“How can I get a work visa for Canada?”
“What’s the difference between a work permit and a work visa for Canada?”
We often receive these questions from people who want to work in Canada and ensure they comply with the country’s immigration law.
Navigating the red tape associated with the work visa for Canada can be time-consuming and overwhelming.
This article clears up the confusion between a work permit and a work visa for Canada. Plus, it provides insights into dealing with the application process.
Work Permit Vs. Work Visa for Canada: What’s the Difference?
A work visa for Canada is a travel authorization that permits you to travel to and enter Canada. It is a sticker affixed to your passport that includes relevant information about you as a traveler.
For example, it includes information such as your full name, date of birth, and travel purpose.
A work visa by itself does not grant you the right to work in Canada. Instead, it enables you to legally enter the country.
On the other hand, a work permit is an official document that authorizes you to work and earn an income in Canada, legally.
A work permit does not necessarily grant you the right to travel to and enter Canada.
However, citizens of most countries who wish to enter Canada for work purposes are only required to obtain a work permit. They do not need to submit a separate application for a Canadian visa.
If this situation is applicable to you, you will automatically get a visitor visa upon approval of your work permit.
By answering a few questions online, you can find out if you need a work visa and/or permit for Canada.
You can click the links below to answer the questions:
- For a work visa click here
- For a work permit click here
What Type of Permit Do You Need to Work in Canada?
There are two types of work permits for Canada: employer-specific work permits and open work permits.
An employer-specific work permit, as the name suggests, allows you to work for a specific employer in Canada.
To be eligible for this type of work permit, you must first find a job in Canada.
On the other hand, an open work permit allows you to work for almost any employer in Canada.
Only a few categories of individuals qualify for an open work permit.
For example, you may get an open work permit if you are an international student unable to pay your tuition fees or a protected foreign national.
However, these situations are relatively rare.
This means that in most cases, you must apply for an employer-specific work permit.
Before submitting your application, your employer must obtain a positive LMIA (Labor Market Impact Assessment).
An LMIA is a formal document that certifies the unavailability of Canadian workers for a specific vacancy.
After receiving a positive LMIA, you can proceed to submit your work permit application.
Applying for a Work Permit for Canada
Typically, applicants must submit the application for a Canadian work permit online.
Under certain circumstances, you may also apply on paper at the relevant Canadian Diplomatic Mission.
You can apply on paper if you fall under one of the following categories:
- You have a disability that hinders you from applying online
- You are participating in the Seasonal Agricultural Working Program
- You hold a travel document for refugees, non-national residents, or stateless individuals
To complete your online application, you must create an IRCC account.
You can create your IRCC account by clicking on this link.
After setting up an account with IRCC, you will receive instructions on how to proceed with your application.
The supporting documents for a Canadian work permit may vary based on your nationality and personal circumstances.
However, in most cases, you must submit:
- Passport copy
- A passport-sized picture
- Completed application forms
- Labor Market Impact Assessment (if applicable)
- Employment contract
- Professional résumé
- Marriage certificate (if applicable)
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (if applicable)
- Evidence that you meet the job requirements
- Education diplomas
- Medical check-up (if applicable)
- Evidence of sufficient financial means
- Proof of payment for applicable government fees
You can find information on the required documents by visiting this page and selecting the country you are applying from.
The fee for a work permit in Canada is $155. It can take between 1 and 9 months for your application to be processed.
After Submitting Your Application
After submitting your work permit application, you must provide your biometrics (fingerprints and photo).
You can do this by booking an appointment at an official biometric collection site.
More information on how to give your biometrics can be found here.
If your work permit is approved, you’ll receive an official letter you must present at the port of entry when traveling to Canada.
Using this letter as a basis, you will obtain your work permit on the day you enter the country.