A Guide to Canada's Work Permit

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Canada attracts foreign workers and entrepreneurs because of its diverse and bustling economy. Non-Canadians who wish to work in the country legally will require a work permit to do so. A foreigner may be eligible for the various Canada Work Visa options if they meet certain requirements. This guide will describe each type of work visa and its requirements.

What is a Canadian Work Permit or Work Visa?

A work permit or work visa is a special document that is issued to certain non-Canadian individuals. Possessing a work permit allows you to work in Canada until the expiration date specified on the document. There are basically two types of Canadian work permits:

  • Open Work Permits: Individuals who are issued an open work permit or work visa can work for any employer and in any occupation, with only a few notable exceptions.
  • Closed or Employer-Specific Work Permits: An employer-specific work permit typically allows the holder to work only for the employer and in one position specified on the document. These individuals cannot legally work in Canada if they switch to another employer.

1. LMIA-Based Work Permits

Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) based work permits are typically issued to individuals after their future employer has completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This assessment demonstrates that there is a need to bring this foreign worker to Canada to work and that a Canadian could not fill the role..

The different types of LMIA-based work permits include:

  • The temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is issued to non-residents who wish to work in Canada.
  • Facilitated LMIA (Quebec): This is for employers who are not required to provide evidence that they were unable to find a Canadian person to fill the role.
  • Global Talent Stream is issued to employers who wish to hire especially skilled talent who wish to compete internationally.
LMIA-Based Work Permits

2. LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

LMIA-Exempt work permits are permits that are issued without requiring an LMIA to be completed. Individuals will need a valid job offer to apply for this type of permit. This category includes the following work permits:

  • International Agreements and Arrangements
  • Intra-Company Transfer
  • Significant Benefit Exemption
  • Live-in Caregiver
  • Reciprocal Employment Exemption
  • International Experience Canada Program
  • Competitiveness and Public Policy Exemption
LMIA-Exempt Work Permits

3. Open Work Permits

Open Work Permits cover a broad category of work permits. This includes:

Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP): Issued to international students upon completion of their education program in Canada.

Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada: Issued to individuals whose spouse or common-law partner has been sponsored for Canadian permanent residence.

IEC (working holiday visa): Issued to individuals who qualify under International Experience Canada (IEC) programs.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP): Issued to individuals who would like to extend their existing work permit as they await the decision on their permanent residence application.

Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker: Issued to a spouse or common-law partner accompanying an international student or worker to Canada.

Open Work Permits

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How to Apply for Your Work Permit in Canada?

The application for a work permit can be completed online at the IRCC website. You will need to provide biometrics and gather documents for your application. Note that the work permit application process may differ depending on the type of work permit you are applying for. Please get in touch with our experts to streamline the work permit application process.

LMIA Process for Employers

NOC Vs. TEER System

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) classify occupations using two systems: the NOC and TEER.

NOC System

NOC stands for National Occupation Code. This system has been used for several decades and categorizes occupations based on skill level and skill type. The skill levels under the NOC system are described below:

  • 0: Managerial occupations
  • A: Occupations that typically require university education
  • B: Occupations that typically require vocational education, apprenticeship training, or college education.
  • C: Occupations that typically require completion of secondary school and/or training specific to an occupation
  • D: Occupations where on-the-job training is usually provided

TEER System

IRCC introduced the TEER system in 2022. This system is set to replace the NOC’s O, A, B, C, D categories. The TEER will classify occupations using the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. A breakdown of these classes is described below:

  • TEER 0: Management occupations
  • TEER 1: Occupations requiring a university degree or multiple years of TEER category two experience in a specific occupation (if applicable).
  • TEER 2: Occupations requiring the completion of a two or three-year post-secondary education program. It also includes the completion of an apprenticeship training program lasting two to five years. This TEER includes occupations with supervisory or major safety duties, such as police officers and firefighters. Occupations with multiple years of TEER category three experience in a specific occupation (if applicable) are also accepted.
  • TEER 3: Occupations requiring completion of a two-year education program at a post-secondary institution such as a community college, CÉGEP, or institute of technology. It also includes an apprenticeship training program shorter than two years in length. On-the-job training lasting more than six months, training courses, or specific professional experience along with a high school diploma are also accepted. Occupations with several years of TEER category four experience in a specific occupation are also accepted (if applicable).
  • TEER 4: Occupations requiring completion of secondary school or featuring multiple weeks of on-the-job training along with a high school diploma. Similarly, multiple years of TEER category five experience in a specific occupation are also accepted (if applicable).
  • TEER 5: Requires only a brief job demonstration. No formal academic education is required.

How ELAAR can help you?

If you want to apply for a work permit, you will require expert guidance to avoid any rejections. It becomes necessary as there are several types of work permits with specific requirements. ELAAR has a team of Canadian work permit experts with significant experience. We will ensure a hassle-free work visa process for you. Get in touch with our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants now.

FAQS: Work Permit

Who is the perfect candidate for the Canadian work permit?

There is no single type of ideal candidate for a Canadian Work Permit. You may be eligible in multiple work permit categories if you are highly educated and work in an occupation that would benefit Canadians.

How long will it typically take to process a work permit in Canada?

IRCC may take anywhere from 1 to 9 months to process a work permit. Prospective workers are advised to apply for their work permit as soon as possible.

What is the general processing fee for the Canadian work permit?

The work permit processing fee is currently $CAD 155.

How long does a Canada work visa last?

There is no standard duration for the validity of a Canada work visa. Some are set to expire within 6 months of being issued. Others may be valid for multiple years.

Is proof of funds required for a Canadian work permit?

You may be required to provide proof of funds for certain types of work permits.

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Do you need any help with your Canada work visa?

Applicants who require assistance with their Canada work visa or Canada work permit application should get in touch with Elaar immigration. Our immigration experts can help you decide which type of work visa is best for you. They can then assist you with optimizing your application.

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