Getting A Canadian Work Permit (Visa) The Right Way

Before migrating to Canada with the aim of getting a job, all Non-Canadians are expected to apply for a work permit. But in some few cases, foreign nationals can apply directly at the Canadian border.


A Canadian work permit is a document issued by the Canadian visa office to an individual who is not a Canadian citizen and doesn’t have permanent resident (P.R) visa, and this permit is required regardless of the employer’s Nationality.

To apply for a Canadian work permit at the Visa office, the applicant must be a legal citizen of the country they are applying from (e.g: A Kenyan must apply from the Canadian embassy in Kenya) or they are constitutionally admitted into the country they are applying from (e.g.: An Italian immigrant lawfully staying in Nigeria can apply at the Canadian embassy in Nigeria).





  • Applicants are often required to provide a written job proposal or job stipulation of employment from an employer in Canada before they can apply for a Canadian Work permit.

Your intending Canadian based employer also needs labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the Canadian Government gives this document, and it authorizes your intending employer the right to hire foreigners.

  • The applicant must provide documented evidence that they are qualified for the job requirements.
  • Applicants without a job offer (proposal) from a Canadian employer are required to apply for an “Open Work Permit”. This permit lets you work for any employer in Canada.


Customarily, applying for a Canadian work permit is done outside Canada, but sometimes you can apply at the Canadian border or from inside Canada. The application process and time of approval are dependent on the nature of the work you want to apply for when in Canada.

Although all immigrants are allowed to choose their mode of applying for work Visa, some applicants must apply for “Open Work Permit” outside Canada if:

  • They will be working as Seasonal agricultural farmers/workers.
  • The applicant has been convicted of a past crime.
  • The applicant will be working as a live-in worker or a personal worker for households.
  • The applicant needs a temporary resident visa.


An applicant outside Canada can apply for a work permit either Online or on Paper, but Online application is always advisable because:

  • Instant delivery.
  • Faster processing time.
  • Avoid delays in processing due to incomplete documents.
  • Passport not needed at the initial stage.
  • Easy access to application status via the applicant’s online application portal.


Before applying online, ensure you have the following:

  • A scanner or Good quality Camera.
  • Valid ATM Card (Debit or Credit).
  • Complete Forms and Documents.

The following Forms and Documented are to be printed online from the Visa application website (

  • Family information form.
  • Statutory declaration of common union (marriage certificate) if available.
  • Personal Information Release Form.
  • Payment receipt (application processing fee, biometrics fee, and open work permit holder fee).
  • Travel Documents (Passport number, passport photographs, birth certificate).
  • Documented proof of qualification to the job being offered.
  1. Go to and select English or French as your preferred language.
  2. Click on “Work” and then select “Get a work permit” and the “Temporary worker”.
  3. Click on “Apply for work permit”.
  4. Create an account or sign in if you already have an existing CIC account.
  5. After successfully creating your CIC account, log in and select “Apply to come to Canada.”
  6. In the next screen, you will be prompted to enter “A personal reference code”, scroll down and select “Visitors visa, study and work permit.”
  7. Answer the few questions that pops up (it is essential to answer them honestly as they would be used for future references), make sure you select “more than 6 months” when asked “how long are you planning to stay in Canada” and select “No” when asked “If you have a job offer in Canada”.
  8. After answering the questionnaire, a “personal reference code” will be generated, copy the code and then paste it in the space provided in step 6.
  9. After that, you will be required to submit some documents, so make sure the following documents have been clearly scanned:
    1. IMM5707E – Family information form.
    2. IMM1295E1 – Educational certificates and history of current and previous employments.
    3. LOE – Letter of explanation (resume, undergraduate, current employer’s job offering letter, bank statement of account).
    4. Medical test receipt (this test would be conducted in a CIC approved hospital only, so ensure you perform all the medical check-ups in the hospitals designated to you, and make sure you book an early appointment because CIC approved medical centres are usually overbooked). Using a family doctor or any physician is totally prohibited, and your application would be rejected.
    5. 35mm X 45mm sized photograph passport.
    6. IMM5257B – Temporary Visa form (a short form that contains the applicant’s basic details).
  10. Type in your name, and answer a security question, as this would serve as your online signature.
  11. Click on “Transmit and pay” and you will be redirected to where payment should be made (Note: only online payments are accepted, and payment is made in USD). The total fee to be paid is $340 (as of September 2019).


All your documents should be in PDF format, anything aside that would be rejected and your visa application may face termination.

After correctly submitting the application to CIC, you are required to go about your normal activities, a letter would be sent to you by mail (containing your application status) this usually takes more than a month after which you are required to send your passport to the closest Canadian embassy in your country for it to be stamped and it would be returned within a week.

It is important to note that:

A work permit does not guarantee permanent residency in Canada or makes you a Canadian citizen.

Your spouse and other family members are allowed to come to Canada with you provided that they have applied for either a work permit or a study visa.

The Canadian Government has the right to revoke and approved work permit if the applicant is found wanting in relation to illegal activities in or outside Canada.

Immigrants that work as caregivers are eligible to apply for a Permanent residence visa provided they meet all requirements.

Employee work permit restricts the applicant to certain types of jobs, while applicants with an open work permit are eligible to work in all fields related to their skills.