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Work in Canada

Work Permit

A work permit is a written authorization that is:

  • issued by an officer that allows a person who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident to work in Canada;

  • needed if you want to work in Canada, even if your employer is not in Canada;

  • usually valid only for a specific employer, job and length of time;

  • issued based on a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), or an Offer of employment from an LMIA-exempt employer.

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:

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP)

The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from eligible Canadian designated learning institutions (DLIs) to obtain an open work permit to gain valuable Canadian work experience. 

With a post-graduation work permit, as with all open work permits, graduates can

  • work full time

  • work part time

  • be self-employed

Post-graduation work permits are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessments.

A post-graduation work permit may be issued for a minimum of 8 months up to a maximum of 3 years.​

Eligibility Requirements

You may apply for a work permit from outside Canada, from inside Canada, or when you enter Canada at a port of entry.  Regardless of where you apply or which type of work permit you apply for, you must

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;

  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;

  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to submit a police clearance certificate);

  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;

  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;

  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;

  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and

  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

Apply for a Work Permit

Apply from outside Canada


In most cases, you need to give biometrics


An officer will check

You may also be asked to

  • go to an interview with our officials in your country, or

  • send more information

Apply from inside Canada


You may need to give biometrics, if required. Find out what to do for your biometrics.


An officer will check

Canadian Government Fee 

Work permit (including extensions) – per person: $155

Open work permit holder: $100

Restore your status as a worker: $355

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