Temporary workers are an important part of the Canadian economy. In general, to work in Canada you must apply for a work permit.
General Provisions - Work Permit
A foreign national must show to the satisfaction of the officer that she/he will comply with all the restrictions imposed by the work visa. A visa may be issued only if an examination establishes that the foreign national:
- Used the appropriate application documents required for the temporary resident class;
- Applied to the appropriate office;
- Will leave Canada by the end of the authorized period of stay;
- Paid the processing fees;
- Holds a passport or similar document that may be used to enter the country that issued it, or another country;
- Meets the medical examination requirements or an exception;
- Meets the requirements applicable to the temporary resident class; and
- is admissible to enter Canada.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
Employers may hire temporary workers through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program (IMP).
The TFWP lets employers hire temporary workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. For this type of temporary employment, employers will need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)/Service Canada stating they can hire a temporary worker. An LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians are available to do the job.
The International Mobility Program (IMP) lets employers hire temporary workers without an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on the following:
- economic, cultural, or other competitive advantages for Canada; and
- reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.
Open work permit
An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:
- who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or
- who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.
You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.
Employer-specific work Permit
An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:
- the name of the employer you can work for,
- how long you can work, and
- the location where you can work (if applicable).