Work permit: About the process
New applicants are strongly encouraged to apply online
At this time, if you’re applying for a visitor visa, study permit or work permit, apply online.
Due to service disruptions related to COVID-19, we are experiencing difficulties receiving and processing applications submitted by mail or in person at a VAC.
If your VAC is closed and you need to contact us urgently, use the Web form. Do not go to a visa office.
About the process
Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada. If you’re not sure, you can find out if you need a work permit.
Get the right work permit for your situation
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 submit your application for an employer-specific work permit, the employer who wants to hire you must complete certain steps and give you either a copy of a Labour Market Impact Assessment or an offer of employment number to include in your application.
Open work permit
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.
Not sure which one you should get? Find out what type of work permit you need for your situation.
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