Work permit: After you apply

Your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

Normally, you need to give biometrics. If your local visa application centre is not open due to COVID-19, there are temporary measures in place for biometrics.

Find out what to do for your biometrics

If your work permit application is approved

You’ll get an approval letter that says you’re allowed to work in Canada. This letter is called the port of entry letter of introduction.

You should bring this letter with you when you travel to Canada and present it at the port of entry. This letter is not your work permit.

You’ll only get your work permit at the port of entry the day you arrive in Canada.

The work permit will outline

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

If you’re in Canada

How we process your application

We’ll check your application to make sure you have provided all the necessary documents, including biometrics if required.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures

Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.

Find out what to do for your biometrics

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

An officer will also check

Depending on the type of work you’ll be doing, you might need a medical exam. If you do, an officer will tell you and will send you instructions on what to do. A medical exam can add over 3 months to the time it takes us to process your application.

We may also ask you to send more information.

If you’re a visitor who is applying for a work permit in Canada and held a work permit in the last 12 months

You can ask to be allowed to work while we process your application.

Who’s eligible

You must

  • be physically present in Canada when you apply
  • be a visitor with valid status when you apply for the work permit
  • applied for an employer-specific work permit between August 24, 2020, and August 31, 2021
  • have held a work permit that was valid in the 12 months before you applied for a new work permit

How to get authorization to work while you wait

Follow these steps.

Step 1: Contact us

After you apply, fill out the IRCC Web form.

When you fill out the Your enquiry section, you must copy the text below.

Message to request interim authorization to work

Priority Code VISIT2WORK2020: I am requesting consideration under the Temporary Public Policy to Exempt Certain Visitors in Canada from Immigration Requirements during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and ask that the applicable exemptions be granted until a decision is made on my work permit application or it is withdrawn.

My previous work permit number [U#########] expired on [Date].

I have submitted my application for a work permit online. or I have submitted my application on paper and the postal/courier tracking number is number.

I intend to work for [employer name] / [occupation] as specified in the aforementioned work permit application.

I understand that providing false, misleading or incorrect information is a violation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and may result in enforcement measures against me.

Make sure you fill out the sections in square brackets, including the

  • dates
  • work permit number (begins with a “U”)
  • name of your employer
  • title of your job

If you applied on paper and don’t know your application number, include your courier tracking number. This will ensure we can find your application.

If you have other questions, you need to fill out a new IRCC Web form.

Step 2: Wait for us to contact you

You must wait for us to email you to let you know that you can start working. This may take up to 30 business days (6 weeks).

If you’re in Canada and your application is approved

If you were eligible to apply for a work permit from within Canada

If you were eligible to apply from within Canada, you filled out the form called Application to Change Conditions, Extend My Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]. In that case, we’ll mail the work permit to the Canadian address you gave us. This also applies if you’re a visitor who applied for a work permit under a temporary public policy.

If your mailing address changes before we send you our decision, you must follow the instructions to tell us your new address.

The work permit will outline

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

If you followed the instructions to apply for a work permit from outside Canada

In this case, you filled out the form called Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada [IMM 1295].

If your application is approved, you’ll get an approval letter that says you’re allowed to work in Canada. This letter is called the port of entry letter of introduction.

After that, make sure you’re eligible and then ask to get your work permit.

Who’s eligible

To get your work permit without leaving Canada, you must meet these 4 requirements:

  • you applied for a work permit
  • you received your letter of introduction
    • if you received a passport request letter, follow the instructions in that letter and then wait for your letter of introduction to arrive
  • you have valid status in Canada
  • we received your request to issue your permit before August 31, 2021
    • this is a temporary process to help applicants during the COVID-19 pandemic
Processing time and multiple requests

It will take at least 8 weeks for us to process your request.

Don’t make more than 1 request for your permit to be issued. Multiple requests slow down all processing.

How to request your permit

If you’re eligible, you must follow these steps once you have your port of entry letter of introduction:

  1. Contact us using the IRCC web form.
  2. When you fill out the Your enquiry section, you must copy the text below to ensure that we prioritize your application.
    Avoid delays

    You must include the code A11EXAM when you copy and paste the text below. We can’t prioritize your request without this code.

    Message to ask for your work permit to be issued

    A11EXAM: I am requesting an examination and the issuance of my work permit from within Canada. My application number is [W#########]. I have received my letter of introduction, which is valid until [date].

    I entered Canada on [date] as a [visitor/student/worker].

    My correct contact information in Canada is:
    Mailing Address:

    Please include the appropriate following paragraph.

    Employer-specific work permit: My employer, [name], located at [address], may be contacted at [contact telephone or email] to confirm my continued employment offer.

    Open work permit: I attest that my circumstances remain the same and I still meet the requirements of the open work permit program I was approved for.

  3. Upload a copy of your letter of introduction with your request.
  4. We’ll review your request and contact you if we need more information.

We’ll mail you your work permit. The work permit will outline

  • the type of work you can do
  • the employer you can work for
  • where you can work
  • how long you can work
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: