What is a work permit?
Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada.
Get the right work permit for your situation
There are 2 types of work permits.
Employer-specific work permit
An employer-specific work permit lets you work in Canada according to the conditions on your work permit, such as
- the name of the specific employer you can work for
- how long you can work
- the location where you can work (if applicable)
Before you submit your application for an employer-specific work permit, the employer who wants to hire you must complete certain steps and give you either a copy of a Labour Market Impact Assessment or an offer of employment number to include in your application.
Open work permit
An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that
- is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or
- regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages
You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.:
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:
- are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
- are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)
- have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
- applied for permanent residence in Canada
- are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
- are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
- are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
- are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
- are under an unenforceable removal order
- are a temporary resident permit holder
- are a young worker participating in special programs