Types of work permits

Most people need a work permit to work in Canada. If you’re not sure if you need one, find out if you need a work permit.

There are 2 types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.

Open work permits

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations. Find out if you can apply for an open work permit.

Employer-specific work permits

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:

  • the name of the employer you can work for
  • how long you can work
  • the location where you can work (if applicable)

Answer a few questions to find out what kind of work permit you can apply for and what the next steps are.

What type of work will you do in Canada?

  • a worker on a film or television production
  • an academic
  • a researcher at certain Canadian institutions
  • a co-op student on a work term
  • a repair or maintenance worker for industrial or commercial equipment
  • a religious worker
  • a charitable worker
  • a camp counsellor
  • a professional athlete or coach
  • a dancer, actor, orchestral musician or opera singer or someone in a related job
  • an entrepreneur
  • a worker on a farm (agricultural worker)
  • an employee for a foreign diplomatic mission, consular post, international organization, or foreign government
  • an employee of the owner or operator of an international bridge or tunnel
  • a worker whose employer is applying to hire you through the Global Talent Stream
  • a worker whose employer is applying to hire you under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot
  • my job isn’t on the list

    Which of these situations best describes you?

    • aged 18-35 and wanting to travel and work under International Experience Canada
    • a commitment certificate holder for the Start-up Visa Program
    • already living or working in Canada and wanting to stay permanently

      Which of the following best describes your situation?

      • You've applied for permanent residence under Express Entry.
      • You've applied or you are applying for permanent residence on paper.
      • You're a provincial nominee who has not yet applied for permanent residence.
      • You hold a Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ) and you have not yet applied for permanent residence.

        Have you applied for permanent residence under the Quebec-selected skilled worker program?

        • Yes
        • No
      • You're a family member who has been included in an application for permanent residence.
    • a spouse or family member of someone working or studying temporarily in Canada
    • a recent graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution
    • a worker under an international agreement
    • holding a temporary resident permit valid for at least 6 months
    • filed a claim for refugee protection in Canada

      What is the status of your claim?

      • I’m waiting for the Immigration and Refugee Board to make a decision
      • The Immigration and Refugee Board has rejected my claim, but I’m appealing their decision
    • someone under a removal order who can’t be removed from Canada
    • taking part in an exchange or reciprocal program
    • a worker under a federal-provincial/territorial agreement
    • a participant in the World Youth Program
    • a study permit holder who can no longer support themselves financially
    • a worker who is being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to their job in Canada
    • a French-speaking or bilingual skilled worker who intends to work outside Quebec
    • an employee being transferred within a company
    • none of these situations describe me
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