Work Visa Permits

Work Visa Permits


Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labour and skill shortages when qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.

NOTE : * If you or a family member are applying for a PR card, you can also apply via an 'Open Work' permit, and if you are American or Mexican, you can fast track the working visa process via the NAFTA agreement.

In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, foreign skilled workers must have a temporary offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be granted a Temporary Foreign Worker Permit by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

There are specific requirements that must be met by the foreign national and the employer under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program ( TFWP ) or the International Mobility Program ( IMP ) .

The Immigration Mobility Program ( IMP ) lets employers hire temporary workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment ( LMIA ). Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on factors such as:
  • Significant benefit
  • Reciprocal employment
  • Charitable and religious workers

Being exempt from obtaining a LMIA does not mean the individual is exempt from obtaining a work permit. All streams on the LMIA exemption list still require the individual to obtain a work permit to work in Canada legally.

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker and to receive a positive LMIA, the Canadian government employee reviewing an application must determine that the hiring of a foreign worker will have a positive or neutral effect on the Canadian labour market.

Among other factors, it must be clear that no qualified Canadians were passed up in favour of the foreign worker, and that the foreign worker will be given a salary and benefits that meet federal and provincial standards.

A positive LMIA is sometimes called a confirmation letter. In addition, employers may be inspected for compliance to government regulations after their employee has begun working in Canada.

If the employer needs an LMIA, they must apply for one. Once an employer gets the LMIA, the worker can apply for a work permit. To apply for a work permit, a worker needs:
  • A job offer letter
  • A contract
  • A copy of the LMIA
  • The LMIA number

Many situations may occur when an individual can perform work in Canada without needing to secure a Temporary Work Permit. An individual who is eligible to work without a work permit may still require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada on a temporary basis.