Even if you have no specific conditions on your work permit, you still must:


How long will it take to process my work permit application?

Processing times vary, depending on the type of application you submit. Information on processing times is available online for applications submitted inside and outside of Canada. This information is updated frequently, so check often.

See also Checking Processing Times questions.


Can I apply for a work permit when I enter Canada?

COVID-19: Most people can’t apply at the port of entry

Most people can’t apply for a work permit or give their biometrics at a Canadian port of entry right now due to travel restrictions.

You can only apply at the port of entry if you meet all of these conditions:


Can I apply for a work permit from inside Canada?

Only in some cases. You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:

There are other requirements as well.

If you are already in Canada as a visitor, you may not apply within Canada. You must apply for a work permit at a Canadian visa office:

You may be asked to go for an in-person interview at that office. If so, make sure you have all the documents you need to enter that country.

You must check:


I want to apply for a work permit by mail. How can I avoid my application being delayed or refused?

You can help avoid delays or a refusal if you:


How do I get a copy of a lost, stolen or destroyed work permit?

You must fill out an application and pay a fee to replace the permit.


What is an open work permit?

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. Because it is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your work permit:

In most cases, you will have to pay the open work permit holder fee at the same time that you pay the work permit fee. Check the fee list for the most up-to-date application fees.


What is a job offer letter?

A job offer letter is a document that a Canadian employer gives you (as a temporary worker). It explains the details of your job.

Generally, a job offer letter (or “employment letter”) is less detailed than a contract.

The letter includes information about:

If you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), include a copy of your job offer letter with your work permit application.

An “offer of employment” is not the same as a “job offer letter”. If your employer doesn’t need an LMIA to hire you for the job, they need to submit the offer of employment in the Employer Portal. Once submitted, the portal generates an offer of employment number that you need when you apply for your work permit.

Employer compliance exemptions

Some LMIA-exempt employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment and won’t have an offer of employment number for you. Find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.


There is a mistake in my name on my work permit, can you fix it?

Yes. Your name on your work permit should be exactly as it is on your passport.

If we made a mistake and the name on your permit does not match the name on your passport, submit a Request to Amend the Record of Landing, Confirmation of Permanent Residence or Valid Temporary Resident Documents.

Read the instruction guide to find out how to fill out the form and where to submit


Who can apply for an open work permit?

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.

Answer a few questions to find out if you’re eligible for an open work permit.

Are there different application forms for employer-specific and open work permits?

No, you can use the same application to apply for an employer-specific or open work permit.

Find out how to apply for a work permit.


I got a new passport after coming to Canada. Will that affect my application for a work permit?

No. However, your work permit cannot be valid for longer than your current passport’s validity. If you renewed your passport after coming to Canada, when you apply for a renewal of your work permit, you must include a photocopy of the new passport.


Can I appeal a decision on a work permit application?

Under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there is no formal right of appeal on temporary resident decisions. Instead, you can reapply. If possible, a different officer will examine the application.

You can also ask for a judicial review through the Federal Court of Canada, if you think the process was not fair. A lawyer in Canada would act on your behalf.


Can I extend my International Experience Canada work permit?

You can only extend your work permit in very specific situations. Find out if you can extend your work permit.


Can I apply to extend my Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program work permit?

No. The rules for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) differ from those for other work permits. Under the SAWP, you may remain in Canada for a maximum of 8 months between January 1st and December 15th. You must leave Canada no later than December 15th. Your employer must request authorization from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire you each season. This is known as a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment. More information is available from ESDC and the Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion. Your employer may want to rehire you. Even so, you must go back to your home country before you can apply for another work permit.


Do I need a medical exam to get a work permit?

You may need a medical exam to get a work permit if:

If you need a medical exam, an officer will tell you so and send you instructions on how to proceed. The officer's decision is based on the type of job you will have and where you lived in the past year.


How can I find a doctor who can provide the medical exam I need to come to Canada?

Only a panel physician authorized by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada can do the immigration medical exam.

You can choose a panel physician anywhere in the world. You have to tell him or her where your application will be processed, so that the medical results can be sent to the right office. You will have to pay for the medical exam. The cost can differ from one doctor to another.

See the list of panel physicians to find a doctor in your area. You cannot choose your family doctor if his or her name is not on this list.


Who needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Employers of some types of temporary workers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the worker applies for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.

If you are an employer, find out if you need an LMIA.

If you are a worker, you can answer a few questions to find out:


Which work permit fees do I have to pay?

In most cases, both workers and employers must pay fees before a work permit can be issued.

Check the fee list for the most up-to-date application fees.

Workers

If you are applying for an employer-specific work permit, you must pay the work permit processing fee.

If you are applying for an open work permit, you usually have to pay the open work permit holder fee and the work permit processing fee at the same time.

Employers

If you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), you usually need to pay a processing fee to Employment and Social Development Canada. In this case, don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee.

If you don’t need an LMIA, you have to pay the employer compliance fee when you submit the offer of employment using the Employer Portal.

Some employers don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee. Find out if you are exempt.


What is a POE Letter?

It is the letter you will receive from IRCC if you have been approved for a:

It is sometimes called the Correspondence Letter, Introduction or Introductory Letter. Officially, it is called the Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. The Letter of Introduction is not your study or work permit.

Keep this letter. You must show this letter to officials at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada to get your study or work permit.


How long is my POE Letter valid?

There is a box titled “Permit validity” on your Port of Entry (POE) Letter. You must come to Canada prior to that date.

If the validity date has passed and you have not yet come to Canada, you must submit a new application.

You cannot extend the validity date on your POE Letter.

Your POE Letter will be valid for the requested length of your work permit, study permit or super visa. You may be eligible to extend your work permit once you are in Canada.

International Experience Canada participants only

Your POE Letter will normally be valid for 12 months. If you underwent a medical exam, it will be valid until the expiry date of your medical exam or for 12 months, whichever is less.

You can only extend your International Experience Canada work permit in very specific situations. Find out if you can extend your work permit.


I paid the $100 open work permit holder fee with my open work permit application, but the application was refused. Can I get a refund?

Yes. We will send you a refund of the open work permit holder fee. You do not have to do anything.

However, you are not eligible for a refund of the work permit processing fee.


What proof do I need to show that my employer paid the compliance fee and submitted the offer of employment?

When you submit your work permit application, include the offer of employment number we gave your employer.

An offer of employment number can only be used for 1 work permit application.

Employer compliance exemptions

Some LMIA-exempt employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment. Find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.


How do I change employers?

To change employers, you must apply to change the conditions of your work permit.

Before you apply, you need some information and documents from your new employer. What you need will depend on if the employer needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you.

If your employer needs an LMIA

Your employer must give you:

If you work in Quebec, you will also need a new Certificat d’acceptation du Québec.

If your employer doesn’t need an LMIA

Your employer must give you the offer of employment number they received when they submitted your offer of employment.

Employer compliance exemptions

Some LMIA-exempt employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment. Find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.

Live-in caregivers and International Experience Canada participants have different instructions for changing employers.


As a foreign worker, do I need an eTA or a visa to work in Canada?

Depending on your citizenship, you may need an eTA or a visitor visa, as well as a work permit. Your eTA or visa will be issued to you at the same time as your work permit. You do not need to apply separately or to pay an additional fee.


Can I pay for the temporary resident visa in my country’s money?

Yes, in many countries. For details, visit the Pay your fees page to learn about the methods of payment accepted by Canadian visa offices.


How do I apply for a temporary resident visa?

Fill out the Application for a Temporary Resident to Visit Canada.

Starting between September and December 2013, citizens from 29 countries and 1 territory will need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply for a visa.


Should I apply for an eTA or a visa when I apply for a work permit?

No. Depending on your citizenship, you may need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa, as well as a work permit. Your eTA or visa will be issued to you at the same time as your work permit. You do not need to apply separately or to pay an additional fee.

You may also need to give biometrics. Citizens from 29 countries and 1 territory need to give biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) when they apply for a visa.


How can I help a family member or friend apply to visit Canada?

If your friend or family member wants to visit Canada, they must apply to the Canadian visa office responsible for his or her country or region. A visa officer will review the application and decide whether to issue a visa.

You can help your friend or family member by writing a letter of invitation. It should explain how you will help the person. For example, you may offer to pay for plane tickets or accommodation. A letter of invitation can help, but it does not guarantee the person will get a visa.


I have a temporary resident visa. Can I leave Canada and come back?

Single-Entry Temporary Resident Visa

Multiple-Entry Temporary Resident Visa

Expired Temporary Resident Visa

An officer will make sure you meet all the requirements before allowing you to come back to Canada. If you visit any country other than those listed above, you will need a new temporary resident visa.


How do I know when my temporary resident status expires?

If you are travelling with a passport:

When you arrived in Canada and gave your passport to the officer, they placed a stamp in your passport and/or issued another document. Check your passport. If you find a stamp, it should look like one of these.

Stamps

For example, if the officer placed a hand written date as shown above, your temporary resident status would expire on that date (June 30th, 1993 in this case).

If there is no stamp, a handwritten date or document in your passport, your temporary resident status will expire six months from the day you arrived in Canada.

If you were given a visitor record, study or work permit, the expiry date is marked on the document.


How do I hire a temporary foreign worker?

There are 3 basic steps to hire a temporary foreign worker:

Get an LMIA or submit an offer of employment

First, find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This assessment verifies that there is a need for the job you are offering and that there is no Canadian worker available to do it. Read about the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to find out more about LMIAs and where to apply.

If you don’t need an LMIA, submit an offer of employment and pay the employer compliance fee using the Employer Portal. Provide the offer of employment number you receive to the worker you want to hire so they can apply for their work permit.

Some employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out if you are exempt.

Have the worker apply for a work permit

Once you have an LMIA number or offer of employment number, send those details to the worker with the job offer. They need to use this information to apply for a work permit.

If you are exempt from the employer compliance process, send the worker the employment contract. They can use it to apply.

Tell the worker what to expect from their application

Tell the worker that they will receive a letter of introduction when their work permit has been approved. The actual work permit is issued by a border services officer at the port of entry when the worker arrives in Canada. If the worker is already in Canada and eligible to apply, we will mail the work permit to them.

Find out more about hiring temporary workers.


As an employer, what are my obligations to temporary foreign workers?

Your responsibilities as an employer include to:

Find out what to do after hiring a temporary worker.


Can I fire an incompetent foreign worker?

Yes. If an employee does not carry out the duties agreed to in the contract, you can give the employee the required notice or pay in lieu of notice. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial labour standards board.


What if a foreign worker becomes sick, has an accident, is hospitalized or needs home recovery?

Your employee is entitled to sick leave, as set out in provincial or territorial legislation. Do not force your employee to work if they are ill. The required health or workers' compensation plan in your province or territory should cover the employee.

Your responsibility depends on the coverage provided under these plans. Your employee may also be able to collect Employment Insurance sickness benefits. For more information, contact your provincial or territorial labour standards board.


How do I find out if I need a Labour Market Impact Assessment to hire a temporary worker?

There are two ways to find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA):

You can request an opinion from an IMWU if you think a temporary worker does not need an LMIA or a work permit, as long as the temporary worker is:

Find out how to review the LMIA exemption codes or how to contact an IMWU.


If my company merges with, or is taken over by, another company, what happens to employees who have temporary work permits?

The new company will take responsibility for any temporary workers at business locations that were included in the merger if:

The new employer doesn’t need to submit a new offer of employment and the worker doesn’t need a new work permit if both of the following apply:

If the type of business, the wages, the job duties or the work location changes, affected workers will need to get new work permits. In this case, the new employer will need to either submit a new offer of employment for each worker or get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) (if the job is not LMIA-exempt). These workers can’t keep working until they get their new work permits.

In all cases, both companies should keep all documents about the merger or takeover in case we do a compliance inspection.

The new employer will need to submit a new offer to us if they want to extend the worker’s permit when it expires.


What do I need to do if my company name changes?

You need to confirm the name change in writing to your affected temporary workers. This way, they can show proof that links the new company name to the one listed on their work permit. The letter should be signed and include the following:


Do I need to submit a new offer of employment if something in the offer has changed?

If the temporary worker needs to get a new work permit (because of changes to the employer, the occupation or the work location), a new offer of employment is also usually needed.

For example, you will need a new offer of employment in these situations:

Make sure you keep all documents about any changes you make. You may need to give them to an officer if we inspect your business.

If you’re worried that you may have been non-compliant because of any of these changes, you can let us know about it. You can also choose to submit a new offer of employment when you make a change to the original offer.


What is the employer compliance fee? How do I pay it?

The employer compliance fee is a fee that employers must pay to hire a temporary worker through the International Mobility Program (IMP).

You don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee if you hire a worker:

To pay, create an account in the Employer Portal and submit an offer of employment.

Employer compliance exemptions

Some employers don’t need to pay the employer compliance fee when they are LMIA-exempt. Find out if you are exempt.


I paid the employer compliance fee, but the temporary worker’s application for a work permit was refused. Can I get a refund?

Yes. You will get a refund automatically. You do not have to apply for it. If you do not receive a notice about your refund within 8 weeks, follow the instructions to obtain a refund.


I paid the employer compliance fee, but the worker is not coming to Canada. Can I get a refund?

Yes, you can get a refund. However, you must withdraw your offer of employment first. Once the offer of employment has been withdrawn, a refund will be issued automatically to the same payment method you used to pay. Refunds can take up to a year to be processed.

Read the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to withdraw your offer.


I want to submit an offer of employment. Where can I find the IMM 5802 form?

The IMM 5802 form is no longer accepted. All offers of employment must be submitted online through the Employer Portal. Find out how to enrol in the portal and submit an offer of employment.


After I submit an offer of employment, do I have to wait for it to be approved before the temporary worker can apply for a work permit?

No, you do not have to wait. When you successfully submit the offer of employment through the Employer Portal, you will be given an offer of employment number. You will find this number in the employment queue in your portal account. You need to give this number to the temporary worker. The worker must include the offer of employment number in their work permit application.

The worker can apply for a work permit as soon as they receive the offer of employment number from you.


Can an authorized representative submit an offer of employment on behalf of an employer?

Yes. The employer must

Read the Employer Portal enrolment guide to find out how to create and assign a secondary user account.

Employers no longer need to submit the IMM 5476, Use of Representative form.

Note:


I don’t have a Canada Revenue Agency number. How do I submit an offer of employment?

All Canadian organizations with employees must have a Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) business number. If you want to hire temporary workers, you will need to get a CRA number.

There is an exception if the foreign worker is both the employer and the temporary worker. This applies if you are a foreign worker who is:

In this case, you must email us with the following information:

We will use this information to link your offer of employment (as the employer) to your work permit application (as the temporary worker).


How do I change an offer of employment, or fix a mistake I made in one?

If we’ve already approved the temporary worker’s work permit, you must submit a new offer of employment in the Employer Portal. You’ll need to pay the employer compliance fee again and the worker will have to apply for a new work permit.

If we haven’t approved the work permit yet, you can withdraw your offer of employment in the Employer Portal. Then, submit a new offer with the new information.

If the temporary worker has already submitted a work permit application to us, they’ll also need to withdraw their work permit application. They can send us a request to withdraw their application by using our Web form. They must include the reason for the withdrawal request. They’ll then have to apply for a new work permit with the new offer of employment number.


Do I submit an offer of employment even if a foreign company will pay my company’s temporary worker?

Yes, if your Canadian company has contracted the services of a foreign company, you must submit the offer of employment in the Employer Portal. This is required under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. Even though the foreign company will pay the temporary worker’s salary, you have hired them to work in Canada.

Use the Alternate compensation scheme field in the offer of employment to explain that the foreign company will pay the temporary worker.


Who submits the offer of employment if a temporary worker will work for two or more Canadian companies?

It depends on the relationship between you and the other employer(s).

If the job offers are separate, you and the other Canadian employers each have to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal. The temporary worker will need a work permit for each job in this case.

If you are hiring a temporary worker to provide services to another company, then you must submit the offer of employment. You must also meet the conditions of the International Mobility Program. Include details about the job arrangement in the offer of employment in one of these fields:


Under the International Mobility Program, can I reuse an offer of employment number if the matched work permit application was refused?

No.

When you submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal, an offer of employment number is generated. We match this number to the worker’s work permit application.

Once an officer makes a decision on the work permit application, that offer of employment number can’t be reused for any other work permit application. If a new work permit application needs to be submitted, you must submit a new offer of employment (along with the fee).


Will I get a receipt for an offer of employment I submit through the Employer Portal?

Issues with fee payment receipts in the Employer Portal

The fee payment receipt isn’t showing up in your account messages. This problem is temporary and will be resolved as soon as possible. For now, you should print the payment confirmation on the Moneris page.

Yes. You can get your receipt in 2 ways:

The “Order ID number” on the transaction receipt is the receipt number.


Can I change or fix a mistake in my business information in the Employer Portal?

Yes, you can change the following:

If you haven’t submitted any offers using the Employer Portal

You need to create a new GCKey and enrol in the Employer Portal again with the correct business information.

If you have already submitted at least one offer using the Employer Portal

Send us an email. Write “Business information change” in the subject line and include these details:

It can take 8 weeks or more to update your business information if you have submitted an offer.


What is my Personal Identification Number (PIN) for the Employer Portal and where do I find it?

A PIN is a number that some users need to enrol in the Employer Portal. This number links accounts under the same organization together. You need a PIN if:

You will need a secondary or branch account if your organization has already enrolled in the Employer Portal, but you are:

If you need to create a secondary or branch account, you must contact your organization’s or branch’s primary user. The primary user will give you your PIN. When you enrol in the portal, choose Yes when you are asked if you received a PIN.

You don’t need a PIN if you are the first person to enrol your organization in the Employer Portal. When you enrol in the portal, choose No when you are asked if you received a PIN.

If you lost your GCKey or password, you will need a PIN to access your account. Find out how to get a PIN if you lost your secure credentials.


I can't create an account in the Employer Portal because the information I entered already exists. What do I do?

If the business number or legal name you enter when you enrol is already being used in the Employer Portal, you won’t be able to create an account.

If you lost your GCKey or password and tried to create a new account to start over, you won’t be able to use the portal. Find out how to access your account.

If you don’t know why your request to enrol was refused, email the Employer Portal.


I can log into my account in the Employer Portal, but I can't submit an offer of employment. What is the problem?

It could be one of several issues.

You didn’t enrol in the Employer Portal.

Make sure you enrolled in the Employer Portal and not in one of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s other portals. If your enrolment request lists “Designated Learning institution”, “Authorized Paid Representative” or anything other than “Employer Portal”, you did not choose the right portal.

When you enrol, make sure you only click Yes when you are asked about enrolling in the Employer Portal.

An error happened when you enrolled.

If you received an email that says your account is active, but your enrolment status is still “in progress”, you need to email the Employer Portal. Write “PIN reset” in the subject line and include your first and last name in the body of the email.

Another user has started the first offer of employment.

If there are multiple people using your organization’s Employer Portal account, only one of you will be able to submit the account’s first offer of employment. Once the “Submit an offer of employment” button is selected for the first time under the account, it will no longer be available to anyone else.

If another user has started the first offer, they must complete and submit it or delete it. Once they submit or delete the offer, everyone else will be able to select the “Submit an offer of employment” button.

The account you are logging into is not active.

If you tried to enrol in the portal and were refused, or you tried to revoke your GCKey, you won’t be able to select the “Submit an offer of employment” button. Follow the steps to make your account active:

  1. Email the Employer Portal to receive a Personal Identification Number (PIN).
    1. Write “PIN Reset” in the subject line and include your first and last name. You will receive a PIN and instructions to create a new GCKey.
  2. Enrol in the Employer Portal again, using your new GCKey and PIN.
  3. Select Yes when you are asked if you received a PIN. This will be the first question.
  4. Enter your information and create your new security questions.

You should now be able to submit an offer of employment. The PIN you received will link your new GCKey to your active account.


I've completed all the offer of employment forms in the Employer Portal, but I still can’t submit it. What should I do?

If you used special characters, like ampersands or slashes, in the forms, you won’t be able to submit the offer. You can only use hyphens, brackets and apostrophes in the portal. If you use anything else in your answers, the field will not validate correctly and you won’t be able to submit the offer.

Also, if you copy and paste information from a Word document, the formatting may not transfer properly. Make sure you type the information directly into the field.

If you still can’t submit the offer of employment, email the Employer Portal.


Can I withdraw an offer of employment?

Yes. In the Employer Portal, select the “Withdraw application” option next to your employment offer. This will also trigger a refund.

If you don’t see the “Withdraw application” option, use the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to proceed.


Can a human resource placement agency submit offers of employment on behalf of my company?

No. The temporary worker will be working directly for your company, not the placement agency. This means that the offer of employment must come from your company. Only the primary employer or its secondary users (including authorized representatives) and branches can submit offers.


Can I attach documents to the offers of employment I submit in the Employer Portal?

No. You need to provide all the necessary details about your offer of employment in the available form fields. You also need to type everything into the forms fields directly. You can’t copy and paste from an outside document.


Can I attach documents about the offer of employment to a foreign worker’s work permit application?

No. You must submit the offer of employment electronically through the Employer Portal and fill out the forms provided in the portal completely before submitting the offer.

We won’t consider any references to attached documents as part of your offer. If we see references in your offer like “see attached”, you may have to resubmit it before we can issue a work permit. If you don’t resubmit a complete offer, we may refuse the work permit application.

Read the Employer Portal User Guide to find out how to fill out each offer of employment form.


What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker.

A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.

Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.

To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:


Who needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Employers of some types of temporary workers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the worker applies for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker.

If you are an employer, find out if you need an LMIA.

If you are a worker, you can answer a few questions to find out:


Why do I need another Labour Market Impact Assessment if I just got one a year ago?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document an employer may need to get before they are allowed to hire a foreign worker. The LMIA is valid for a limited time. If your employer would like to keep you for a longer period, they must apply for a new LMIA. Employment and Social Development Canada / Service Canada will make sure there are still no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who can do your job.


I want to extend my expiring work permit, but I don’t have a new LMIA or CAQ yet. What should I do?

COVID-19: workers changing jobs or employers

You don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives to start a new job or work for a new employer. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.

You can submit your application without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) if your work permit expires within 2 weeks. You must include proof that the LMIA or CAQ request was made.

You must:

You must contact our Client Support Centre with the LMIA or CAQ confirmation number within 2 months of the date your application was received; otherwise, your application could be refused.

Note: If you are waiting for your CAQ, you cannot submit your application online. You must submit a paper application.


I am an entrepreneur. Do I need a Labour Market Impact Assessment to work in Canada?

No. You can apply for a work permit without a Labour Market Impact Assessment, but you must intend to operate a business in Canada that would create or maintain:


Can my spouse or common-law partner and dependent children come with me to Canada?

If you are coming to Canada for a short time

Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children can come with you to Canada or visit you in Canada, if they:

If you are moving to Canada permanently

Your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children can come with you to Canada if:


Does each person applying to come to Canada have to fill out a separate application?

All applicants must complete and sign their own individual form, including persons travelling as a family. A parent or guardian must sign the form for applicants under the age of 18.

If your family members want to follow you to Canada later, they must each fill out an application form.


If other family members are coming with me, what documents should I send with the application?

You may have to send a marriage certificate and birth certificates for those family members. If your common-law partner is coming with you to Canada, you may have to fill out the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form and provide the documents listed in it to support your relationship.


Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?

Yes, in most cases, your spouse or common-law partner can work in Canada. However, they will usually need a work permit to work in Canada. They must apply for their own work permit.

In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an open work permit—allowing him or her to accept any job with any employer. For more information, see Who can apply for an open work permit?

In other cases, your spouse or common-law partner must apply for a work permit for a specific employer. The employer may have to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA allows an employer to hire someone for a specific job. Find out if your spouse or common-law partner's employer needs an LMIA to hire them.


I am sponsoring my spouse or partner who is in Canada. Can they work while their application is being processed?

Yes, but only if they have a work permit.

If you’re sponsoring your spouse, they can apply for an open work permit.

It will take us about 4-5 months to process the open work permit application.

Remember that while your spouse or partner’s permanent residence application is being processed, they must:

For the steps to apply, see How to apply for a work permit.

Follow the instructions that match your situation.

If the sponsorship application hasn’t been submitted yet:

If the permanent residence application has not been approved in principle:

The time it takes to get your approval in principle depends on your case. Processing times vary.

If the permanent residence application has been approved in principle:


Can my dependent children work in Canada?

If your dependent children want to work in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same requirements that you do.

In most cases, your dependent children must apply for a work permit for a specific job. Their employer may have to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), a document an employer must usually get before they can hire a foreign worker) from Employment and Social Development Canada. An LMIA allows an employer to hire someone for a specific job.

In some cases, your dependent children will need a medical exam.


I am a Canadian citizen and my spouse is not. Can my spouse work in Canada?

It depends on the immigration status of your spouse. If your spouse or common-law partner is a permanent resident, they can work in Canada.

If your spouse or common-law partner is in Canada on a temporary resident (visitor) visa, they have to apply for a work permit to be able to work.

Your spouse or common-law partner can apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:

Find out how to apply for a work permit.


How can I extend my stay as a worker?

If you’re an International Experience Canada participant, see Extend or change your work permit – International Experience Canada.

You should apply at least 30 days before your current status expires if you want to extend your stay as a worker in Canada.

For more information, see the page Extend or change the conditions on your work permit.

Your employer may need to apply for a new Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), which is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that says the employer is allowed to hire you.

If you are exempt from the LMIA process, your employer will need to pay the employer compliance fee and submit a new offer of employment through the Employer Portal.

For more information, see Extend a temporary worker’s permit.

It’s possible that you will not be able to enter Canada. The final decision is made at the border by the border services officer.

See also How can I extend my stay as visitor? and How can I extend my stay as a student?


Can I apply to extend a work permit from inside Canada?

Yes, if your work permit is still valid, you can apply to extend it from inside Canada.

Find out how to extend your work permit.

If you’re an International Experience Canada participant, see International Experience Canada: Extend your participation or change your work permit


My work permit has expired. Can I apply for another one?

Yes, but you can only do this if your permit expired fewer than 90 days ago. You also need to restore your temporary status in Canada.

Since you need to apply to restore your status after it has expired, you can’t work while this application is in progress.

When you apply:

You can apply from within Canada.

International Experience Canada participants: To restore your status, you must be eligible to extend your work permit. See Extend or change your work permit - International Experience Canada.


I work in Quebec. How can I extend my work permit?

COVID-19: workers changing jobs or employers

You don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives to start a new job or work for a new employer. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.

If you’re an International Experience Canada participant, see Extend or change your work permit – International Experience Canada.

Step 1: Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

If you need an LMIA, your employer must follow these steps:

For more information, see the page Immigrate and settle in Quebec – Temporary workers.

If your employer doesn’t need an LMIA to hire you, you’re also exempt from getting a CAQ. In most cases, your employer will need to submit a new offer of employment through the Employer Portal.

Some LMIA-exempt employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.

Step 2: Apply to extend your work permit

Before your work permit expires, apply to extend your work permit.

Include copies of your job offer letter or contract and:

Information for your spouse or common-law partner

Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. Their work permit will have the same expiry date as your own.


I have applied for a new work permit. Can I stay in Canada if my work permit expires?

COVID-19: workers changing jobs or employers

You don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives to start a new job or work for a new employer. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.

Yes. You can stay in Canada, and may be able to keep working, under what's called implied status. That means the law implies you are a temporary resident. The implied status lasts until we decide on your new permit application. However, you must respect the following requirements:

If you applied for another work permit

If you applied for a different kind of permit


Can I keep working if my permit expires? How do I prove this to my employer?

COVID-19: workers changing jobs or employers

You don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives to start a new job or work for a new employer. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.

Yes, if you applied for a work permit extension before your work permit expired, you can keep working until a decision is made on your application.

You must stay in Canada and meet the conditions of your original work permit. For instance, if you have an employer-specific work permit, you must still work for the employer named on that permit.

We do not provide confirmation that you have implied status in Canada. However, you should keep proof that you submitted the application before your work permit expired. This includes copies of the application, the fee receipt, and something that confirms the date it was sent and delivered.


I have applied to extend my work permit. Can I travel outside Canada?

You can leave Canada and come back. However, one of three things will happen when you return to Canada.

  1. You may be allowed to come back to Canada as a visitor, if we have not yet decided to extend your work permit. If this is the case, you cannot work until you get your work permit extension. The officer at the port of entry may ask you to prove you have enough money to support yourself in Canada.
  2. You may be allowed to come back to Canada as a worker, if the officer at the port of entry finds out that we extended your work permit while you were away.
  3. You may be asked to apply for a new work permit at the port of entry.

You must also meet all other applicable entry requirements.


I have implied status, and my health insurance card, driver’s licence and other government ID documents have expired. How can I renew my ID documents?

You should apply to renew your government ID before your status expires.

These services are provided by the province you live in. If your status has expired and you need to renew your government ID, you will have to apply to the government of the province or territory you live in. That government will decide how and when they renew the documents. For more information, contact the appropriate government department or agency in the province or territory where you live, such as those responsible for health or transportation.


My work permit expired and I did not apply to extend it. Can I stay and keep working in Canada?

If you’re an International Experience Canada participant, see Extend or change your work permit – International Experience Canada.

You can apply to restore your work permit in the first 90 days after it expires. If you do this, you can stay in Canada until you get further instructions, but you must stop working until you receive your restored work permit. There is no guarantee that your application will be approved.

Otherwise, you must leave Canada right away when your work permit expires. If you do not leave, you could be deported and will need permission from an immigration officer to come back.

Find out how to restore your work permit.


I want to extend my expiring work permit, but I don’t have a new LMIA or CAQ yet. What should I do?

COVID-19: workers changing jobs or employers

You don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives to start a new job or work for a new employer. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.

You can submit your application without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or a Quebec Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) if your work permit expires within 2 weeks. You must include proof that the LMIA or CAQ request was made.

You must:

You must contact our Client Support Centre with the LMIA or CAQ confirmation number within 2 months of the date your application was received; otherwise, your application could be refused.

Note: If you are waiting for your CAQ, you cannot submit your application online. You must submit a paper application.


I got a new passport after coming to Canada but I still have a valid work permit in my old one. What should I do?

Keep your old passport. If you plan to travel outside Canada, bring both your old and new passport with you. You’ll need your valid work permit when you come back.

The expiry date on your work permit is linked to the expiry on your passport. If you got a new passport because your old one was expiring, then your work permit will also expire at the same time. In this case, you need to apply to extend your work permit to keep working in Canada.


Can I extend my International Experience Canada work permit?

You can only extend your work permit in very specific situations. Find out if you can extend your work permit.


Can I apply to extend my Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program work permit?

No. The rules for the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) differ from those for other work permits. Under the SAWP, you may remain in Canada for a maximum of 8 months between January 1st and December 15th. You must leave Canada no later than December 15th. Your employer must request authorization from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to hire you each season. This is known as a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment. More information is available from ESDC and the Quebec’s Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion. Your employer may want to rehire you. Even so, you must go back to your home country before you can apply for another work permit.


I’m on implied status. Can I keep working under the same conditions of my initial work permit if my Social Insurance Number (SIN) is expired?

Yes. If you applied to extend your work permit before your initial work permit expires, you can keep working, even if your SIN is expired.

You can apply to renew your SIN as soon as you get a new permit.

Renewing your SIN

When you get your new permit, you can renew your SIN at the nearest Service Canada location.


Can I change my status to visitor if I need more time to extend my study or work permit?

You can apply to change your status to visitor, but once your current study or work permit expires, you won’t be able to apply for a new study or work permit from within Canada. This means it won’t give you more time to extend your study or work permit.

Most visitors aren’t eligible to apply for a study or work permit from within Canada. If you change your status to visitor, you may have to leave Canada to apply for a new study or work permit.

Because of this, we strongly recommend you don’t change your status to visitor if you need more time to apply for your permit.

Make sure you know when your current permit expires and apply at least 30 days before it does.


Why is my study or work permit only valid for part of my study program or job contract?

We’ll issue your study or work permit for a shorter validity period for one of these reasons:

Your passport or travel document will expire

If you’re coming to Canada to study or work, you can’t stay past the expiry date of your passport or other travel document. We’ll only give you a permit that’s valid as long as your passport or travel document.

If you get a new passport or travel document while in Canada

You can apply to extend your study or work permit to get one for the time left on your study program or job contract.

You’re participating in IEC, and your health insurance coverage isn’t valid for long enough

If your health insurance coverage only covers part of your stay in Canada, we’ll issue you a permit that matches the length of your coverage.

Make sure your insurance is valid for your entire stay in Canada before you leave your home country.

If it isn’t, you won’t be allowed to extend your work permit, even if you extend your health insurance coverage.


Who is eligible for two-week work permit processing?

The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) can help you get to work in Canada faster by offering two-week processing times on eligible work permit applications.

To be eligible, you must be applying online from outside Canada in one of these situations:

Situation one

Your employer has a positive Global Talent Stream (GTS) (Category A or B) Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) for your position.

In this situation, you must tell us you are applying using a GTS LMIA when you complete your eligibility check. Otherwise, we won’t recognize you as a GSS applicant.

Situation two

You:

Some employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out how to get a work permit for these jobs.

Find out how to apply for two-week processing if you are eligible.


Are all Global Skills Strategy (GSS) work permit applications processed in two weeks?

No, some applications may take longer than two weeks to process. For example, it may take longer to process an application if it:

Our service standard is to process 80% of complete applications within two weeks.


I have a Global Talent Stream (GTS) LMIA, do I have to do anything else to get two-week processing?

Yes. To get two-week processing, you must check your eligibility and:

Local visa office requirements

Many of our visa offices abroad have specific instructions that the worker needs to follow. Check the local visa office requirements to make sure the worker includes all required documents with their application.

If there are local instructions to follow you can find them in the application package.

  1. Go to the work permit application.
  2. Select apply online.
  3. Select the country or territory the worker is applying from.
  4. Download the country-specific “visa office requirements” from the list of documents, if there are any.

To be eligible for two-week processing the worker must include certified translations of documents that aren’t in English or French, even if the visa office requirements say we accept other languages.

Examples of requirements that may change depending on where you are applying from:

It is your responsibility to make sure your application is complete. If you forget something, your application may be delayed or refused.


When should I get my medical exam to apply for two-week work permit processing through the GSS?

If you need a medical exam, get it before you apply so you can include it in your application. This is called an upfront medical exam.

Find out more about upfront medical exams.


I’m applying for a work permit under the GSS. Do I need include a police certificate?

It depends on where you are applying from. Many of our visa offices abroad have specific instructions that you need to follow. To find out if you need a police certificate:

  1. Go to the work permit application.
  2. Select the country or territory you are applying from.
  3. Download the country-specific “visa office requirements” from the list of documents, if there are any.

Visa office instructions are specific to your location and will tell you if you need a police certificate.

If your police certificate is not in English or French you must get a certified translation and include it in your application, even if the visa office requirements say we accept other languages.

If you can’t get a police certificate, include an explanation and any supporting documents with your application. We will review your explanation and let you know if we need more information.

If you need a police certificate but don’t include it with your application, it may take longer than two weeks to process your application.

Find out how to get a police certificate.


I’m eligible for two-week processing under the GSS. Can I bring my family?

Yes, if you all apply at the same time, your spouse, common-law partner or dependent children will also be eligible for two-week processing. Make sure everyone submits a complete application to avoid delays.


Can I get two-week processing if I am applying under the International Mobility Program?

Yes, if you are applying for a work permit through the International Mobility Program, submit your application online normally. We’ll process your application within the two-week standard automatically if you:

Local visa office requirements

Many of our visa offices abroad have specific instructions that the worker needs to follow. Check the local visa office requirements to make sure the worker includes all required documents with their application.

If there are local instructions to follow you can find them in the application package.

  1. Go to the work permit application.
  2. Select apply online.
  3. Select the country or territory the worker is applying from.
  4. Download the country-specific “visa office requirements” from the list of documents, if there are any.

To be eligible for two-week processing the worker must include certified translations of documents that aren’t in English or French, even if the visa office requirements say we accept other languages.

Examples of requirements that may change depending on your location:

It is your responsibility to make sure your application is complete. If you forget something, your application may be delayed or refused.


I need an LMIA for my work permit application. How do I know if I am part of the Global Talent Stream?

The positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) that your employer must share with you before you can apply for your work permit will tell you if you are part of the Global Talent Stream (GTS).

Find out how to benefit from the Global Skills Strategy if you are LMIA-exempt.


I’m an employer in the International Mobility Program. Do I still need to use the Employer Portal?

In most cases, yes, you will have to submit your offer and pay the employer compliance fee using the Employer Portal before the worker can apply for a work permit.

However, there are some situations where you will not have to use the Employer Portal.

Open work permits

If you hire a temporary worker who has an open work permit, you don’t need to submit an offer of employment or pay the employer compliance fee.

An open work permit allows the permit holder to work for any Canadian employer.

Employer compliance exemptions

Some LMIA-exempt employers don’t need to submit an offer of employment in the Employer Portal or pay the employer compliance fee. Find out if you are exempt from the employer compliance process.


How do I hire a temporary foreign worker using an LMIA issued by ESDC under the Global Talent Stream?

Once you receive a positive decision from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) on your Global Talent Stream (GTS) LMIA application, give a copy of the decision letter to the worker you want to hire. They must apply online and include it with their work permit application.

The worker will also need to identify themselves as part of the GTS when they complete their eligibility check.

Find out what a worker must do to identify as part of the GTS.


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