Types of Work Permits in Canada:

  1. Temporary Work Permit (LMIA-Based):
    • Requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
    • Employer-sponsored, with the employer proving that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available for the job.
    • Valid for a specific job, employer, and duration.
  2. Open Work Permit:
    • Allows work for any employer in Canada, except for certain restricted industries.
    • Available to spouses of skilled workers, international students graduating from Canadian institutions, individuals under specific immigration programs, and some temporary residents.
  3. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP):
    • Issued to international students who have graduated from eligible Canadian institutions.
    • Allows work for any employer and is typically valid for the same duration as the study program or a maximum of three years.
  4. International Experience Canada (IEC):
    • Provides opportunities for young people (aged 18-35) from partner countries to work in Canada temporarily.
    • Includes categories such as Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op.
  5. Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit:
    • Allows multinational companies to transfer key employees to a Canadian branch, subsidiary, or affiliate.
    • Requires the individual to have worked for the foreign company for a specified period and be in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge role.
  6. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP):
    • Allows temporary foreign workers to work in Canada’s agricultural sector for approved employers during peak seasons.
    • Operates under bilateral agreements between Canada and certain countries.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Job Offer: For most work permits, a valid job offer from a Canadian employer is required, unless applying for an open work permit or a few other specific categories.
  2. Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): Some work permits, particularly employer-specific ones, require an approved LMIA from ESDC to demonstrate that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively impact the Canadian labor market.
  3. Qualifications and Experience: Applicants must possess the necessary qualifications, skills, and experience relevant to the job they are applying for.
  4. Language Proficiency: Depending on the job and program, applicants may need to demonstrate proficiency in English or French through language tests like IELTS or CELPIP.
  5. Medical Examination: In some cases, applicants must undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet Canada’s health requirements.

Application Process:

  1. Employer Application (LMIA):
    • Employers must apply for an LMIA (if required) to ESDC, demonstrating efforts to hire Canadians and explaining the need for a foreign worker.
  2. Work Permit Application:
    • Once the employer obtains a positive LMIA or if an LMIA is not required, the employee can apply for the work permit.
    • Application is submitted online or through a visa application center (VAC), depending on the applicant’s country of residence.
  3. Processing Time:
    • Processing times vary based on the type of work permit and the volume of applications. It can range from a few weeks to several months.
  4. Biometrics and Interviews:
    • Some applicants may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo) and attend interviews as part of the application process.

Rights and Responsibilities:

  1. Rights: Work permit holders have the right to work legally in Canada for the specified duration and employer, along with access to certain benefits and protections under Canadian labor laws.
  2. Responsibilities:
    • Adhere to the conditions specified on the work permit, such as working only for the approved employer, respecting Canadian laws, and fulfilling tax obligations.
    • Maintain valid immigration status throughout the stay in Canada.


Navigating the process of obtaining a work permit in Canada involves understanding the various types of permits, eligibility criteria, application procedures, and rights and responsibilities. Whether seeking temporary employment, pursuing post-graduation opportunities, or transferring within a multinational company, Canada offers several pathways for skilled workers and international students to contribute to its workforce and economy.

If you are looking for a Professional Immigration service from a Licensed Immigration Consultant, we at New Trends Canada Immigration Inc are here to help you with 15 years of professional experience dealing with all types of work permits.