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Opportunity Lives Here

Canadian Immigration Services

With few exceptions, most individuals seeking to enter Canada’s labour market will require a work permit.  By applying for a Canadian Work Permit, you could join the more than 180,000 foreign workers who come to work in Canada every year.

Learn about:

How to Apply for a Canadian Work Permit

Typically, obtaining a Canadian work permit is a two-step process.  In most cases, applicants will first require a job offer before they can apply for a Canadian work permit.

Step 1

In the vast majority of cases, the first step towards obtaining a Canadian work permit is to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Usually, the Canadian employer must undertake domestic recruitment efforts and demonstrate that no Canadian permanent residents or citizens are qualified for the position at hand.

Step 2

After a positive LMIA has been issued, the applicant can apply for a Canadian work permit on that basis.

Work permits are employer specific, unless a worker has an open work permit.  If a worker wants to change employers, they must obtain a new Work Permit before performing another job in Canada.  Canadian work permits are also limited in duration.

We take care of the entire Canadian Work Permit process for both Canadian employers and temporary foreign workers.

Work Permit Duration

All Canadian work permits have an expiry date.  The only way to work in Canada permanently, or for an unspecified length of time, is to acquire permanent resident status.

The Canadian government puts limits on the length of Canadian work permits as well as the accumulated length of time that non-Canadians can work in Canada. The total number of months individuals may work in Canada—whether worked consecutively or with gaps between permits—is 48, or four years total.

Once the maximum of four years work has been accumulated, foreign workers will have to leave Canada and remain outside of the country for at least 48 months (4 years) before being eligible to work in Canada again.

Open Work Permit Canada

An open work Permit differs from a regular work permit in that it does not specify a particular job or employer. Generally, the job and employer are both indicated on Canadian Work Permits, thereby restricting the holder to those circumstances while in Canada. An Open Work Permit allows its holder to work for any Canadian employer, in almost any capacity.

Open Work Permits do not require the applicant to have either an offer of employment or a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

As per Canadian immigration regulations, Open Work Permits may be applied for by:

  • Spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers in a level 0, A or B occupation, according to the National Occupation Classification (NOC);

  • The spouses or common-law partners of foreign students engaged in full-time study;

  • International students who have recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution

Canadian Work Permit Exemption

You may qualify for a Canadian work permit exemption in one of the following circumstances:

Foreign representatives.

Family members of foreign representatives

Athletes and team members

Performing artists

News reporters, media crews

Public speakers

Convention organizers

Business Visitors


Judges, referees and similar officials

Examiners and evaluators

Expert witnesses or investigators

Foreign government officers

Health care students

Civil aviation inspector

Transportation Crew

Aviation accident or incident inspector

On-campus employment

Military personnel

Implied Status

For more information or clarification, please contact our Canadian immigration services law firm.