Work permit: How to apply

How COVID-19 is affecting applications to visit, work or study in Canada

If you meet the criteria for the travel exemptions, and you want to apply to come to Canada, there are changes to the application process. Learn more.

You can travel to Canada only if you are exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose.

How to apply

You can apply for a work permit online or on paper.

You need to give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.

Why you should apply online

  • No courier fees or mail delivery time – we get your application instantly.
  • Online applications may be processed more quickly.
  • Avoid processing delays. Incomplete applications are returned to you. Applying online helps ensure your application is complete before you submit it.
  • If we need to ask for more documents, you can quickly submit them online.
  • You don’t need to submit your passport until we ask for it.
  • Get updates on the status of your application directly in your online account.

IEC and Global Skills Strategy applicants must apply online

If you’re an applicant under the International Experience Canada program or eligible for two-week processing through the Global Skills Strategy, you must submit your work permit application online.

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)

Biometrics fee

If you have to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo), you need to pay the biometrics fee when you submit your application. If you don’t, there may be delays.

As of December 3, 2019, you can give your biometrics at designated Service Canada locations. Make sure you follow all the steps to give your biometrics.

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

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 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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