Work Permits in Canada

Work permits are typically applied for at Canadian visa offices outside of Canada, or in some cases at the airport or other port of entry coming into Canada. In most cases, it is a prerequisite to obtain a job offer from a Canadian company and to have that job offer approved by the Canadian Human Resources Department before a work permit will be issued by the immigration authorities in Canada.

The process of obtaining a work permit in Canada usually begins with obtaining employment in Canada. Once employment has been found our firm can assist in the application process for a temporary Canadian work permit visa.

NOTE that our law firm does not assist in finding job offers, we assist with the process of obtaining a work permit for those who already have an existing job offer.

Work Permit Applications – The Regular Process

A job offer must in most cases be approved by the Canadian Human Resources Department before the work permit application can be made. The process of having the job offer approved requires that the employer demonstrate to the Human Resources Department why they could not find a Canadian to fill the job position. For example, the employer could show that they advertised in the newspaper to try to fill the position but were unable to find any Canadian who was qualified for the position. These requirements may be relaxed where the occupation is listed as being an "Occupation Under Pressure" recognizing there is a skill shortage in that occupation. In this regard, it should be noted that the foreign worker program is geared toward high skilled occupations where there is a shortage of Canadians to fill the needs of the labour market. While it is possible to obtain approval for low-skilled job offers, the requirements placed on the employer to justify hiring a low skilled foreign worker are more onerous.

Once a job offer is approved by the Human Resources Department an application for the actual Work Permit visa can be made to Immigration Canada. As with other temporary residence applications the immigration authorities will assess the applicant to determine if they are qualified and otherwise admissible to Canada before issuing the work permit.

Work Permits that do not require Human Resources approval

It is sometimes possible to obtain the work permit without first having to obtain approval by the Human Resources department. Types of work permits which are exempt from prior validation include work permits for entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees, and other persons whose employment will bring a significant benefit to Canada.