Working Temporarily in Canada
Some temporary workers require a work permit and some do not. (see: Jobs that do not require a work permit)
For some categories of workers, permits are approved more quickly.(see: special categories)
The requirements and processing times depend on the sort of work you will do when you come to Canada.
What you should know
If you want to work in Canada, you must understand the following important information:
- Your employer helps determine if you are eligible. Your employer may need to get a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC). A labour market opinion confirms that the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker. To find more information about which jobs do not require a labour market opinion, see Eligibility to apply.
- To work in Canada, you must meet the general requirements for entering the country and for staying here, in addition to those for getting a work permit. This means you may need a temporary resident visa.
- A work permit is not an immigration document. It does not allow you to live in Canada permanently. To live there permanently, you must qualify under an immigration category, such as skilled worker. Live–in caregivers can stay in Canada permanently if they meet certain requirements.
- If you want your spouse or common–law partner and your dependent children to come with you to Canada, they must apply to do so.
If your family members want to work in Canada
If you are authorized to work in Canada, your accompanying family members may also be able to work here by virtue of the permit you have obtained yourself. No other authorization is required. If they intend to work while in Canada, they should find out if they are eligible for an “open” work permit. Open work permits allow them to work in any job with any employer. An open work permit also means that they may be hired without the employer having to obtain a labor market opinion (the normal authorization required). Certain jobs may require medical checks or licensing from professional organizations. Their work permits will be valid for the duration of your own work permit.
Your spouse’s (and in some cases your children’s) eligibility for open work permits depends on the skill level of your job. You must also be authorized to work in Canada for at least six months. Note that open work permits for dependent children are available on a trial basis in participating provinces only. Accompanying family members must always apply for their own work permit. They should apply for one at the same time as you, before entering Canada. If they only decide to work after they arrive, they can apply once they are here.
If you intend to work in the province of Quebec, you must obtain a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) before a work permit can be issued
Questions about immigration to Canada? Ask our experts.
Ask questions and join in the discussions about immigration to Canada.