Temporary Work Permit

Temporary Work Permit


Each year Canada welcomes to its shores many people who are granted the opportunity to work as temporary workers where they will fill much needed job vacancies. These positions vary greatly across skill levels and cover a wide range of professions. It is noteworthy that the population is aging and these vacancies will become more acute in the coming years. The Canadian government is looking to retain talent that is already working here in Canada; whereas, in other areas of the world, people work for many years only to find that they must ultimately leave what is in effect their home.

Coming to Canada on a Work Permit can be the first step to staying permanently by qualifying under the Canadian Experience Class Program, which is a path to Permanent Residency.


To work in Canada, there is a 2-step process in most cases. The first step generally is for an employer to get a positive LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). This is basically a ruling from the government that gives your employer permission to hire a foreign worker. In some cases, an LMIA will not be required and certain exemptions can be made, but this is generally not the rule. After a positive LMIA is obtained and the employer has been approved, the worker will need to apply for a Work Permit which will then give them the right to come to Canada to work legally. This will then be the final stage in the process and this stage is quite straightforward, but for some nationalities or job categories, it can be processed quicker than others. A note about Spouses and Family: If your spouse/common-law partner and or your dependent children wish to work or study in Canada while you are working here this may be possible but it depends on the skill level of job you are engaged in. If your spouse wants to work in Canada they must apply for their own Work Permit; they must meet the same requirements as you do; this includes getting an LMIA if needed. However your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an Open Work Permit if you are:

  • Approved to work in Canada for six months or longer
  • Doing a job at a high skill level

You do not have to submit any documents from an employer if you are applying for an Open Work permit.


The Work Permit allows you to work in Canada and gain valuable Canadian experience that will build your skills and open up pathways to Permanent Residence should you wish to settle in Canada permanently. Ultimately, this may be the first step to being able to qualify for Permanent Residence under the very popular Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program.


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