فارسی

Work Visa

Every year, over 150,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or to work as live-in caregivers.

We invite you to start your job search in Canada with our free Canada Job Search Tool.

A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada. For a list of jobs that don't require work permit, Click Here.

If you intend to work in the province of Quebec, you must obtain a Application for Acceptance Certificate (CAQ) before a work permit can be issued.

You almost always have to apply for a work permit from outside Canada. Sometimes, you can apply from inside or as you enter Canada. Many of the requirements are the same.

Eligibility to apply from outside Canada

To apply for a work permit from outside Canada, you must submit the following documents:

  • a job offer from a Canadian employer
  • a completed application, and
  • written confirmation from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive labour market opinion. In some cases, you do not need a labour market opinion. For the list of jobs Click Here.

You must also do the following:

  • Satisfy a visa officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your work permit.
  • Show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family while you are in Canada.
  • Respect the law and have no criminal record. (You may have to provide a police clearance certificate.)
  • Show that you are not a risk to the security of Canada.
  • Be in good health. (You may have to have a medical examination.)

Eligibility to apply from inside Canada

You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:

  • you have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit
  • you have a work permit for one job but want to apply for a work permit for a different job
  • you have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more or
  • you are in Canada because you have already applied for permanent residence from inside Canada. You will have to pass certain stages in the main application process before you can be eligible for a work permit.

You must also have the following documents:

  • a job offer from a Canadian employer
  • a completed application, that shows that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and
  • written confirmation from HRSDC that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive labour market opinion.
    • In most cases, it is up to your employer to get that written confirmation.
    • In some cases, you do not need a labour market opinion. For the list of jobs Click Here.

You must also do the following:

  • Satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your work permit.
  • Show that you have enough money to support yourself and your family while you are in Canada.
  • Respect the law and have no criminal record. (You may have to provide a police clearance certificate.)
  • Show that you are not a risk to the security of Canada.
  • Be in good health. (You may have to have a medical examination.)

Eligibility to apply as you enter Canada

You can apply for a work permit as you enter Canada, but only if you meet the following requirements:

  • you are temporary resident visa exempt and
  • your job does not need a labour market opinion from HRSDC (Click Here for a list of jobs) or
  • you hold a labour market opinion from HRSDC.

Note: if your job does need a labour market opinion, you can apply as you enter Canada as long as the positive opinion has been issued to you before you enter (except for live-in caregivers and seasonal agricultural workers).

Special categories

Certain categories of workers have their own eligibility requirements and may not require a work permit, or they may have work permits approved more quickly. In some cases, this may depend on the country in which they live.

Live-in Caregivers

Live-in caregivers are individuals who are qualified to provide care for children, elderly persons or persons with disabilities in private homes without supervision. Live-in caregivers must live in the private home where they work in Canada.

Both the employer and the employee must follow several steps to meet the requirements of the Live-In Caregiver Program.

To work as a live-in caregiver in Canada, you must make an application to the Live-In Caregiver Program. If your application is successful, you will receive a work permit.

You must meet certain requirements to be eligible for the Live‑in Caregiver Program in Canada.

You will need:

  • A positive Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from an employer in Canada
  • A written contract with your future employer, signed by you and your employer
  • Successful completion of the equivalent of a Canadian secondary school education
  • At least six months’ training or at least one year of full-time paid work experience as a caregiver or in a related field or occupation (including six months with one employer) in the past three years
  • Good knowledge of English or French
  • A work permit before you enter Canada

Business people

Business people include certain people entering Canada under the following free trade agreements:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
  • Other Free Trade Agreements
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS)

Individuals under the above agreements can gain quicker, easier temporary entry into Canada to conduct business or investment activities. Business people covered by these agreements may not need a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC).

Important: Business visitor is a separate category with separate requirements. Business visitors do not require a work permit. 

For more information on Work Visa, see our Work Visa FAQ.