Types of Work Permits
A Work Permit can either be for a specific employer and employment arrangement (referred to as an employer-specific work permit), or can be an open work permit, allowing the FN to work almost anywhere (i.e. cannot work in adult services or striptease) with no restriction on employer name or location.
Most temporary foreign workers admitted to work in Canada are authorized to do so under an employer-specific work permit. Upon the expiration of such work permit, Foreign Nationals are required to leave Canada, extend their permit, change their status, or apply for Permanent Residency.
Open work permits generally do not require LMIA’s or proof of employment offer when applying.
Labour Market Impact Assessments – LMIAs
In order to apply for an employer-specific work permit, a Foreign National requires a government approval in the form of a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) – if the occupation requires one.
Here is a reference guide to occupations which require an LMIA. https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-social-development/services/foreign-workers.html
LMIA’s issued to employers are valid to a maximum of 6 months from the date of issuance and if the LMIA is not used to support a work permit within this time, the employer will be required to apply for a new LMIA.
There are some occupations that do not require an LMIA, to apply for a work permit. Some examples of occupations/positions that may be exempt from LMIA confirmation (but still may require work permits) include the following:
- Post-doctoral fellows
- Research award recipients
- Eminent individuals (e.g., leaders in various fields)
- Guest lecturers
- Visiting professors
- Citizens of the US and Mexico appointed as professors under the International Mobility Program (Canada-International Trade Agreements)
- Self-Employed Persons
- Intra-Company Transferees
- Spouses/Common-Law partners or dependents of Workers or Students (not in all cases, conditions apply)
- Permanent Resident Applicants under special Categories
- Charitable or Religious Workers
- Humanitarian applicants under specific Categories
Instructions on applications are constantly changing; Contact our experts for inquiries or assistance with preparing and submitting an LMIA and Work Permit.
Canadian Work Experience
Once a Foreign National obtains sufficient experience, the person may choose to apply for Permanent Residency based on their ability to become economically established in Canada. There are several pathways available to apply for Permanent Residency; an example of such a pathway to Permanent Residency for those who have gained Canadian work experience is the Canadian Experience Class. This category allows Temporary Foreign Workers as well as Post-Graduate Workers to apply for Permanent Residency after obtaining sufficient Canadian experience of approximately 1 year (with conditions). This category, as with most other categories, requires a minimum threshold for proficiency in the English or French language.