Temporary Foreign Workers -Work Permit

Temporary Foreign Workers Infographic

How to get a Canadian work permit -Infographic Description (April 25 Update).


To hire a temporary foreign worker, you must have looked to hire a Canadian, permanent resident or foreign worker in Canada

Some jobs require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) which has a maximum of six-month validity period. The LMIA fee is $1,000 for every temporary foreign worker position requested.

For some jobs, employers do not require an LMIA to hire a foreign worker. Certain categories of workers may be exempt from the LMIA requirement due to the job being in the interest of Canada, or because it falls under an international trade agreement, or an agreement between the federal government and a provincial or territorial government.

Once the LMIA is granted, the Canadian employer can provide a temporary job offer to the foreign skilled worker. The employer must send a copy of the positive LMIA along with a detailed job offer letter to the foreign skilled worker.

With these documents, the foreign skilled worker can apply to ESDC for a Canada Temporary Work Permit. If the employer is hiring in Quebec, the worker may also need a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ).


Depending upon the foreign worker’s country of citizenship, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) may also need to be obtained in order to enter Canada.

Starting February 21, 2015, employers hiring foreign nationals who are exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process will be required to submit information about their business or organization, the Offer of Employment form, and pay a fee ($230) to CIC.

Work Permit

A work permit cumulative duration is 4-year maximum.

  1. A) Open work permit

An open work permit should not be issued unless the person concerned may be issued a work permit that is exempt from a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

  1. B) Open/unrestricted work permit

The employer, location and occupation are unrestricted (National Occupational Classification code 9999).

  1. C) Open/occupation-restricted work permit

The employer is open (or unspecified). However, an occupation restriction must be specified because the person cannot work in jobs where the protection of the public health is required.

Authorization to work without a work permit

R186(a)—Business visitor

R186(b)—Foreign representatives and R186(c)—Family members of foreign representatives

R186(d)—Military personnel

R186(e)—Foreign government officers

R186(f)—On-campus employment

R186(g)—Performing artists

R186(h)—Athletes and team members

R186(i)—News reporters, media crews

R186(j)—Public speakers

R186(k)—Convention organizers


R186(m)—Judges, referees and similar officials

R186(n)—Examiners and evaluators

R186(o)—Expert witnesses or investigators

R186(p)—Health care students

R186(q)—Civil aviation inspector

R186(r)—Aviation accident or incident inspector


R186(t)—Emergency service providers

R186(u)—Implied status

R186(v)—Off-campus work

R186(w)—Off-campus work (transition to post-graduation status)

Assessing farm work


A foreign national may apply for an open work permit outside of Canada, at a port of entry or after arrival to Canada.

A) From outside of Canada

Gather Documents

Apply online or on paper

Pay a $155 fee

Submit the Application

B) As you enter Canada

You can ask to be allowed to work in Canada as you enter Canada but only if:

you do not need a visa,

you already hold a valid medical certificate, if you need it for your job, and

your employer does not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) for your job (with some exceptions) or you already have an LMIA.

C) Inside Canada

You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if you:

  • are currently in Canada and have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit,
  • have graduated from a program at a
    • Canadian university,
    • community college,
    • CÉGEP,
    • publicly funded trade/technical school or
    • other eligible school,
  • have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more, or
  • are in Canada because you have already applied for permanent residence from inside Canada (you will have to pass certain stages in the main application process to be eligible for a work permit).


A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer will issue the Canada Temporary Work Permit at the point of entry when the foreign worker arrives in Canada.

Starting February 21, 2015, a fee of $100 will be collected, from open work permit applicants. This fee will be paid at the same time as the work permit processing fee and can be paid online.






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