Work permit: Prepare for arrival

There are a few things you should know before you arrive in Canada to work.

If you’re an International Experience Canada participant, there are special instructions for you.

Before you travel to Canada

All travellers entering Canada must follow testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. Under certain conditions, you may be exempt from some of these requirements.

Find out if you’re exempt from any testing and quarantine requirements.

Prepare your documents

When you arrive in Canada, you must have

  • your passport
  • your visitor visa (if you need one) and
  • any travel document(s) you’re carrying

You may also need to show proof that your work permit application was approved. One way to do this is to show the border services officer your port of entry letter of introduction. You’ll get this letter if you

  • applied online or
  • gave us an email address in the work permit application form for communicating with you 

You can print this letter or bring an electronic version with you.

You should also bring supporting documents, such as

  • proof that you qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller, unless you’re exempt
  • proof that you meet the requirements of the job, such as proof of work experience and education
  • a copy of your employer’s positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), if required
    • you’ll also need a copy of the certificat d'acceptation du Québec (CAQ), if your employer needed an LMIA and you’ll work in Quebec
  • the offer of employment number your employer received when they submitted the offer of employment through the Employer Portal (if you are LMIA exempt and coming to work for a specific employer)

When you arrive in Canada

We check your identity

We check your identity to make sure that you’re the same person who was approved to travel to Canada.

  • If you enter Canada at certain Canadian airports
    • your fingerprints will be checked automatically at a primary inspection kiosk
    • the system will check your identity against the information collected when your application was submitted
  • If you enter Canada at smaller airports and all land ports of entry
    • your fingerprints may be checked if we refer you to a secondary inspection, where a border services officer will use a fingerprint verification device to check your fingerprints

You talk to the border services officer

Tell the border services officer that you have come here to work and show the documents you brought with you.

You won’t be allowed into Canada if you give false or incomplete information.

You must also

The officer makes the final decision to issue you a work permit and allow you to enter Canada.

We print your work permit

Once the border services officer has checked your documents and confirms that you can enter Canada, the officer will print the actual work permit for you. If you have questions, or there’s a mistake on your work permit, ask the officer before you leave.

Your passport must be valid for longer than the time you plan to be in Canada. Your work permit won’t be valid beyond your passport’s expiry date. This does not apply to citizens of the United States who show a valid United States passport to the border services officer.

Medical and health insurance, and workers’ compensation in Canada

The eligibility rules for public health insurance vary by province and territory. Make sure that you and any dependants coming with you to Canada either have enough

  • health care insurance
  • money in case you need medical attention

You can find more information from the ministry of health of the province or territory where you plan to work.

Your employer should make sure you’re covered by workers’ compensation, when you arrive in Canada.

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