21 Simcoe St S Suite 110
Oshawa, ON, L1H 4G1


Canadian Immigration Services 

How to Apply for a Work Permit to Canada


How to Apply for a Work Permit to Canada

Jade Calver

Step One: Determine Whether You Need a Work Permit

For the vast majority of those interested in working in Canada, they will need to apply for a work permit in order to work in Canada. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule depending on the type of work you will perform and the amount of time you will spend working in Canada. Some positions that may be work permit exempt include athletes, emergency service providers, military personnel, students working on-campus, and more.

Step Two: Identify Which Type of Work Permit You Need

There are two main types of work permits available for those wishing to work in Canada. These two permits include: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. An open work permit allows you to work any employer in Canada. Whereas, the employer-specific work permit requires you to work one specific employer throughout the duration of your stay in Canada.

Step Three: Determine Your Eligibility

You must determine whether or not you are eligible to work in Canada. According to the Government of Canada, you must:

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires,

  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home,

  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate),

  • not be a danger to Canada’s security,

  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed,

  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions,

  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages, and

  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

There are also some different requirements for those applying from within Canada versus those who are applying from outside of Canada.

Step Four: Choose How You Will Apply

You may apply online or using a paper application. You may also apply from either inside or outside of Canada. If you choose to use a paper application, we recommend creating an online GC Key account and linking your application so that you can check on the processing status of your application and receive immediate notifications about your application. 

Step Five: Apply

Now you’re ready to apply for a work permit to Canada! If you choose to apply online, you will need access to a scanner or camera to make digital copies of your documents. You will also need a valid credit or debit card to pay your application fees and biometrics fee.

If you choose to apply on paper, you will need to find the appropriate forms for you to use, depending on where you’re applying from (i.e. inside Canada, outside Canada, or as you enter Canada). It’s important to note that if you choose to apply for International Experience Canada or the Global Skills Strategy, you must apply online.


We provide expertise in Canadian immigration law. We provide comprehensive immigration services to clients in a timely and strategic manner, in adherence to the constantly changing immigration laws and regulations. Contact us today for advice regarding your case.