Canada is one country that is doing a lot to attract new immigrants into the country. From multiple immigration pathways to temporary residency and work sponsorship, there are several ways to migrate to Canada legally. This post covers a very important aspect – getting a Canadian work permit.
At the end of this post, you’ll know the various types of Canadian work permits, the eligibility requirements, application process for Canada work permit, and other information relevant to those seeking to work in Canada.
Explanation of Canada work permit
A Canada work permit is an authorisation that permits foreigners to work legally in Canada temporarily . The document is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is required for any foreigner who wants to work in Canada.
Canada work permits are usually issued for one to two years; however, they can be extended in some cases.
There are different types of Canada work permits, including temporary, open, post-graduation , and International Experience Canada (IEC) work permits. They all have unique eligibility requirements and application processes.
To obtain a Canada work permit, individuals must meet certain eligibility requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of work permit being applied for. Generally, factors like the applicant’s education, work experience, and language skills are considered. In addition, applicants may be required to undergo a medical exam and provide biometric information.
The application process for a Canada work permit can be completed online or through a paper application. Applicants must provide supporting documents and evidence of their eligibility to work in Canada. Processing times for work permit applications vary, but most are processed within a few weeks to several months.
Importance of obtaining a Canadian work permit
Getting a Canadian work permit is necessary for any foreigner that wants to work legally in Canada. These are some of the reasons obtaining a work permit is important:
- A Canadian work permit gives legal authorisation to work in Canada. Individuals risk working illegally in Canada without a work permit, with severe consequences like fines, deportation, or even criminal charges.
- Employers in Canada require individuals to have a valid work permit before being hired. A work permit gives you access to more job opportunities and increases an individual’s chances of finding suitable employment in Canada.
- A Canada work permit protects the rights of foreign workers in Canada. With a Canada work permit, foreign workers are entitled to the same protections and benefits as Canadian citizens, like minimum wage, workplace safety standards, and access to healthcare.
- Working in Canada with a valid work permit provides foreigners with valuable Canadian work experience. Employers value Canadian work experience as it enhances individual skills.
- It also makes applying for Canadian permanent residency easy. In some cases, having a Canadian work permit precedes applying for permanent residency in Canada. Many Canadian immigration routes require applicants to be eligible for Canadian work experience, and a valid work permit.
Types of Canada Work Permits
Temporary work permit
A temporary work permit is a type of work permit that allows foreigners to work in Canada for a set period. It is the most common type of work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It is designed for individuals who wish to work in Canada for a limited time.
The temporary work permit is issued for a specific job, and it is tied to a specific employer in Canada. This means you can only work for the employer specified in the work permit and cannot change jobs or employers without obtaining a new work permit.
To be eligible to begin the application process for a Canada temporary work permit, you must have these:
- A valid job offer from a Canadian employer
- Proof of the necessary qualifications and skills required for the job
- Evidence that you will leave Canada once the work permit expires
- Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family member accompanying you during your stay in Canada
- Evidence that you are eligible to work in Canada
- Medical examination results, biometric information, and any other required supporting document
The application process for a Canada temporary work permit can be completed online or through a paper application. The processing time for temporary work permit applications varies depending on the individual circumstances and can range from a few weeks to several months. Once issued, a temporary work permit is usually valid for one to two years, depending on the job offer duration.
2. Open work permits
An open work permit is a type of Canadian work permit that allows foreigners to work for any employer in Canada, without a job offer from a specific employer. Individuals with an open work permit can work for multiple employers in Canada, change jobs or employers at any time, and are not tied to a specific employer.
Open work permits are available to individuals who meet specific eligibility criteria like being:
- Spouses or common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Dependent children of Canadian citizens or permanent residents
- Refugees or individuals in the humanitarian and compassionate category
- Individuals participating in certain international exchange programs, like the International Experience Canada (IEC) program
Canada open work permits are typically issued for a period of one to two years, depending on the specific situation. Individuals with an open work permit are also entitled to the same protections and benefits as Canadian citizens, like minimum wage, workplace safety standards, and access to healthcare.
The application process for a Canada open work permit can be completed online or through a paper application. Individuals must provide a range of documents, including proof of their eligibility for an open work permit and other documents that may be required for their specific situation.
Processing times for Canada open work permit applications vary depending on the individual circumstances and can range from a few weeks to several months.
3. Post-graduation work permits
The Canadian post-graduation work permit (PGWP) issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) allows international students who have graduated from a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI) to work in Canada upon the completion of their studies.
The Canada PGWP is an open work permit, meaning international students can work for any employer in Canada and change jobs or employers at any time. The permit is not restricted to a specific employer or job offer and is designed to help international students gain Canadian work experience, contribute to the Canadian economy and qualify for permanent residency through immigration programs, like the Canadian Experience Class.
To be eligible for a Canada post-graduate work permit, international students must have completed a full-time program of study at a Canadian DLI that is at least eight months long and earns them a degree, diploma, or certificate. The program of study must also be eligible for the PGWP program.
The Canada post-graduate work permit’s validity period depends on the length of the program of study. If the program of study is less than two years, the PGWP will be issued for a duration equal to the length of the program of study. If the program of study is two years or more, the PGWP can be issued for up to three years.
The application process for a Canada post-graduate work permit can be completed online or through a paper application. International students must provide documents like proof of their eligibility for a PGWP, a copy of their graduation certificate or transcript, and any other required documentation.
4. International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit
International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit allows young people from certain countries to work and travel in Canada for a limited period. It is designed to promote cultural exchange and allow foreigners to gain Canadian work experience.
IEC work permits are available to citizens of select countries, including Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, among others. The program is divided into three categories:
- Working Holiday: This category allows young people to work and travel in Canada for up to two years, with the option to work for any employer.
- Young Professionals: It is designed for individuals who have a job offer in Canada in their field of expertise. The permit is issued for up to two years.
- International Co-op: This allows international students to gain work experience in their field of study through an internship or co-op placement in Canada after their studies. The permit is issued for up to one year.
The International Experience Canada work permit application process requires applicants to be eligible based on factors like age, citizenship, education, and language proficiency. Applicants must also provide documents that prove their eligibility for the program and any other required documents for their specific situation.
International Experience Canada work permit is issued for a limited period and cannot be extended. Once the permit expires, the individual must leave Canada, unless they have applied for and been granted another type of work permit or permanent residency status in Canada.
Steps to Applying for a Canada Work Permit
- Determine the kind of work permit you need
- Gather the required documents
- Complete the work permit application: You can apply for a Canada work permit online or on paper. To apply online, create an account with the IRCC and follow the instructions. To apply on paper, download the application form, complete and submit it by mail.
- Pay the application fee: The cost depends on whether you are applying online or on paper and whether you are applying from within or outside Canada. You can pay online or in person at a Canadian visa application centre
- Submit your application: After completing and paying the application fee, submit it to the IRCC. Online applications are submitted electronically while paper applications are mailed to the IRCC.
- Wait for a decision: The application process for a Canada work permit varies depending on the type of work permit and where you are applying from.
A valid Canada work permit gives you access to more job opportunities and valuable Canadian work experience, which can be a stepping stone to permanent residency in Canada. This post covered the types of Canadian work permits, eligibility requirements, and application processes. Review the requirements carefully and ensure all necessary documents are provided to avoid delays or denials.