Canada boasts a strong and diverse economy with a high standard of workplace safety, competitive wages, and many opportunities for professional growth and development. Canada is actively seeking foreign workers and professionals to help grow its strong workforce.
Nearly 300,000 foreign workers come to work in Canada every year on temporary work permits.
In most cases, to work in Canada, the foreign national need a work permit. However, there are number of circumstances where you may be able to work in Canada without a work permit. In addition, there are number of other ways to work in Canada without undergoing the traditional work permit application process, including work permits granted for working holidays, post-graduate work permits or permits issued under Foreign Trade Agreements (FTA), such as Canada-United States-Mexico (CUSMA), Canada-European Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) etc.
Types of work permits
There are different options for obtaining a Canadian work permit. Some work permits require a job offer from a Canadian employer while, other require that a person has some sort of connection to Canada (e.g., Canadian education, spouse is skilled worker or international student, spousal sponsorship, refugee, etc.). However, work permits can be broadly classified into two groups (Employer/Occupation specific work permits where a job offer from a Canadian employer is required and Open Work Permits those do not require a job offer).
Employer Specific Work permits
Open Work Permits
An open work permit is neither employer nor job-specific, therefore it allows the holder to work for almost any Canadian employer, without first having to obtain a confirmed offer of employment.
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:
General eligibility requirements for work permit. No matter where you apply, you must:
Work Permit at the port of entry
You may apply for a work permit on arrival at a port of entry (POE) in Canada if the following applies:
Work without a Work Permit
In certain unique circumstances, a foreign national may work in Canada without a work permit. Following jobs may not require a work permit to engage in Canadian employment. However, to qualify for a work permit exemption, the job must be on the list and they must meet the additional exemption criteria for their specific job as per International Mobility Program (IMP).