Canada Work Permits


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 may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)
have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
applied for permanent residence in Canada
are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
are under an unenforceable removal order
are a temporary resident permit holder
are a young worker participating in special programs

What documents do I need?

Proof of identity
A valid passport or travel document that guarantees you re-entry to the country or territory that issued it and
Two (2) photos of yourself and accompanying family members that meet the Visa application photograph specifications.

Proof of employment in Canada
For LMIA-exempt work permits: The Offer of Employment number (begins with the letter “A” and is followed by seven numbers). Your employer should give this to you,
If you need an LMIA to work: A copy of Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from ESDC (your employer should give this to you), AND a copy of an employment contract from your future employer.

Proof that you are eligible for the job (for example: a valid Canadian provincial or territorial trade certificate, educational requirements or past work experience outlined in a resume).
A copy of the Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) from the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), if you plan to work in Quebec or will be working in Quebec. If you do not need an LMIA you will usually not need a CAQ.

Proof of relationship
You may need to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family members.
If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner will come with you to Canada, you must fill out the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409). Send proof listed on the form to support your relationship.

Other documents
If you are not a citizen of the country or territory where you are applying, you must send proof of your present immigration status in that country or territory.
If the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a re-entry permit, you must receive it before you apply for a work permit.
You may need to give us more documents.

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)

Do you plan to work in Quebec?
In general, to work in Quebec, you need a Certificat d’acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) before applying for a work permit from any Canadian migration office.

Your employer must contact:

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), and
the MIDI to get permission to hire you.
Your employer will ask you to sign the application for a CAQ and will send it to the MIDI on your behalf.

Please refer to the MIDI website (available in French only) for contact information and for the latest updates on the process and documents needed for Quebec.

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