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Employer Specific Work Permit in Canada – Know Everything

February 2, 2022BY Faisal Mustafa

A work permit or a work visa is issued to individuals eligible to work in a country over a specific period. A Canadian Work Permit Visa acknowledges business people, workers (permanent and temporary), students, and others working in Canada.

Considering work permit arrangements, there are two types:

  • Open Work Permit
  • Employer-specific Work Permit

This article will discuss everything there is to know about employer-specific work permits in Canada.

What is an Employer-specific Work Permit in Canada?

Foreign nationals seeking work in Canada would usually obtain a Closed Work Permit with/without Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). It’s also known as an Employer-specific Work Permit.

As the name suggests, an Employer-Specific Work Permit authorizes and limits the foreign national to work under only one employer, in one single position, in Canada.

Such work permits allow foreign nationals to work according to the conditions, which include:

  • Name of the employer
  • Duration of the work
  • The location where the applicant would work from (if applicable)

Canadian employers are known to hire foreign nationals as temporary workers to meet their urgent, specific needs. It limits the worker to only one employer but provides an opportunity to obtain Canadian work experience that would help greatly if they choose to pursue permanent residence in Canada.

Read Also: Government of Canada immigration

Which Professions Require Employer-Specific Work Permits?

Following is a list of professions requiring employer-specific work permits that have a separate criterion for eligibility and criterion for employer-specific work permits:

  • Academics
  • Working for religious organizations
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Coach/Athlete
  • Agriculture worker
  • Working in the film industry and many others.

Requirements for Work Permits

If you want to obtain a Canadian work permit, you must meet some requirements first. The requirements can vary depending on your current location (the location you are applying from) and the specific type of work permit you are interested in.

Requirements for a Work Permit for Someone Applying from Outside of Canada

Following are the general requirements that apply for someone applying for a work permit regardless of where they are applying from and what type of permit they are seeking:

  • Proof of financial stability and capacity to support oneself and their family during their time in Canada.
  • Acknowledgment and assurance of leaving Canada once the specified time in the permit expires.
  • They will not work or plan to work with ineligible employers. Those who have failed to satisfy the conditions provided would be considered ineligible.
  • Not having a criminal record.
  • Posing no threat to the Canadian government or the people.
  • Having no severe physical or mental health issues that might affect the Canadian population in any way.
  • They are not working for an employer dealing with promiscuous services such as escort or massage services, striptease, erotic dancing, or other related services.

Requirements for a Work Permit for People in Canada

Another arrangement is for people in Canada to apply for a work permit. One or more of the following requirements must be met for people in Canada:

  • Must have a valid legal work or study permit
  • Graduated from a school in Canada that’s considered eligible. School eligibility can be checked via the Visa Office in the Canadian Embassy.
  • If the applicant is under sponsorship, their sponsor must have a legal and valid study or work permit.
  • The applicant should have already applied for permanent residence and is awaiting confirmation.
  • Applicant should have at least six months of valid temporary residence permit.
  • If the applicant is an investor, professional, intra-company transferee, or a business person, they should be included under NAFTA.
  • The applicant needs to be acknowledged as a convention refugee or be protected by the IRCC.
  • The applicant has previously worked without a permit. However, they require a permit to start another job.

Requirements for an Employer-specific Work Permit

The following requirements must be met if an applicant wishes to obtain an employer-specific work permit:

  • Proof of the employer offering the job to the applicant and making payment of the employer compliance fee.
  • Association with Social Development Canada (SDC) and Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

It’s important to understand that it’s easier to obtain an open work permit for someone already having a specific.

Applying for a Work Permit

Applying for a work permit might seem like a complicated and time-consuming process. Follow the steps discussed below to have a better understanding of the process and be able to make sound, informed decisions:

Confirming Your Eligibility

The eligibility requirements discussed above vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for. It’s mandatory to be aware and ensure you can qualify for the program to apply for your desired work permit.

Have the Required Documents Prepared

It’s an IRCC requirement to submit some essential documents along with the application forms while applying for a work permit. Make sure you have the required documents prepared in time to make your application process hassle-free and smooth.

Obtaining Work Permit Application Forms

Canadian work permit applications can be completed by hand (in person) or online. Completing this process online is faster and cheaper since you won’t have to bear mailing costs, and the IRCC will have the forms instantly delivered. You have to apply online if you are applying through:

  • Global Skills Strategy or
  • International Experience Canada Program

Submitting the Documents

Once the forms are all filled out and the required documents are attached, you need to submit them to the IRCC. Make sure you double-check your application and the documents.

You wouldn’t want to leave out or make mistakes on any essential information or required documents. Ensure all the fees and expenses are paid in due time to avoid delays.

Processing Time for Work Permit Applications

Processing time for work permit applications varies depending on the location (whether you are inside Canada or outside) and the country from where you’re applying.

You can check your application status and the specific processing time for the nature of your application by clicking here.

Checklist for Work Permit Applications

Ensure the following are in order to make sure your application is submission-ready:

  • Make sure you have prepared all the documents required according to the nature of the work permit you intend to apply for.
  • Confirm your eligibility before starting the application process for a work permit.
  • Make sure you are applying as per your requirement (For example, you must apply online for programs such as Global Skills Strategy).
  • Ensure your application forms are filled up exactly as required and have attached the supporting documents appropriately.

Costs Associated with Work Permits

The following table includes the various costs associated with work permits in Canada:

Fees Amounts($CAN)
Work permit including extensions (per person) 155
Work permit for a group of performing artists – 3 or more (per person) 465
For open work permit holders 100
Restoring worker status (200) and obtaining a work permit ($155) 355


Exemption from Work Permits in Canada

Certain specified professions in Canada do not require a work permit. The applicant may work in Canada without a work permit if they are serving one of the following professions:

  • Business visitors
  • Foreign representatives and their families
  • Foreign government officers
  • Military personnel
  • On-campus workers
  • Athletes and team members
  • Performing artists
  • Convention organizers
  • Clergy
  • Public speakers
  • Examiners and evaluators
  • Referees, judges, and similar officials
  • Healthcare students
  • Expert investigators and witnesses
  • Crew members
  • Aviation accident or incident investigators
  • Civil aviation inspectors
  • Farmworkers
  • Emergency service providers
  • Off-campus workers
  • Implied status holders

Concluding Thoughts

Employer-specific work permits are intended to act as short-term contracts allowing foreign nationals to work in Canada. It provides flexibility for the applicant, employer, and the Canadian government. The applicant can go and work in Canada for the specified period of time and obtain Canadian work experience, which helps get a permanent Canadian residence. The employer gets the most appropriate employee they require for the urgent and contractual job.

Obtaining an employer-specific work permit may be fairly easy. It’s also an attractive option for people looking to extend the work permit illegally into a more durable one. However, there is a legal option to obtain a valid open work permit from having an employer-specific work permit.

Depending on your specific needs and requirements, identify the type of work permit you require and follow the steps, tips, and best practices discussed above to apply for and obtain the work permit you require.

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