How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit

A step-by-step description of how to apply for a temporary work permit in Canada.

Step 1: Determine if you require a work permit to work in your desired job in Canada

Foreign nationals can work in certain jobs in Canada without a work permit. See earlier on this page for a comprehensive list of Canadian jobs that do not require a work permite. Note: Even if you do not need a work permit to work in Canada, you will still need to obtain legal entry to Canada. For example, you can enter Canada under a temporary resident visa.

If your desired job requires a work permit, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Determine if you are eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit

Your eligibility to apply for a Canadian temporary work permit depends on various factors, including the location in which you apply for a work permit. ALL work permit applicants, however, must:

  • Prove that they will leave Canada when their work permit expires
  • Show that they have enough money to take care of themselves and their family members during their stay in Canada
  • Show that they have enough money for themselves and their family members to return home
  • Have no criminal record
  • Not be a danger to Canada
  • Be in good health and pass a medical exam, if required
  • Not plan to work for an employer on the list of ineligible employers.
  • Not plan to work for an employer who offers striptease, erotic dance, escort or erotic massage services
  • Not have worked in Canada for one or more periods that total four years within the past four years
  • Not be otherwise inadmissible to Canada.)

There are also other requirements that depend on the location in which you apply for a work permit. For more information on these requirements, click here

Step 3: Determine if you will apply online or on paper for Canadian temporary work permit

If you apply online, you must have access to a scanner or digital camera. This will allow you to upload all required documents for Canadian temporary work permit online to be included in your application. If you choose to apply on paper, you can obtain all necessary forms from CIC.

Note: If you are applying under the International Experience Class Program, you must submit your application online.

Step 4: Obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from your potential employer, if required

In most cases, an employer must obtain a positive LMIA from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) before hiring a foreign worker. Once the employer obtains a positive LMIA, it must be sent to the foreign worker applicant for inclusion in the work permit application.

However, not all jobs require a positive LMIA. For more information on LMIAs see earlier on this page.

Step 5: Obtain a temporary job offer from your potential employer

All foreign nationals applying for a temporary work permit must have a temporary job offer from their potential employer. The employer must send a detailed job offer letter to the work permit applicant. The applicant must then attach the job offer letter to his/her work permit application. The job offer letter must prove:

  • That the job offer is genuine
  • That the wages and working conditions are high enough to attract a Canadian worker
  • That the employment is full time
  • That the employment is not seasonal
  • The job offer letter must also include:
  • The job title for the job being offered
  • A description of the job’s duties and responsibilities
  • Requirements for the job concerning: education, professional credentials, work experience, skills and licenses
  • Details about the start date and end date of the job
  • Details on salary and the way in which salary will be paid
  • The name and address of the employer
  • The address of the worker’s future workplace
  • Contact information for a person at the company who is familiar with the job offer

If the employment is to take place in Quebec, the job offer must be approved by the Quebec government.

Note: The job offer letter must be submitted to the government by the employer AND a copy of the letter must be submitted by the applicant along with the work permit application. The applicant should also make sure that the employer has paid the employer compliance fee.


Job Bank

Job Bank has long been a valuable and resourceful platform that Canadians find jobs online. Job Bank is free for both employers and candidates to use. It is probably as close to an authoritative list of available jobs in Canada as you will be able to find online. It is worth trying.

Manpower Group

‎Manpower Group is a trusted job consultant firm helping immigrants find the best Canadian jobs. Manpower Group is associated with 20+ Industries in Canada offering various jobs to immigrants from Production to Logistics to Industrial jobs.