If you’re interested in working in Canada, applying for a work visa can be confusing and frustrating. Thankfully, I’ve just finished up a very successful application for the federal skilled worker program. This article will take you step by step through my application process, as well as including all forms that you need to complete.
What Is a Work Permit?
A work permit allows foreign citizens to legally work in Canada. This document allows employers to hire foreign workers without having to sponsor them as permanent residents or temporary residents.
Determine if you need a work permit.
If you’re from a visa-exempt country and you plan to work in Canada for less than six months, you will not need a work permit. However, if you are a student or temporary foreign worker who is authorized to work while in Canada, you must have your work permit before coming to Canada.
Complete the application online, or pick up an application package at the nearest visa office and submit it by mail or courier service. If you are applying online, follow the instructions provided on the CIC website to pay the fee and submit your application. If you are mailing or shipping your application, include a copy of your passport and any other documents requested by CIC (see below). You can also use this form to apply for an eTA (electronic travel authorization) if you plan to travel by air into Canada before receiving your PR card (see below).
NOTE: The electronic version of the Application for Temporary Resident Visa is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website:
Obtain a job offer from an employer in Canada.
Most kinds of work permits require a job offer from an employer in Canada, and the employer must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada.
The first step is to get a job offer letter from your future employer in Canada. The LMIA process usually takes about two weeks, so plan ahead. The employer should submit their application for an LMIA at least 30 days before the intended start date of employment for the foreign worker. Then, Service Canada will issue an approval or rejection within 10 days of receiving the application. If approved, the employee can then apply for a work permit at any visa office in Canada or at a port of entry when entering Canada with their passport and Temporary Resident Visa (TRV).
Once you’ve received your job offer letter and submitted it to Service Canada with your LMIA application, they will send you an approval or rejection letter that states whether or not you are eligible to work in Canada under one of the following categories:
- Intra-Company Transfer
- Post-Graduation Work Permit
- International Experience Canada (IEC) Program – Working Holiday
Make sure you are eligible for a work permit.
If you are planning on working in Canada, there are a few things you need to know before applying for a work permit. The first thing is that not everyone can apply for one. Only those who fall under one of the categories below will be allowed to apply:
You will need to prove that your dependants are covered by public health insurance or private health insurance (including workers who have applied for coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program).
You must show that you have enough money in your bank account to support yourself and any family members who will be accompanying you to Canada. You must also show that you have enough money to pay for all travel costs associated with the trip.
In addition, you must show proof of accommodation (where you will be staying during your stay in Canada) within a reasonable distance from where you will be working.
Get all the necessary documents ready and fill out a work visa application form.
The first step is to get all the necessary documents ready, including:
- Documents that prove your identity (for example, a passport).
- Your education certificates.
- Your work experience certificates.
A letter of employment from your future employer in Canada. The letter should state that you will be working at their company, how many hours you will work per week, what job title you will have and how much they will pay you.
If applicable, documents that prove your relationship with a spouse or common law partner who lives in Canada (if applicable).
Section: Apply for a Canadian Temporary Resident Visa, if needed.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you will need to apply for a temporary resident visa (TRV) from your nearest Canadian Embassy or Consulate before travelling to Canada. This will allow you to enter the country for up to six months to work in Canada.
To apply for a TRV, you must submit an application form and supporting documents, such as proof of financial independence and health insurance. You may also be subject to medical examination, police clearance certificates and criminal record checks.
Applicants who are already in Canada may apply for renewal of their TRV at their nearest Canadian immigration office or through their employer.
Pay the applicable fees.
The fee structure for Canada Work Permits is as follows:
- For a single-entry work permit, you will pay $150 CAD.
- For a multiple-entry work permit, you will pay $300 CAD.
However, if you are applying for a work permit under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, then you will have to pay $50 CAD extra.
If your application is being processed under Canadian Experience Class (CEC), then there will be no additional fee charged on top of the above mentioned fees.
Get your biometrics taken.
Once you’ve submitted the first stage of your application, you’ll be asked to come in for biometrics. Biometrics is the process of recording and storing your fingerprints, photo and signature so that they can be used to verify your identity at borders and ports of entry.
The government has partnered with service providers like VisaPlace to make getting biometrics as easy as possible for applicants. You can choose whether you want to go to a VisaPlace location or have it done at one of several other locations across Canada depending on where you live.
Once you’re there, all you have to do is:
Provide proof of citizenship (for example, Canadian passport or birth certificate).
Bring your original passport (with photo page) and work permit application receipt number.
Wait for confirmation on your application status.
Wait for confirmation on your application status.
Once you have submitted your application, it will be reviewed and processed by immigration officers. If your application is approved, you will receive a work permit stamp in your passport that is valid for the duration of the job offer or one year, whichever comes first. If your application is not approved, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons why and providing instructions on how to appeal the decision if necessary.
Apply for a Social Insurance Number
Once you have been issued a work permit, you’ll need to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This is an important identification number that all Canadians need in order to work legally in Canada; it is also required when filing taxes or claiming benefits such as Employment Insurance (EI). You can apply online through the Service Canada website or by visiting a Service Canada office in person with proof of identity documents (e.g., passport) and supporting documents showing your address in Canada (e.g., lease agreement).
All in all, Canada is a great country with unlimited opportunities for immigrants. Millions of people still want to emigrate to the US because the economy is stronger there, but Canada can definitely be an attractive option if you want to improve your living conditions and have a more laid-back life. The work permit process can seem daunting if you are inexperienced with such things, but hopefully this article has given you some information that you can use when applying.