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What is a work permit?

Work visas and employment authorizations are known as work permits in Canada. A work permit is a document issued by officials of the Canadian Government that allows a foreign individual to work at a specific job for a specific employer.

Who can apply for a Canadian work permit?

With few exceptions, work permits are sought by those who have work arranged in Canada. This can include an offer of direct employment with a Canadian employer, contract employment in Canada, or some business activities in Canada. Such work must be described and documented in an application for a work permit.

What is a “job offer” within the context of Canadian immigration?

A job offer is a genuine offer of employment from a legitimate Canadian employer.

Can I apply while I am inside Canada as a visitor?

It is possible to submit an application while in Canada with valid visitor status. However, such an application will generally need to be submitted to a location outside of Canada such as a visa office abroad or a Canadian port of entry.

Can I start work in Canada before I get the permit?

No, you cannot engage in work in Canada until the work permit is received. Work conducted outside of Canada for a Canadian employer is also not subject to the requirement of a work permit.

Will I need a medical examination?

Applicants who have been resident in a designated country within the past 12 months, and who are seeking a work permit for a period of six months or greater, are required to undergo medical examinations.

How long is a work permit valid for?

As a general rule, it is not possible to seek a work permit that is longer than the arranged work in Canada.

Can my spouse/common law partner and children come with me or follow me to Canada?

Yes, your spouse/common law partner and dependent children can accompany or follow you to Canada. In many cases, persons entering Canada on a work permit may request that an open work permit be issued for their spouse/common law partner.

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