Work permits are required for most temporary jobs in Canada, however there are specific situations where they are exempt, for example they are not required to engage in international business activities where you do not directly entering the Canadian labour market.

Canada recognizes that there are labour shortages and as a result assists employers by supporting the hiring of foreign workers based on their potential to become economically established in Canada. At AKM Law we are able to help employers bring in skilled workers, and if desired, transition them into living in Canada permanently.

There are two types of work permits

Open work permit

This allows for you to work for any employer in Canada except for those who are listed as ineligible ( a list of ineligible employers can be found here and employers who offer striptease, erotic dance , escort service or erotic messages.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you fit under the following situations:

  • International student who graduated from a DNI and eligible for Post Grad work permit program
  • A destitute student who can longer afford costs of tuition
  • Applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • A spouse or common law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • A spouse or common law partner being sponsored by a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident
  • A Refugee, protected person, refugee claimant or their family member
  • Under an unenforceable removal order
  • Have a valid temporary permit
  • Young worker participating in special programs
  • The international experience class

Employer specific work permit

For employer specific work permits, the employer must get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessement (LMIA) before you can apply. A positive LMIA shows that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job as there is no Canadian worker available to do it.


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