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Obtain Canada's Working Visa Permit

The process for obtaining a Canadian work permit varies greatly depending on which type of work permit a person is applying.


Most closed work permit applications require that a foreign national has an official job offer from a Canadian employer which is supported by a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Even those who are LMIA-exempt or exempt from requiring a work permit should be aware of the unique documentation they need to prepare in order to ensure they are granted entry to Canada.


There are two general pathways for obtaining a Canadian work permit: 1. a closed work permit and 2. an open work permit.

Closed work permits are tied to specific employers: means that a foreign national issued a closed work permit must remain working with the same employer at the same location unless they change their work permit.


The majority of foreign skilled workers come to work in Canada on Temporary Canadian Work Permits.


In order to work in Canada on a temporary basis, foreign skilled workers must have a temporary offer of employment from a Canadian employer and be granted a Temporary Foreign Worker Permit by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. If you or a family member are applying for a PR card, you can also apply via an ‘Open Work’ permit, and if you are American or Mexican, you can fast track the working visa process via the NAFTA agreement.


There are four basic steps to getting a temporary Canadian work visa:


1.          The employer applies for labor market opinion (if necessary)

2.         Employer extends a temporary job offer to foreign workers

3.         A foreign skilled worker applies for a work permit

4.         The work permit is issued

If you are planning to employ a foreign worker, or you are a worker who was hired

it is crucial to know your Canadian work options.


  • If you have been offered a job by a Canadian employer, we can assist You to secure your Canadian Work Permit / Work Visa.

  • If you are A Canadian Employer and you want to hire a foreign worker or transfer a “knowledge holder” employee to Canada? We can help you with all the documentation to make the move as smooth as possible for the employee to arrive in Canada by securing a Canadian Work Permit.

  • If an international business is looking to expand and transfer an employee to Canada's location, we can help as well!


We provide the following work permit services:


Intra-Company Transfers

Foreign businesses with a parent company, subsidiary, or branch in Canada have the option to bring key personnel to Canada through an Intra-Company Transfer.

Work permits acquired through this program are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Although LMIA-exempt, workers, and employers who use the Intra-Company Transfer program must comply with all regulations governing temporary work in Canada, including obtaining a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), if applicable.

In three years immediately preceding the date of the initial application, transferees must have been employed with the foreign entity continuously for at least one year, in a full-time position similar to the position they will be occupying at the Canadian business. The Canadian business will also have to demonstrate a qualifying relationship with its foreign counterpart. Work in Canada must fall under one of the three following functions:

  • Executives and Senior Managers – direct, supervise, control the employees and the entity;

  • Functional Managers – manage a function essential to achieving the goals of the organization;

  • Specialized Knowledge - Advanced level of expertise of product, service, procedure.


NAFTA Work Permits

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), American and Mexican citizens may be eligible for facilitated processing when applying for a Temporary Work Permit in Canada.


Work Permits under the provisions of NAFTA do not usually require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).


Although LMIA-exempt, workers, and employers who use the NAFTA program must comply with all provisions governing temporary work in Canada. Because American and Mexican citizens do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada, applications for a NAFTA Work Permit may be done at a Port of Entry, or at a Visa office, either online or by paper.

Individuals who wish to perform self-employed work in Canada are not eligible for this category.


NAFTA Intra-Company Transfers

NAFTA Intra-Company Transferees must be transferred to Canada on a temporary basis in order to work for a branch, subsidiary, or affiliate of their US or Mexican employer. In addition, they must have worked continuously for their US or Mexican employer for at least one of the last three years in a similar position to the work being done in Canada, and be employed by the company at the time of application. A NAFTA Intra-Company Transferee must work in a capacity that is considered managerial, executive or involving specialized knowledge.


NAFTA Traders

A NAFTA Trader must demonstrate an intention to carry out substantial trade of goods or services between Canada and his or her country of citizenship, be it the US or Mexico. “Substantial trade” is when more than 50 percent of the trade is done between Canada and one of these countries, based on either the volume or the value traded.

The employing company must also be of either American or Mexican nationality. It is important to note that an existing trade relationship must already exist between the foreign company and Canada and that the Trader cannot enter for the purpose of establishing trading contracts or clients. The Trader must be employed as a supervisor or executive, or have duties that involve essential skills.

NAFTA Investors

A NAFTA Investor must demonstrate that he or she has made a substantial investment in a new or existing Canadian business and that he or she is seeking entry to Canada to develop and direct the Canadian business. Work permits in the NAFTA Investor category may also be granted to employees of the primary Investor who can be considered essential staff.



Working and Studying in Quebec with Quebec Acceptance Certificate

The Certificat d'Acceptation du Quebec (Quebec Acceptance Certificate, CAQ) is required for most temporary foreign workers and students who intend to reside in the province of Quebec.

A Quebec-based employer hiring a foreign skilled worker on a Temporary Work Permit must secure a Quebec Acceptance Certificate in addition to a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Jobs in Quebec that will last for a period of 30 days or less do not require this certificate.

Individuals whose jobs are LMIA-exempt do not need a CAQ to perform work in Quebec.


Are You a Canadian Employer? Are you a foreigner who received a Canadian Job Offer?

1. Email us ( Your issue and any documentation that you consider relevant


2. We review your documents and appoint a consultant/lawyer to contact you with the brief assessment


3. You decide whether to proceed.


All our cases are handled by experienced lawyers and RCIC immigration specialists.


Source & Copyright: The source of the above visa and immigration information and the copyright owner is the: Citizenship and Immigration Canada and Immigration Quebec

Disclaimer: The content of this page is provided as an information guide only. The use of this website is at the viewer/user's risk. While every effort is made in presenting up-to-date and accurate information, no responsibility or liability is accepted by the owners of this website for any errors, omissions, outdated or misleading information on these pages or any site to which these pages connect or are linked.​​

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