Work Permit Canada

Work Permit

Work permit is given to the individuals who are living in another country and wishing to enter Canada on a temporary basis for work purposes.

There are several documents that need to be presented mandatorily to get an opportunity to work in Canada.

BOWP - Bridging Open Work Permit:

You will be eligible for BOWP, if you are working in Canada with a work permit, which is about to expire, and have submitted the application through Express entry. It bridges the gap between expiration of the work permit and the final decision of your Canada immigration permanent resident.

Applications submitted through the Express Entry systems through the e-APR (electronic - Application for Permanent Residence) would get an acknowledgment letter. The letter can be accessed through your ‘MyCIC’ account. A file number would be generated through the letter, as an acknowledgement. Soon after receiving this letter, you can apply for BOWP if you are spending on your eligibility.

  • Your e-APR application must pass necessary completeness checks to make you eligible for BOWP.
  • Initially, the Immigration officer does an assessment based on the information and details received.
  • If you pass the assessment, the BOWP application will move forward in the step of processing.
  • If in any case, e-APR is found to be incomplete; the Permanent residence application will get rejected, which impacts your BOWP application.
  • Acceptance of a permanent resident permit is very vital to get BOWP approval.
  • In case your work permit got expired, and the e-APR gets rejected, you cannot apply BOWP using the new e-APR application.

The completeness check contains a few important criteria to be met:

  • The applicant should be residing in Canada
  • To be having valid work status, this is going to expire in 4 months.
  • Must be the main applicant of the permanent residence application
  • Should have submitted an open work permit application with an application fee.

LMIA- Based Work Permit - Most of the Temporary Resident Permit Canada needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) document issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). Before submitting an application for LMIA, the employer must advertise his/her profile with job banks as one of the sources. For each temporary foreign worker position applied, an application fee of $1,000 is applied. Positive LMIA document is submitted to the ESDC by the employer based on which the foreign applicant would be allowed to apply for a temporary resident visa. Generally, such permits are provided for one year duration, there are work permits available with duration of 10 days for high demand, high pay, and occupations with a short stay. Such jobs include skilled jobs with 10% more pay bracket and positions under 120 days duration. 

The requirements for LMIA are the same as that of requirements for Express entry and permanent resident Canada. The level of scrutiny is the same by the ESDC for all the applications. All the requirements need to be met mandatorily by foreign applications, and they need to furnish qualification details without fail. 

Owner/Operator LMIA -

For a foreign national, to be eligible as an Owner/Operator, he/she needs to fulfill the following requirements:

  • To possess controlling interest upon 50% of the business
  • Need to be an active person in the management or the senior-most person
  • To be possessing a sound business plan
  • Need to have a plan in employing at least one Canadian resident or permanent resident Canada in the first year
  • To create more employment opportunities or skill transfer for Canadians or permanent resident Canada


  • No need to advertise while you apply for Owner/Operator LMIA
  • Available anywhere in Canada
  • LMIA is valid up to 2 years, and a work permit of 2 years is given by IRCC issues
  • One can become a permanent resident through Express Entry System


  • There is an element of Unpredictability of the program’s end result
  • Employer-specific work permit
  • There would be a risk on investment
  • Tax disadvantages

Global Talent Stream LMIA (Pilot program):  The Global Talent Stream is a new streamlined process, under the temporary foreign worker program. As per this program, highly-skilled global talent people are hired under a two-year pilot. The primary objective of the Global Talent system is to make Canada a leading nation in Innovation. Main aim of this pilot program is to convey the Labour Market Benefits for the Canadian economy and the Canadian Labour Market. Additionally, employers must provide targets and activities linked to each benefit. The employer needs to provide complementary and mandatory benefits to the highly-skilled talents, based on the application category:

Category A:

  • Belongs to the Global Talent Stream by one of their designated partners
  • Unique and specialized talent recruitment
  • Creating jobs with Mandatory benefits

Category B:

  • Only the occupations listed on Global talent occupations
  • Providing mandatory skills like, training investments and increasing skills

This program helps not only in job creation and Investing in skills, but also Knowledge transfer to Canadians and Permanent resident Canada with enhanced performance. A transition plan or Advertising requirements are not needed for this stream. Anyhow, the employer’s progress is monitored in connection to the commitments made in the Labour Market Benefits Plan. Taking all the benefits into consideration, the pilot program might get transitioned into a permanent program. 

LMIA Based Work Permit under PNPs - PNP is the Provincial Nominee Programs offer, which is a provision for professionals under various categories, to make an entry in Canada. This program facilitates those professionals who might not qualify the Express Entry system. 

Note: As an applicant, you have to find a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident Canada to fill the labour shortage form. There needs to be a proper plan to fill out the new LMIA before the due dates. A temporary worker can apply for a work permit extension before the permit expires, he would continue to work in your organization while waiting for the permit extension. Your transition plan must be credible, verifiable and include proper implementation steps for LMIA positions having high-wage roles.

  • Put extra efforts in hiring and training Canadians for long-term purposes
  • To support the high-skilled talent of the foreign worker and help to transition into Permanent resident Canada

Business Expansion through PNPs:

Applicants are authorized by Provinces and Nominees to nominate under the Province Nominee Programs. This inturn, depends upon the economic needs and the labour market of each territory or province.

LMIA - Exempt Work Permit

Few sections in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulation (IRPR) suggest providing IRCC with the regulatory authority. IRPR suggests providing work permits for temporary roles that do not have a dependency on the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

  • R204, R205, R205, R206, R207, R208 sections will allow the employers to undergo, smooth and short LMIA procedures

Anyhow, there are exemptions that are given for certain types of work permits:

  • Start-up visa entrepreneur who do not intend to immigrate to Canada
  • The key employee working in the Start-up visa office
  • For employees belonging to International organizations divided based on the International Mobility Program (IMP) and International, Non-trade related agreements.

Intra - Company Transfer (ICT) -

LMIA-exempt applications tend to establish a relationship between the parent company/affiliate or branch outside Canada with that of inside Canada. For an applicant to become eligible for this, Intra Company Transfer, he/she must be employed with the parent/branch/affiliate company, for a minimum of one year in the same position. The personnel who get transferred to Canada would get a chance to join their family members for the duration they work in Canada.

There are two-phases for LMIA exempt Applications:

  1. An offer of employment needs to be submitted to the IRCC, along with submission of employer compliance fee. At the same time, the foreign national needs to be provided with an employment number.
  2. Need to submit, work permit application, visitor visa of each family member, Work permit for spouse along with dependent children study permit or whatever applicable as per situation.

Note: A two-week application processing will be needed if your job is at the level of NOC 0 or NOC A.

The relevant application must be submitted online completely, along with the payment of the application fee. 

Intra-Company Transfer Work Permits – (Start-Up )

The start-up company needs to register in Canada and be incorporated in Canada before applying for LMIA exempt work permit. This would ensure the relationship between entities is established with the qualifying company.

International Experience Canada (IEC) -

This particular work permit is applicable for foreign nationals, whose respective countries have an agreement to apply for an IEC work permit. Young people between 18 and 35 years from eligible countries are eligible to apply to this. There are three IEC categories; the three categories may not be applicable to all the countries.

  1. Working Holiday Category - This provides an open work permit
  2. Young professionals - Employer specific work permits
  3. International Co-op internship - Employer specific work permits

It has to be noted that the eligibility criteria and categories for each country keep changing.


An employer must apply for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIAs) before proceeding to hire a foreign worker. To get a positive LMIA, employers need to furnish details proving there is no permanent resident Canada or Canadian available to hire for the designated role.

The following should be shown in the LMIA application:

  • Should furnish about their efforts in hiring Canadian/Permanent resident Canada
  • There should be consistency in wages offered, with the current wage rate paid to the Canadian/Permanent residents for the same role in the region
  • Work conditions should be as per the current Labour Market Standards
  • Details of the potential benefits such as job creation, skill development for hiring a foreign worker must be shown
  • Employers must show their increased efforts in hiring Canadian/Permanent residents for long-term, with the transition plans for High-wage jobs.

The positive LMIA is then handed over to the foreign worker for submission along with his/her work permit application. If granted, the permit would be given for one year. For each temporary foreign worker position applied, the applicant needs to pay an application fee of $1,000. There are work permits available with a duration of 10 days for the roles which have high demand, high pay, and occupations with the shortest duration. This includes the skilled jobs that have 10% more pay bracket and for the positions that are having lesser than 120 days duration.