Work permit: About the process
About the process
Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada.
Answer a few questions if you’re not sure if you need a work permit or which one you should get.
There are 2 types of work permits.
Employer-specific work permit
An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as
- the name of the specific employer you can work for
- how long you can work
- the location where you can work (if applicable)
Before you apply for an employer-specific work permit, your employer must give you
- a copy of your employment contract
- 1 of the following:
If your employer doesn’t need to use the Employer Portal
If your employer does not need to use the Employer Portal to submit an offer of employment, they must give you a copy of the employment contract.
Open work permit
Changes to eligibility to work in Canada for spouses, common-law partners and dependent children of work permit holders
Starting on January 30, 2023, we’ll expand eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and dependent children of most work permit holders at all skill levels.
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you’re a
- spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a work permit holder who
- works in a job of any Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category (0 to 5), or
- is the principal applicant and has an open work permit (example: post-graduation work permit holders at all skill levels)
- spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of an economic classes permanent resident applicant who holds a work permit
Who is not eligible at this time
Spouses and dependents of workers in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not eligible at this time.
An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that
- is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or
- regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.
If you want to bring your family with you
If you’re using a paid representative, find out if they’re licensed to represent you or give advice.
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