For Canadian immigration purposes the definition of “work” is very broad and is defined as an activity for which wages are paid or commission is earned, or that competes directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the Canadian labour market, no matter the duration of the intended activity. Generally speaking, a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is required, indicating that the proposed employment will not adversely affect Canadian workers. In most cases a job offer from a Canadian employer is required to apply for a Canadian Work Permit. In limited situations, Canadian immigration regulations allow for Open Work Permits, which are not employer-specific. A work permit is always temporary in nature, but can often be extended from inside Canada. Below is a guide on how you can pursue a Canadian temporary work permit.
A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. A positive LMIA will show that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job. A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter.
If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one.
Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit.
To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:
The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. Skilled Canadian work experience in Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) categories 0, 1, 2 or 3 that is gained through the PGWP Program helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class within Express Entry.
Only 1 post-graduation work permit is issued during the lifetime of an applicant. To obtain a post-graduation work permit, the applicant must currently have valid temporary status in Canada or have left Canada. They must have graduated from an eligible designated learning institution (DLI). They further must submit clear evidence that they meet all of the criteria noted below:
Within 180 days of the date of applying for the post-graduation work permit, applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:
A bridging open work permit (BOWP) lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application. You may be eligible if you applied to one of the permanent residence programs below.
Commensing January 30, 2023, family members of most foreign workers can apply for an open work permit. A few exceptions may apply to family members of low-skilled workers.
You may be eligible for this temporary measure if you’re a family member of a principal foreign worker in Canada who is any of the following: