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Work Visa - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a job offer?

A job offer is a genuine offer of employment from a legitimate Canadian employer.

Are there different types of job offers that a Canadian employer can issue?

Yes. There are essentially two types of job offers that a Canadian employer can make: 

  • A temporary job offer is an offer of Canadian employment that is made for a specific period of time – 6 months, 1 year, etc… You can only begin working, in most cases, after you receive a Temporary Work Permit.
  • A permanent job offer is an offer of Canadian employment that is made for an indeterminate period of time. You can only begin working after you receive your Canada Immigration Visa.

What is a Human Resources and Skills Development Canada confirmation?

The confirmation is a letter from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) to your employer stating that having a foreign worker do the job you are going to do will not have a negative impact on the labour market in Canada. The HRSDC confirmation is also called a positive labour market opinion.

Your employer has to apply to get an HRSDC confirmation.HRSDC looks at several factors, including the availability of Canadians, wages and the economic benefit you as a foreign worker might bring to Canada. Once HRSDC has formed an opinion, it then provides advice to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

The HRSDC confirmation is usually given for a specific period of time. The work permit will be issued for the same period. To extend your work permit beyond the specified period, your employer will usually have to get a new confirmation from HRSDC.

What conditions a work permit comes with?

Your work permit may include the following conditions:

  • the type of work you can do
  • the employer you can work for
  • where you can work and
  • how long you can work.

Ther may be more conditions that can be put on a work permit.

Can my spouse or common-law partner and dependent children come with me to Canada?

Your spouse or common-law partner and children can come with you to Canada or visit you in Canada, but they must meet all the requirements for temporary residents to Canada: they must satisfy an officer that they will only stay in Canada temporarily, and they may have to prove that they have no criminal record. If your spouse or common-law partner and children need temporary resident visas, they must also meet all the conditions for obtaining those visas.

If you, your spouse or common-law partner and children all apply together, you do not have to fill out a separate application form for each individual: list their names and the other necessary information about them in the appropriate space on your application. If you need more space, attach a separate piece of paper and indicate the number and letter of the question you are answering.

If your spouse or common-law partner and children all apply separately, they must each fill out an application form.

If your family members want to follow you to Canada later, they must each fill out a separate application form.

Important: You may have to provide a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family members. If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner will be accompanying you to Canada, you may have to complete the form, Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union, and provide the evidence listed in it to support your relationship.

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?

If your spouse or common-law partner wants to work while in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same requirements that you do, including obtaining (if needed) a labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

However, they may qualify for an "open" work permit which allows them to accept any job with any employer. In this case, an LMO would not be required.

Can my dependent children work in Canada?

If your dependent children want to work while in Canada, they must apply for their own work permit. Normally, they must meet the same requirements that you do, including (if needed) a labour market opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

However, in some provinces where an agreement respecting the Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been entered into with the federal government, your dependent children may qualify for a work permit that does not require an LMO. An "open" work permit will allow them to accept any job with any employer.

Can a negative decision on a work permit be appealed?

Under Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, there is no formal right of appeal on temporary resident visa decisions. Instead, applicants can reapply and, whenever possible, a different visa officer will examine the application.

Applicants can also ask for a judicial review through the Federal Court of Canada, if they think the process was not legally or procedurally fair. A lawyer in Canada would act on their behalf.

Will I need a medical examination?

You may need a satisfactory medical assessment to obtain a work permit in some circumstances.

If a medical examination is required, you will be informed by an officer who will send you instructions on how to proceed. The officer's decision is based on the type of job you will have and where you lived in the past year.

Do I need a work permit as a business visitor?

You do not need a temporary work permit unless you are doing work such as executive, managerial, technical or production activities. In these cases, you must get a temporary work permit in addition to the temporary resident visa.

What kind of jobs do not require a work permit?

People in the following categories need a work permit but do not need a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC).

What jobs require a work permit but no labour market opinion?

You may not need a work permit if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Workers covered under international agreements
  • Entrepreneurs and intra-company transferees
  • Participants in exchange programs
  • Co-op students
  • Spouses
  • Academics and students
  • Religious workers
  • Others