WORK PERMITS FOR CANADA

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In order to work in Canada, one must obtain a work permit. There are different programs available for work permits, and they generally fall under one of these two categories:
Open work permits: these work permits allow you to work for any company in Canada.
Employer-specific work permits: these work permits only allow you to work for one specific company in one specific occupation. 

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HOW TO OBTAIN AN OPEN WORK PERMIT

01

WORKING HOLIDAY

This type of work permit is part of the International Experience Canada program. Canada signed bilateral agreements with several countries around the world to allow young people to come to Canada with an open work permit. You can find the list of countries eligible here. Most programs require the candidates to be maximum 30 years old, although some go all the way up to 35 years old. Most work permits are valid for one year, although some can be extended for an additional year. This program is best for single applicants as it does not extend any benefits to spouses, common law partners, or children.

02

POST-GRADUATION WORK PERMIT

This type of work permit is available for international students who have graduate form a study program in a designated learning institution (DLI) that is eligible for a post graduation work permit.  Find out if a DLI is eligible here. In order to qualify for a PGWP, a student must have studied in Canada (not online), on a full-time basis, and graduated from the program. The student will receive a work permit that is usually the same length as the study program. For example, a 2 years' college diploma will provide the student with a 2 years' PGWP. The maximum length of the PGWP is 3 years and it can only be requested once in a lifetime. See all rules and conditions for PGWP here

03

SPOUSE OR COMMON-LAW PARTNER OF A STUDENT

The spouses or common law partners of students who study in a program at a DLI that is eligible for a PGWP, are eligible for an open work permit. This means, a couple can move to Canada together, one of them studies and the other one has an open work permit. The open work permit will be valid for the same duration as the student permit of the spouse who studies. 

04

SPOUSE OR COMMON-LAW PARTNER OF A FOREIGN WORKER

The spouse or common law partner of a person who has an employer specific work permit is eligible for an open work permit. In order to qualify, the employer specific worker must have a job in Canada at level 0, A, or B on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list. This means, a couple can move to Canada together, one with an employer specific work permit and the other with an open work permit. The open work permit will be valid for the same duration as the employer specific permit.

05

COOP WORK PERMIT

This work permit is given to students who must complete a professional paid internship as part of their study program. Note that the work experience gained on a coop work permit does NOT count as Canadian work experience for immigration purposes. This work permit cannot be extended, it is 100% linked to the student permit. 

06

BRIDGING OPEN WORK PERMIT

This work permit is for people who have applied for permanent residency and are in Canada with a valid work permit. As its name indicates, this work permit serves as a "bridge" between the time a person's work permit expires and their permanent residency process is completed. In order to qualify, the applicant must have already sent an application for permanent residency to the federal government and their current work permit must still be valid. 

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How to obtain an Employer Specific Work permit:
All employer specific work permits require a job offer from a Canadian employer. The foreign worker must prove that they have previous work experience or studies related to the job offer. 

LMIA & Work Permit

The Canadian government wants to make sure that Canadian companies first consider Canadian permanent residents and citizens before giving a job to a foreigner. Therefore, the first step before obtaining a work permit is to obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The Canadian employer must apply for the LMIA and wait for the answer from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). After receiving a positive LMIA, the foreign worker can submit an application for a work permit.

Young Professional

This type of work permit is part of the International Experience Canada program. Canada signed bilateral agreements with several countries around the world to allow young people to receive a work permit when they have a job offer, without the need for an LMIA. The job offer must be at level 0, A, or B on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list.You can find the list of countries eligible here. Most programs require the candidates to be maximum 30 years old, although some go all the way up to 35 years old. Most work permits are valid for one year, although some can be extended for an additional year. This program is best for single applicants as it does not extend any benefits to spouses, common law partners, or children.

Free Trade Agreements - LMIA Exempt

In some instances, applicants who are citizens of countries that have free trade agreements with Canada do not need an LMIA to apply for a work permit. In this case, most of the programs require a job offer at level 0, A, or B on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list. Each free trade agreement has a list of occupations that are eligible for a work permit without an LMIA. The categories for these work permits include: professionals, technicians, intra-company transferees, and investors. 

Mobilitée Francophone

This program is offered to foreign workers who consider themselves francophone. Generally, this means that they have fluency in French (minimum level CLB 7) and use French in their daily life or with their family. The applicant must have a job offer from a Canadian employer at level 0, A, or B on the National Occupation Classification (NOC) list. The job must be OUTSIDE of the province of Québec. Although the candidate must be francophone, the use of the French language is not mandatory for the job description, the work can be performed in English.

If you feel like this immigration program fits your lifestyle and career goals, we invite you to book a consultation with our regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Rita Benkhalti, and start your project today!