This page describes how to apply for a work permit.
Remember that in most cases, you have to apply for a work permit from outside Canada. Your employer also has a role in the application process.
If you apply to work temporarily in Quebec, you must meet all the federal requirements and you must get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (Certificate of acceptance) from the province.
1. Check the application processing times. How long it takes to process your application varies depending on where you applied. You can check application processing times in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.
You can speed up the process by:
including all the necessary information with your application notifying the visa office of any changes to the information on your application avoiding unnecessary inquiries to the visa office providing photocopies and documents that are clear and legible providing certified English or French translations of documents, where required, and applying from a country where you are a citizen or permanent resident.
Your application will take longer to process if the visa office has to take extra steps to assess your case. For example, extra steps are required if:
there are criminal or security problems with your application your family situation is not clear because of an event, such as a divorce or an adoption that is not yet complete or child custody issues that have not been resolved the local visa office has to consult with other Citizenship and Immigration Canada offices in Canada or abroad you require a medical examination.
2. Obtain an application package. The package includes the application guide and all the forms you need to fill out. Download and print the application package.
Before you fill out the application, you will need:
a written job offer from your employer proof that you meet the requirements of the job (for example, proof of certain education or work experience) and the positive labour market opinion on your job offer from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), if one is required. In some cases, you can submit your application while you wait for the positive labour market opinion. See Concurrent processing in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.
If you need an HRSDC opinion, it is up to your employer to get it and send it to you. For more information about HRSDC opinions, go to Frequently asked questions in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.
Remember, even if HRSDC has given a positive labour market opinion, there is no guarantee that you will get a work permit.
Some jobs do not require an HRSDC opinion. For more information on those jobs, go to Work permit: Who can apply in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page. For these jobs you will require:
proof of identity in the form of a valid passport or travel document that guarantees that you will be able to return to the country where it was issued and if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must also provide proof of your present immigration status in that country.
After your employer gets confirmation that you can be offered a job, the employer will send you the labour market opinion confirmation letter. You must submit the detailed job offer with the application.
Now you can apply for a work permit at a Canadian mission abroad.
3. Determine where you will submit your application. You must submit your application to the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live. You must have legal status in your country of residence. For a list of visa offices, go to Find a CIC office in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page.
In some cases, you can apply for a work permit when you arrive in Canada, or from within Canada. For details, go to Work permit: Who can apply in the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.
4. Determine if you need a passport and a temporary resident visa. If you want to work in Canada, you must meet the requirements for a work permit. You must also meet the general requirements for entering Canada. This means that you might also need a passport and a temporary resident visa.
A temporary resident visa is an official document that is placed in your passport. To find out if you need a visa to enter Canada, see the Visit section on the left-hand side of this page.
If you require a temporary resident visa, you do not have to apply for it separately or pay a separate fee. If your work permit is approved, the visa will be issued at the same time as the documentation you need to enter Canada as a worker.
If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States, Greenland or Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, you do not need a passport or a temporary resident visa to enter Canada. You must, however, provide proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national identity card or an alien registration card.
5. Pay the correct processing fee. There is a fee for applying for a work permit.
For current rates, go to Pay my application fees in the I Need To… section on the right-hand side of this page. In many countries, the fee can be paid in the local currency.
Check the website of the visa office responsible for the country or region where you live for more information on fees, including how to pay them.
Your fee will not be refunded, even if your application is not accepted.
6. Submit the application form. Once you are sure your application form is complete, sign and date it, and check that you have included all the required documents and fees. Make sure you have the right receipt for the fees.
Remember, your application will be returned to you if it is not properly completed or if documents are missing.