Work permit: How to apply

How to apply

Due to COVID-19, most applicants now need to apply online for a work permit. Answer a few questions to find out how to apply.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

As a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics. Learn more about the exemption.

Outside Canada

To get the forms you need, tell us how you’re applying and where you’re applying from.

Get the application to work in Canada

Apply online from inside Canada

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need:

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents, and
  • a valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Venezuelan passport holders

You may need to complete extra steps when you fill out your application.

Step 3: Prepare your answers for the online tool

Before you can upload your forms, you must answer some questions. We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application.

Fees for open work permits

If you’re applying for an open work permit, make sure you pay all applicable fees:

  • work permit fee ($155)
  • open work permit holder fee ($100)

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

As a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics. Learn more about the exemption.

Step 5: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application
  • check your status
Create an account or sign in

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper application if either:

  • you can’t apply online because of a disability
  • there’s a problem with the online application

What to do if you can’t apply online

Inside Canada – Not eligible

Apply online under a public policy

Normally, visitors can’t apply for work permits from inside Canada. Due to COVID-19, visitors can now apply online for an employer-specific work permit by following the steps below.

Who’s eligible

You must

  • have been physically present in Canada on August 24, 2020
    • if you left Canada and returned after August 24, you can’t apply this way
  • be a visitor with valid status when you apply for the work permit

If you held a work permit in the last 12 months

You may be able to work while we process your application. Find out how.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need

  • a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents
  • a valid credit or debit card

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

You should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Venezuelan passport holders

You may need to complete extra steps when you fill out your application.

Step 3: Know the fees you have to pay

In most cases, your fees will include processing fees for you and anyone you include on your application.

We’ll ask you to pay your fees at the end of your application.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirement for in-Canada temporary residence applicants

As a temporary measure, if you’re in Canada and applying to work, study or stay temporarily in Canada, you do not need to give your biometrics. Learn more about the exemption.

Step 4: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to

  • pay your fees
  • submit your application forms
  • check your status

How to start your application

Once you sign in to your account, you’ll need to

  • go to the “Start your application” section on the account welcome page
  • click “Apply to come to Canada”
  • on the next page, scroll down to the “I do not have a personal reference code” section
  • click on the “Visitor visa, study and/or work permit” button

Get your document checklist

You must answer some questions. Make sure you answer these questions correctly:

  • You would like to work temporarily
    • Either less than or more than 6 months
  • Your current immigration status is as a visitor
  • When asked “Are you applying under the Canada–USA–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) or under a Public Policy related to work permits as announced by IRCC for an employer specific work permit?”, answer “yes”

We use your answers to create a personalized document checklist for you.

Create an account or sign in

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper application if either

  • you can’t apply online because of a disability
  • there’s a problem with the online application

What to do if you can’t apply online

Port of entry – Visa required

You can’t apply for a work permit at a port of entry. You need to follow the instructions for applying for a work permit from outside Canada.

Apply for a work permit from outside Canada

Port of entry – Visa not required

How to apply at a port of entry

Port of entry – I don’t know if I need a visa

If you’re not sure, you can answer a few questions to find out if you need a visitor visa or an eTA to travel to Canada.

Find out if you need a visa

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