Work Visa

During the past few years, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has issued more than 90,000 foreign worker visas/permits.

Work visas in Canada enable the applicant to work on a long-term basis or on a temporary basis in Canada. Any person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who wants to work in

Canada needs to obtain a work visa/permit. It is important to note that you must have a valid work permit/visa to work in Canada unless you are performing a job that does not require a work permit.

There are 2 types of work permits:

  1. An Open Work Permit
  2. An Employer Specific Work Permit

(a) An Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows the permit holder to work for any employer in Canada except for an employer who is listed on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you fit into one of the categories below:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have applied to an office in Canada.
  • Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants.
  • Spouses and common-law partners of some workers and international students.
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons and their family members.
  • Some temporary resident permit holders, and
  • Some young workers participating in special programs.

(b) An Employer Specific Work Permit

An Employer Specific Work Permit allows the permit holder to work according to the conditions stated in on his/her work permit. The conditions include the name of the employer the permit holder can work for, how long the permit holder can work, and the location where the permit holder can work (if applicable).

A holder of a work visa is NOT able to immigrate based on that work visa/permit and will need to file an application for permanent residency by means of one of the immigration programs.

If a visa applicant is applying for an employer specific work permit, then he/she needs a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

After receipt of the LMIA, the visa applicant must apply for a work visa/permit.

To receive a work visa/permit, the applicant must prove to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) all of the following:

  1. he/she will leave Canada at the end of his/her employment.
  2. show that he/she has enough money to maintain himself/herself and his/her family members in Canada.
  3. not be a security risk.
  4. be a law-abiding citizen and have no record of criminal activity.
  5. be in good health
  6. produce any documentation that is required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Various conditions may be imposed on a work visa such as restrictions as to the type of employment one can engage in; the employer for who you shall work; where one is able to work; and how long one is able to work for.

The holder of a work visa may also receive a visitor’s visa for his/her spouse or common-law partner and any dependent children. If the spouse or common-law partner intends to work whilst in Canada, he/she will be required to file a separate application for a work visa.

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