Work in Canada: Visas and Permits for Foreigners

Published on 13/12/2021

Canada – a dreamland to work for everyone; are you one of those dreaming of working in Canada and pursuing a new career? In this case, you will need a Canadian work visa, a permit that makes work in Canada for foreigners legal. There may be some cases when you can work without a permit; we will touch on these cases in this article.

There is a continuous inflow of applications of many foreign workers applying for Canada visas. They are looking for job opportunities that come with great benefits offered by the so-called best place to live in the world; Canada. 

Getting a good job in Canada is a dream come true for almost everyone worldwide. The attractive national average salary of approximately $54,630 per year and a low 6.0 % unemployment rate (November 2021) amidst the pandemic explain it all.

Table of Contents

The 2 Types of Work Visas in Canada

You may get a Canadian work permit in two ways. The first group of Visas is just for six months or less for temporary workers; the second group of Visas is for those immigrating to Canada because they have found a suitable job or finding a Permanent Job in Canada.

Temporary Work Visas

A Temporary Work Visa for Canada provides a Work Permit that lets you work for just a short period and will expire after a few months or years, depending on the type you have. Plus, you can’t claim Canadian benefits such as health coverage nor apply for Canadian citizenship. Once your Canadian work visa expires, you may reapply for another one or return to your home country.

You may only work temporarily in Canada for six months or less, or up to four years, including all the extensions you may be approved. Although, this is not always the case and may depend on your origin country and which type of Visa you have. Of course, you can’t continue staying and working in Canada once your Visa expires; otherwise, you may get deported and get banned from coming back to Canada.

Permanent or Immigrant Work Visas

The second type of Visa is for those immigrating to Canada because they have found a suitable job or finding a Permanent Job in Canada through the following different programs of Canada.

If you are a Canadian Permanent Visa holder, you can work legally in Canada. The Visa allows you to stay in Canada permanently and may choose to move to any Canadian province to live, work, and study.

Work in Canada Today
Getting a Canadian work visa or permit allows you to travel anywhere within Canada!

Canada Work Permit Category or Types

Open Work Permits

This permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for the following employers:

  • Listed in the Canadian government as non-compliant employers 
  • Those engage in stripteasing, erotic dancing, escort services, or erotic massages business.

It is not job-specific, unlike all other work permits which are issued for the holder to work for one employer only. You may work and change employers if you have an Open Work Permit, as long as it is still valid.

You must meet several sets of criteria to be eligible for an open work permit. One of the requirements can be your situation, whether you can apply for the permit or not. Check for eligibility and requirements. 

Employer-specific work permits

As it indicates, it allows you to work per what is stated on your work permit, which includes:

  • Your employer’s name
  • Period of how long you can work
  • The location where you can work (as applicable)

Canadian employers need specific workers, and they hire temporary foreign workers to fill them. It provides a good opportunity to work in Canada before finally deciding on permanent residency.

If the occupation is listed, you don’t need the Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); through the International Mobility Program (IMP). Although, you can still get this type of permit regardless if you don’t fit in any categories listed. But you will need to have LMIA beforehand. The LMIA is a document that a Canadian employer needs to get before hiring a foreign worker. Check if you are eligible for this type of permit.

Work and Live in Canada
Obtaining a Canadian work permit or visa provides you with a chance to bring your family with you as a dependent.

Canada Work Permit: Fees and Durations


The validity of the new open work visa is up to December 31, 2022; for critical employees and foreign student graduates. For those Temporary Residents applying for Permanent Residency, application to the new open work permit began on July 26. They can now add family members to the bridging open work permit.

How to prolong your work permit, once it expires? Check this article for step-by-step instructions on extending your Canadian work permit.


Open Work Permit Fees:

  • CAD155 for Work Permit (including extensions – per person)
  • CAD 465 for Work Permit (including extensions) – per group (3 or more performing artists)
    (It covers the maximum payment for three or more groups of performing artists applying at the same time and place.)   
  • CAD 100 for Open work permit holder
  • CAD 355 to Restore your status as a worker

(Restore your status at CAD 200 + get a new work permit at CAD155)