There are some eligibility requirements applicable to all work permit candidates. They need to:

  • convince the immigration agent they will move out of Canada at the expiration of the Work Permit,
  • prove they possess the necessary funds to support themselves and the members of their family, (i) for the time spent Canada, and (ii) to come back to their home country,
  • respect Canadian laws and not be involved in any illegal activity,
  • not be considered a threat to the safety and security of Canada, 
  • be healthy and, if necessary, undergo medical exams, 
  • exclude to accept a job from any ineligible employer,
  • exclude to accept a job from employers who provide sex trade related services (escorting, strip tease, erotic massages and dance, etc.), and
  • provide the immigration agent with any other requested proof to be allowed entry to Canada.

You can work for the Canadian employer of your choice with the Open Work Permit, excluding:

  • ineligible employers (check the list here), or
  • employers who provides sex trade related services (escorting, strip tease, erotic massages and dance, etc.).

The Open Work Permit can only be issued in some distinct circumstances, such as if you are a dependent family member of permanent residents, a participant in the Working Holiday of International Experience Canada, a refugee or refugee claimant, applying for the Bridging Open Work Permit, etc. You can find if you are eligible by answering a few questions here.

You can only work for one employer, during a set amount of time, and sometimes in the same location with an Employer-Specific Work Permit. The conditions of employment are written in the Permit, and include the employer’s name and the period of employment.

You have two options to apply from outside Canada, either (i) online, or (ii) on paper:

  • To apply online, you need to have access to a scanner or camera, and a credit/debit card. You can begin your application here. You will have to create a GCKey account (make sure you memorize your 4 questions and answers you choose, as each time you connect to your account, you will be asked one of these questions after entering your login and password). You will need to fill in the forms, sign them, scan them and upload them. You will also have to upload all required supporting documentation.

  • To apply on paper, you will need to fill in the forms and sign them. Then find your country’s Visa Application Center (Vfs.Global) and bring them with all required supporting documentation.
Honestly, applying in paper is way easier and reassuring than online for the following reasons:
  • Visa Application Centers can answer questions in local languages and make sure that applications are complete.
  • Visa Application Centers can provide application photographs and photocopies for a fee, thus making sure your photographs are acceptable.
  • You can pay in cash in Visa Application Centers.
  • If applying online and need a Temporary Resident Visa, you will still need to bring your passport to the Visa Application Center (for them to send it to the Canadian Consulate) and pay a fee almost the same as when applying directly with them. You will just be able to save a few bucks (less than $5), it is not worth it.

The case of Quebec is special. In addition to the aforementioned procedures relating to the Work Permit issued by the federal government of Canada, it will first be necessary to apply for a “Certificat d’Acceptation du Québec (CAQ)”.

Only after having the CAQ will it be necessary to begin the Work Permit process. As of January 1, 2019, the fees of the CAQ are 199 CAD.

You can find more information on the CAQ application procedure here.

Depending on the country of nationality on your passport, you may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints scanning and photograph) to a Visa Application Center, for a fee of $85. You can check here if you need to provide them.

You have to go to a doctor authorized by IRCC to undergo Medical Exams. Check out our dedicated medical exams guide for more information.

In regards to forms to fill and supporting documents to provide, we invite you to check our dedicated guide on the matter.
You might be required to provide a police certificate for the countries you have lived in. You need to wait to be asked to provide the police certificate(s). Check here on how to get the right police certificate by country.
The fees for a Work Permit are $155. If the application is for an Open Work Permit, an additional $100 will have to be paid, which makes a total of $255.

Processing times depend on the country from where you are applying.

​You can find out your country’s processing times here. You need to select “Visiting, studying, working temporarily”, then “Work Permit”, then choose the country you are applying from.