Work in Canada

Work in Canada as a temporary foreign worker

To work in Canada, a foreign national must obtain a work permit. This document authorizes you to legally work in the country and regulates the condition of your stay, specifying the employer, location and trade you can work in Canada.

Types of Work Permits

There are several different types of work permits: “open” and “closed”.

Open Work Permit, which allows you to work for any employer in Canada. This includes:

  • Post-Graduate Work Permit, a type of an open work permit for international graduates;
  • Bridging work permit, a type of an open work permit for foreign workers, whose application for permanent residence is under review;
  • Work permits for sponsored inland Spouses/Common-Law Partners while their sponsorship application is under review.

Closed work permits are employer-specific. They allow you to work solely for your employer.

Programs for foreign workers

The whole immigration system of Canada is based on the need to cover the shortages of Canada’s labour market. Canada needs immigrants to work. For that reason, the Government established multiple programs for foreign workers. Almost all of them are included in the two umbrella programs – Temporary Foreign Workers Program (TFWP) and International Mobility Program (IMP).

Temporary Foreign Workers Program

The main difference between these two programs is that the Temporary Foreign Worker Program allows Canadian employers to hire temporary workers only based on a positive Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIA). Work permits issued under the TFWP are employer-specific. This means you can work solely for the employer mentioned in your work permit and only in the location specified there.

As of September 2019, according to the official data, IRCC issued work permits to 84,145 foreign workers in this program. This includes workers who came to Canada in such categories of TFWP as Live-In Caregivers, Caregivers, Agricultural Workers, and all other Temporary Foreign Workers with LMIA.

International Mobility Program

The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows Canadian employers to hire temporary foreign workers without a need to obtain a positive LMIA. Work permits issued under the IMP may be open or closed, depending on the requirements of each program or stream.

As of September 2019, according to the official data, Canada issued 229,320 foreign workers in the framework of this program.

International Mobility Program includes several programs for foreign workers. The most popular of them are:

  • International Experience Canada – this program is aimed at youth mobility and cultural exchange between Canada and over 30 other countries and targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35;
  • USMCA Free Trade Agreement, former North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), – this agreement allows Canadians, Americans, and Mexicans to get employment in each of these countries under certain conditions;
  • Canada–European Union Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (CETA) – this agreement allows Canadians and citizens of the countries of the European Union to get employment in each of these countries under certain conditions

Do you have an employer who is ready to hire you? Intercontinental Global Immigration Solutions Corporation will help you to obtain a Canadian Work Permit to legally work in Canada.


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