is an activity for which wages or commission is earned, or that competes
directly with activities of Canadian citizens or permanent residents in the
Canadian Labour Market.
is a work permit?
written authorization to work in Canada issued by an officer to a person who
is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. It is required
whether or not the employer is in Canada. Usually, it is valid only for a
specified job and length of time. A work permit may be issued based on labour
market opinion (HRDC confirmation) or may be issued on the basis of other
is an Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) confirmation?
HRDC confirmation is the opinion provided by Human Resources Development
Canada (HRDC) to the officer which enables them to determine whether the
employment of the foreign worker is likely to have a positive or negative
impact on the labour market in Canada. An HRDC confirmation may be required in
order for a work permit to be issued.
HRDC confirmation process is started by the prospective employer who contacts
HRDC to get a job offer form. When the form is completed and submitted, HRDC
considers several factors, including the availability of Canadians and the
offered wages as well as the economic benefit the foreign worker would bring.
HRDC then provides advice to the officer.
HRDC confirmation is typically given for a specific period of time, and the
work permit will be issued to coincide with this period. Renewal of a work
permit beyond the specified period will therefore likely require a new opinion
requires a work permit?
Anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident who wishes
to work in Canada needs to be authorized to do so. Depending on the nature of
the activity, in some cases the person is authorized to work by virtue of the
Regulations themselves. But in most cases, he or she will need to obtain a
work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada to work legally in Canada.
You may obtain further details on persons exempt from obtaining a work permit
by visiting our Web site or by contacting a visa office. The requirements to
obtain a work permit are outlined in the following pages of this guide.
should I apply?
can apply for your work permit as soon as you receive written evidence of your
job offer or contract of employment or as soon as you receive an HRDC
confirmation. In cases where a HRDC confirmation is not required, you may
apply when you have written evidence of your job offer from your employer.
requirements must I meet to obtain a work permit?
You must show the officer that you meet the
requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
Regulations. You must also:
satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment;
show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members
be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to
provide a Police Clearance Certificate);
not be a risk to the security of Canada;
be in good health (complete a medical examination, if required);
produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your
documents do I need to apply for a work permit?
Complete the application form and provide the following documents listed
Important: Although the documents listed
below are normally needed in support of your
local requirements may also apply. You must satisfy
an officer that you will
Visit the local Web site of
the visa office responsible for your area or contact their office to verify
all required documents, before submitting your application.
Proof of identity
a valid passport or travel document that guarantees re-entry to the country
that issued it;
two recent passport size photos for each family member (the name and date of
birth of the person should be written on the back of each photo); and
Proof of employment in Canada
Your job offer letter or contract from your prospective employer, and the
file number provided by Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) to locate
the labour market opinion (confirmation). Your employer should be able to
provide you with this file identifier,
Evidence that you meet the requirements of the job, possibly including
specific educational requirements or past work experience possibly outlined
in a resume,
Evidence of the Certificat d'acceptation du Quebec (CAQ) issued by the
Ministere des Relations avec les citoyens et de l'Immigration (MRCI), if you
work in Quebec or will be working in Quebec. If you do not need a labour
market opinion (confirmation) you will usually not need a CAQ.
addition, note that:
if you are not a citizen of the country in which you are applying, you must
provide proof of your present immigration status in the country of
if the government that issued your passport or travel document requires a
re-entry permit this must be obtained before you apply for a Canadian visa;
additional documents may be required
I need a medical exam?
some cases you will require a medical examination. If a medical examination is
required, you will be
informed by an officer who will send you
instructions on how to proceed. A medical examination may add
the processing of your application.
officer's decision is based on the type of job you will have and where you
lived in the past year.
you wish to work in health services, child care, primary or secondary
education, you will need a medical examination and a satisfactory medical
assessment before a work permit can be issued to you.
you want to work in agricultural occupations, a medical examination will be
required if you have resided in certain countries.
there any conditions on my work permit?
officer may impose, vary or cancel conditions when issuing a work permit.
These may include one or more of the following:
the type of employment in which you may work;
the employer for whom you may work;
where you may work;
how long you may continue to work.
my spouse or common-law partner and dependent children accompany me to Canada?
spouse or common-law partner and children who wish to visit Canada must apply
for permission to do so. As long as you all apply together it will not be
necessary for each person to fill out separate application forms. List the
names and other information about your family members in the appropriate space
on the application. If you require more space, attach a separate piece of
paper and indicate the number and letter that you are answering.
Family members are the immediate members of your family. Your husband, wife or
common-law partner is your dependant. A common-law partner is a person of the
opposite or same sex who is currently cohabiting and has cohabited in a
conjugal relationship with you for a period of at least one year.
Dependent children may be your own children or those of your spouse or
common-law partner. They must:
be under the age of 22 and not a spouse or common-law partner; or,
have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent and have
been continuously enrolled and in attendance as full-time students in a post
secondary institution accredited by the relevant government authority since
before the age of 22 (or since becoming a spouse or a common-law partner, if
they married or entered into a common-law relationship before the age of
have depended substantially on the financial support of a parents since
before the age of 22 and unable to provide for themselves due to a medical
Children included in the application must meet the definition of "dependent
children" both at the time the application is made and, without taking into
account whether they have attained 22 years of age, at the time the visa is
issued to them.
spouse or common law partner and children must meet all the requirements for
temporary residents to Canada. They must satisfy an officer that they are
genuine temporary residents who will be in Canada for a temporary stay. They
may be required to provide evidence that they are law abiding and have no
criminal record. If your family member applies for a TRV, they must also meet
all the conditions to obtain a visa.
Include them on your application by providing their names and other
information in the appropriate space on the application form.
Important: You may be required to provide
a marriage certificate and birth certificates for any accompanying family
members. If you are in a common-law relationship and your common-law partner
will accompany you to Canada, you
may be required to complete the enclosed form,
Common-Law Union (IMM
5409). Also provide evidence outlined on the form to support
your family members wish to follow you to Canada at a later date, they must
make a separate application for admission.
my spouse or common-law partner and dependent children work in Canada?
order to work while in Canada, your spouse or common-law partner and your
dependants must apply for their own work permit and must meet the same
standards, including the labour market opinion (confirmation), that regularly
apply to a work permit issuance. They may, however apply for their work permit
from within Canada. This guide does not provide general information
about obtaining a work permit for your spouse or common-law partner or your
dependants. For more details including definitions, responsibilities, and
conditions of eligibility refer to the guide "Applying to change Conditions or
Extend Your Stay in Canada (IMM 5217)". The guide may be obtained by visiting
our Web site or once in Canada, you may contact a Call Centre listed under the
Contact Information section of this guide.
I leave, then re-enter Canada?
order to return to Canada, you must be in possession of a valid passport or
travel document. You also need to hold a valid work permit if you are
returning to work in Canada.
you are a citizen of a country that requires a temporary resident visa to
travel to Canada, you will also need to be in possession of a valid entry visa
to return, unless:
you are returning to Canada following a visit only to the United States or
St.-Pierre and Miquelon; and
you return before the expiry of the period initially authorized for your
entry or any extension to it, either as a visitor, student or worker.
Possession of these documents does not guarantee re-entry. All persons must
establish that they meet all of the requirements of the Immigration and
Refugee Protection Act and Regulations before being authorized to enter or
Citizens of the U.S. do not require passports or travel documents to enter
or return to Canada. Permanent residents of the U.S. do not require
passports or travel documents if they are entering or returning to Canada
from the U.S. or St. Pierre and Miquelon. However, both must provide
documentary proof of citizenship or permanent residence, such as a national
identity card or an alien registration card.
Where do I Apply?
Please submit your application to the Canadian visa office responsible for
your area for processing. You should consult the local Web site or office
regarding accepted methods of submitting applications. (i.e. general mail, in
person, by courier etc.)
Note: If you are a
citizen or permanent residents of the United States, Greenland, or St.
Pierre and Miquelon you can apply for a work permit at a Port of Entry, but
you must produce the confirmation of your offer of employment (i.e. detailed
job offer) and have any other documentation required by the officer to make
his or her decision when you arrive at the Port of Entry.
Eligibility to apply at a Port of Entry does not overcome the need for the
labour market opinion (HRDC confirmation) and the officer at the Port of
Entry may be unable to issue your work permit if your prospective employer
has not made the necessary contact with Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC).
application will be reviewed to ensure it has been completed correctly and
contains all of the required documents for processing. After reviewing your
application, an officer will decide if an interview is necessary. If so, you
will be informed of the time and place.
your application is refused, you will be informed in writing.
your application is approved, you will receive a letter confirming the
approval. This letter is not your work permit. When you arrive in Canada you
must show this letter to a Canadian officer at the Port of Entry. The officer
at the Port of Entry will determine whether you may enter Canada and how long
you may stay. You must leave Canada on or before the
date set by the
officer or have your status extended by an officer
If you move or
change your address, telephone or fax number before your application has
been processed, you must advise us of this new information by contacting the
visa office where you submitted your application
Temporary Resident Visa Exemptions
who do not require a visa to visit Canada include:
to change at any time
citizens of Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Austria, Bahamas,
Barbados, Belgium, Botswana, Brunei Darussalam, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark,
Finland, France, Republic of Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel
(National Passport holders only), Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg,
Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway,
Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Republic of Korea, St. Kitts and Nevis, St.
Lucia, St. Vincent, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Solomon Islands,
Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States, and Western
persons lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence who
are in possession of their alien registration card (Green card) or can
provide other evidence of permanent residence;
British citizens and British Overseas Citizens who are re-admissible to the
citizens of British dependent territories who derive their citizenship
through birth, descent, registration or naturalization in one of the British
dependent territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman
Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or
the Turks and Caicos Islands;
persons holding a valid and subsisting Special Administrative Region
passport issued by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
Region of the People's Republic of China; and
persons holding passports or travel documents issued by the Holy See.