You usually need a permit to work in Canada. In some cases, you can work without a permit.

There are two types of work permits: open permits and employer-specific permits.

An open work permit allows you to work for any eligible employer in Canada. You can only get an open work permit in specific situations. For example, spouses, and common law partners, of certain Work Permit holders and Student Permit holders can often obtain an open Work Permit.

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include: the name of the employer you can work for, how long you can work, and the location where you can work.

There are a number of ways to obtain a work permit. An employer linked work permit is usually facilitated by obtaining a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program or an employer linked work permit may be issued under one of the various International Mobility Programs (IMP). The IMP allows employers to hire temporary workers without first obtaining an LMIA.

Working in Canada with a valid work permit can be a step towards Permanent Residence.

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College of Immigration and Citizenship Consultants (Formerly Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council)


Find Your Pathway to Canada! Specializing in Immigration Solutions for Individuals & Employers


Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants