After you apply: temporary workers

1. You will need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

After you send us your application, we’ll send you a letter if you need to give your biometrics. Most work permit applicants need to. The letter will tell you how and where to go. You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics (in person).

  • If you applied online
    • The letter is sent to your account message box within 24 hours of applying. You’ll get an email to let you know you received a new message.
  • If you applied by mail
    • The letter is sent to you by mail about two weeks after we get your application. The timing of your letter depends on various factors including the speed of your postal service.

Find out more about biometrics such as exemptions and how often you need to give, how to give and where to give your biometrics.

2. We process your work permit application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have all the necessary documents. If it’s complete and you need to give biometrics, we’ll send you a letter that tells you so.

If it’s incomplete, we’ll return your application without processing it.

We may also ask you to:

  • go to an interview with our officials in your country, or
  • to send more information.

You might need a medical exam to enter Canada. If you do, an officer will tell you so and will send you instructions on what to do. Note: A medical exam can add over three months to the time it takes us to process your application.

An officer will also check:

  • the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions to make sure that the employer can hire you,
  • that you have not worked in Canada for one or more periods that total four years or more (with some exceptions), and
  • that you qualify for a work permit and have given us all the documents we need.

If you are approved to work, you will get a “letter of introduction” that states you are allowed to work in Canada. That letter is not a work permit.  Bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada.

3. Arriving in Canada

When you arrive, we will check your identity to make sure that you are the same person who was approved to travel to Canada. We may use your biometrics to do this.

You must show the letter of introduction to the border services officer (BSO), and:

  • your passport,
  • your visa (if you need one) and
  • any travel documents you are carrying (such as airline tickets).

The border services officer may then give you a work permit that sets out the conditions of your stay and work in Canada.

If you are eligible to apply for the work permit as you enter Canada and are approved, the border services officer may then give you a work permit that sets out any conditions on your stay and work in Canada.

If you are eligible to apply from within Canada, we will mail the work permit to the address in Canada you provided.

The work permit will outline:

  • the type of work you can do,
  • the employer you can work for,
  • where you can work and
  • how long you can work.


4. Entering Canada

  • If you pass the identity check and meet the entry requirements, the border services officer will stamp your passport or let you know how long you can stay in Canada. Ask questions if you are not sure about something.
  • You will not be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information. You must convince the officer that you are eligible for entry into Canada. You will also have to convince the officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your approved stay.
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