Work permit: How to apply

How to apply

You need to apply online for a work permit. Answer a few questions to find out how to apply.

Apply under a public policy for current and former post-graduation work permit holders

You may be eligible for a one-time open work permit if your post-graduation work permit has expired or will expire between September 20, 2021, and December 31, 2022.

Find out if you’re eligible for this open work permit

Ukraine – Apply for an open work permit

As a Ukrainian national, you can apply for an open work permit.

How to apply for an open work permit

Outside Canada: Apply from outside Canada

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

Priority processing for work permit applicants

We’re prioritizing certain work permit applications.

If your occupation is not on the lists below, we’ll still process your application. However, it may take longer than it normally would.

People who perform or support essential services

We’re prioritizing the applications of people who perform or support essential services.

When you fill out the work permit application form

To get priority processing, follow these steps:

  1. Get the National Occupational Classification (NOC) number your employer entered on the
    • offer of employment or
    • labour market impact assessment (LMIA)
  2. Enter that number in the Job title box.
    • This is box 4 in the Details of intended work in Canada section.
    • You must enter only the number.
NOC 2021

On November 16, 2022, we switched to the 2021 version of the NOC system.

If you apply for a work permit on or after November 16, 2022, make sure you use the NOC 2021 codes.

Eligible occupations that perform or support essential services
Agriculture and agri-food occupations

NOC 2021 codes

  • Butchers – retail and wholesale (NOC 63201)
  • Meat cutters and fishmongers – retail and wholesale (NOC 65202)
  • Agricultural service contractors and farm supervisors (NOC 82030)
  • Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators (NOC 84120)
  • Livestock labourers (NOC 85100)
  • Specialized livestock workers and farm machinery operators (NOC 84120)
  • Livestock labourers (NOC 85100)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC 85101)
  • Nursery and greenhouse labourers (NOC 85103)
  • Harvesting labourers (NOC 85101)
  • Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 94142)
  • Labourers in food and beverage processing (NOC 95106)
  • Fish and seafood plant workers (NOC 94142)
  • Labourers in fish and seafood processing (NOC 95107)
  • Industrial butchers and meat cutters, poultry preparers and related workers (NOC 94141)
Health-care occupations

NOC 2021 codes

  • Nursing coordinators and supervisors (NOC 31300)
  • Registered nurses and registered psychiatric nurses (NOC 31301)
  • Specialists in clinical and laboratory medicine (NOC 31100)
  • Specialists in surgery (NOC 31101)
  • Police investigators and other investigative occupations (NOC 41310)
  • General practitioners and family physicians (NOC 31102)
  • Nurse practitioners (NOC 31302)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 32103)
  • Other professional occupations in health diagnosing and treating (NOC 31209)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Pharmacists (NOC 31120)
  • Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 32120)
  • Physician assistants, midwives and allied health professionals (NOC 31303)
  • Medical laboratory technologists (NOC 32120)
  • Medical laboratory assistants and related technical occupations (NOC 33101)
  • Respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists (NOC 32103)
  • Medical radiation technologists (NOC 32121)
  • Cardiology technologists and electrophysiological diagnostic technologists (NOC 32123)
  • Licensed practical nurses (NOC 32101)
  • Paramedical occupations (NOC 32102)
  • Nurse aides, orderlies and patient service associates (NOC 33102)
  • Home child care providers (NOC 44100)
  • Home support workers, caregivers and related occupations (NOC 44101)

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
If you have problems applying 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
    • In some cases, you may be able to apply online if you follow special instructions.

What to do if you have problems applying online

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

Inside Canada – Not eligible: Apply online under a public policy

Normally, visitors can’t apply for work permits from inside Canada. Due to a temporary policy change, visitors can apply online for an employer-specific work permit by following the steps below.

Who’s eligible

You must

  • be physically present in Canada when you apply
  • apply for your employer-specific work permit between August 24, 2020, and February 28, 2023
    • Applications submitted before or after these dates are not eligible.
  • be a visitor with valid status when you apply for the work permit

Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) holders are also eligible for this public policy.

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

My work permit has expired, and I have no status in Canada : Apply to restore your status as a worker

If your work permit has expired, you need to apply to restore your status as a worker.

How to restore your status as a worker

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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