immigrant employees 

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. 

A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada. Some jobs do not require a work permit.

Who can apply

  •  Some temporary workers require a work permit and some do not. For some categories of workers, permits are approved more quickly.
  •  The requirements and processing times depend on the sort of work you will do when you come to Canada.

 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, 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 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 most cases, it is up to your employer to get that written confirmation. Information on the labour market opinion is found under Information for Canadian employers on the right-hand side of this page.
  • In some cases, you do not need a labour market opinion. (See Jobs that require a work permit but no labour market opinion.)

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. See Police Certificates for more information.
  • Show that you are not a risk to the security of Canada.
  • Be in good health. (You may have to have a medical examination.)