Each year, more than 100,000 temporary foreign workers go to Canada to fill job shortages in some sectors/industries. 

Most of the time, a foreign worker will need a Work Permit to be allowed to have a job in Canada. There are, however, a set of circumstances where a foreign worker would not need a Work Permit (performing artists, athletes, news reporters, business visitors, etc).

Besides, there are other possibilities to work in Canada without going through the classic Work Permit process, including International Experience Canada (IEC) program, the Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), or permits that fall under Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), such as NAFTA.

If you have any of the questions below, feel free to check out our articles below for more detailed information:

  • I have a job offer, do I apply for a Work Permit? 
  • Am I eligible to the International Experience Canada (IEC) program? How do I apply?
  • Is my country eligible for the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program (SAWP)?
  • Does my country have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with Canada? Am I eligible for a waiver of the Work Permit?
  • My Work Permit has almost expired and I have applied for Permanent Residence, can I stay in Canada? And how?

If you are looking for a job, you can apply to online job postings, on Job Bank for example. You need to understand that finding a job when you do not have the legal documents allowing you to work in Canada is difficult, but not impossible. You have to check the in-demand jobs in each province and see if you have the necessary qualifications to apply for them. 
Another option is to look for Designated Employers of the Atlantic Provinces. Those register with the government as looking for foreign talent to fill their human resources needs.

If you have a Canadian job offer, you will have to apply for a Work Permit. If you and your job offer are eligible to Express Entry and/or Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), you could come to Canada with your Permanent Residence in hand.

If you are under 30 or 35 (depending on the country) AND from select countries that signed agreements with the government of Canada, you could be eligible to an Open Work Permit under the Working Holiday category of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. 

If this is the case, and you are from one the countries that signed an agreement with Canada, you could be eligible to an Employer-Specific Work Permit under the Young Professionals or International Co-op Internship categories of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

In order to stay in Canada legally, under wha is called “implied status”, you have to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit. 

If you are from the 12 countries that signed an agreement with the government of Canada, you can apply for the Seasonal Agriculture Worker Program.

Under the Free Trade Agreements signed between Canada and these countries, you could be granted a Work Permit without the need to have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA takes time and money and is not necessarily granted.