Canada welcomes newcomers and provides them with many opportunities. Her employment levels are driven by economic conditions, labour market needs, and changes in governmental policies. Working in Canada is desirable to many young and experienced foreign national professionals as Canada mandates a healthy working environment that improves workers’ everyday lives.

Why choose Canada for your work?

Canadian workers enjoy excellent minimum wages, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, maternity and parental leave, vacation pay, and protection from discrimination and harassment regardless of the position level. In addition, Canada’s labour system offers foreign workers generous perks and benefits—all of which contribute to her reputation for providing an excellent standard of living and quality of life for her workers.

Canada is always seeking skilled people, including recent graduates, to contribute to its economy. There are several immigration options for skilled foreign workers to apply for permanent immigration. Canada welcomes blue and white-collar workers from all walks of life.

However, occupations in healthcare, information technology, engineering, academia, skilled trades (e.g., welders, drivers, cooks), farming, finance, and marketing management are usually in the highest demand. Pursuing a successful career in Canada in such professions is a reality for many motivated individuals.

In addition, there are opportunities for qualified foreign-trained skilled and semi-skilled workers because of Canada’s dominance in the service industry, manufacturing, and abundant natural resource sector.

Federal and provincial governments encourage employers to seek foreign workers to fill labour and skills shortages. Moreso, they facilitate smooth transitions for all legally admitted foreigners through the Settlement and Migrant Worker Support Network Programs.

There are opportunities to achieve permanent residence in Canada for skilled foreign temporary workers selected through the Express Entry system and those hired in information communication technology, academics, agriculture, and caregiving occupations. Foreign nationals wishing to join the Canadian workforce can do so via several routes depending on their vocation and experience.

  • Work Permits
  • Temporary Worker
    1. 1. Temporary Foreign Workers
    2. 2. International Mobility Program (IMP)
    3. 3. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • Caregivers
  • Post-graduation Work Permit
  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • Working Without a Work Permit

A work permit is the authorization document given to a foreign national by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), allowing them to work in Canada. There are two types of work permits—open and employer-specific. The type of permit one needs depends on many factors, such as the type of job and whether it requires a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). In addition, the document may bear other conditions which the holder must meet. Typical conditions include the type of work the permit holder can do, where and how long one can work, or an employer’s name. Though some circumstances may make a foreign national eligible to apply for a permit at the border, it is advisable to apply for a work permit before arriving in Canada. Regardless of the type of work permit one holds, it is noteworthy that it affords one a temporary residence status; therefore, the holder must leave Canada at the end of an authorized work period. One may apply for an extension of a work permit while it is still valid.

Open Work Permits

An open work permit allows the holder to work for any employer in any position or industry. An applicant for this class of permit does not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). They do not need their employer to submit an offer of employment to ESDC.

The spouses of international students, skilled workers, and anyone residing in Canada who has submitted a permanent residence application under the economic class can be issued an open work permit.

Click here to learn more about who can apply for an open work permit.

Employer-specific Work Permit

As the name implies, it restricts the permit holder to work for a named employer, at a specific location, and for a particular duration of time. The applicant requires an LMIA or an offer of employment to apply. The permit is popular among short-term or seasonal workers who depend on Canadian companies that use foreign labour in farms for harvesting and other related tasks. The spouses of the holder of an employer-specific work permit are eligible to receive an open work permit valid for the same length of time as their spouse’s.

There are several options for those seeking short-term employment in Canada. We can help you choose the best path and facilitate your entry to Canada.

Current Programs Include:

  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program


The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program allows foreign nationals to work in Canada to fill the labour scarcity where Canadian or permanent residents cannot undertake such positions. The program caters to both lower and higher-skilled foreign workers and tradespeople. Employers hiring these individuals usually support them by providing valid job offers to apply for permanent residence.
Canadian employers who want to hire temporary foreign workers must obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Once a prospective temporary worker, who is not inadmissible, receives the offer of employment and a copy of the LMIA, they may apply for Work Permit. A recipient of a TFW permit does not automatically become a permanent resident; however, there are other immigration routes for these workers to reside permanently in Canada. Otherwise, TFWs are expected to leave Canada for their home at the end of the authorized duration of their work permit. TFWs are paid the same wage as their Canadian coworkers and are protected under Canadian labour laws.


This is a fast route for foreign nationals to enter and work temporarily in Canada. The program allows an employer to hire foreign workers without obtaining LMIA for the position. However, the employer has to show that hiring the individual has reciprocal or competitive benefits for Canada. The prospective worker applies for work permit after receiving an offer of employment letter and number from an emolyer.

An applicant would need to complete medical examination from an IRCC approved Panel Physician as requirement for the application. It is not uncommon for applicants under this program to obtain an open work permit. To enter Canada, a successful applicant must obtain a visitor visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA).

The following programs fall under the IMP category

  • International Free Trade Agreements (FTA) – various programs including North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada-Korea FTA, Canada-Chile FTA, Canada-Columbia FTA and Canada-Peru FTA. Others include Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) and the General Agreement On Trade In Services.
  • International Experience Canada (IEC) – open to youths to travel and work in Canada
  • The Intra-Company Transfer Program – work briefly in Canada for parent companies
  • Mobilité Francophone Program and other Circumstances of Social or Cultural Benefit to Canada
  • The Bridging Open Work Permit - Working while waiting for a permanent resident application decision


This program helps designated Canadian employers hire qualified workers from overseas or those who are living in Canada temporarily. It contains three program categories, each with its specific requirements.

Atlantic Program Categories:

  • Atlantic International Graduate Program
  • Atlantic High-skilled Program
  • Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program

Check this link for more information about the program and eligibility The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

Elboniel Consultants can provide further information on the programs and guide employers and prospective applicants throughout the process. Our consultants will assist with your application for open work and employer-specific permits, as well as the special provincial and federal initiatives and pilot projects for foreign workers in lower-skilled occupations, caregivers, and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program.

Contact us to learn the details of how we can help you.


Currently, IRRC does not grant work permits to caregivers from overseas even if they have a positive LMIA.

The program requirements changed in June 2019. Currently, a prospective foreign temporary worker named in the LMIA application must already be in Canada with a valid work or study permit to be eligible for a work permit based on an LMIA.

You may still hire caregivers from outside Canada through IRCC’s Home Child Care Provider and Home Support Worker Pilots.

IRCC sets the application quota each year, and employers not meeting the allowance must wait until the next round of applications.

Due to COVID-19 challenges, Canada opened its doors with a policy granting permanent residence to temporary foreign workers in essential occupations.

Are you eligible to work in Canada?

We can help you obtain the necessary work permit. In most cases, securing a job in Canada and getting a work permit is vital to obtaining permanent residency.

Elboniel Consultants can assist you with choosing the best route that will allow you to work in Canada with an open or employer-specific work permit. Complete the assessment form, and one of our immigration experts will contact you to answer your questions about your plan to obtain a new work permit or extend an existing one.

Canada wants international students to stay and contribute to its economy after graduation from designated Canadian post-secondary educational institutions. Therefore, international students are often eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) that offers an applicant a three-year open work permit. This permit allows the recipient to work for any Canadian employer in any job sector. In addition, a recent change in program policy allows international students who completed studies outside Canada to qualify for PGWP. Canadian education and work experience often precede the pathway to permanent residence. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently told international students and graduates that “We don’t just want you to study here; we want you to stay here.” One must enroll in a PGWP-eligible program to receive the work permit at the end of their studies.

Eligibility Requirements :

  • Have a valid study permit when applying for a work permit.
  • Have studied full-time for at least eight months before the completion of their program.
  • Have successfully completed an educational program at a designated public or private institution authorized to confer degrees or vocational certification.
  • The graduate must have received written notification from their educational institution confirming that they have met the program requirements and can obtain their degree, diploma, or certificate.

As you approach graduation, feel welcome to discuss how Elboniel consultants can smooth your way to obtaining a work permit if you wish to remain and work in Canada.

One fundamental fact about working in Canada is that the jobs are meant only for Canadians, permanent residents and people authorized to work with a work permit. However, the Canadian government recognizes that there are times when employers struggle to find the workers they need. Therefore, when none of the people in the class above are available for hire, the employer wishing to hire a temporary foreign worker (TFW) applies to Social Development Canada/Service Canada for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is used to verify a need for a temporary foreign worker for the employer’s job posting where no Canadian worker is available. It also assesses how hiring the TFW will affect the Canadian labour market.

Though an employer can hire high-wage or low-wage workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream under this program say that 40% of employers cannot fill the positions.

Employer requirements for LMIA

In making the LMIA applications, the employer must provide information about the number of Canadian applicants, including how many job offers were made and how many applicants were unqualified. In addition, employers must supply written details about why they could not hire each Canadian applicant. Once an LMIA application has been reviewed for completeness and meeting program requirements, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) may issue a confirmation letter of approval known as a positive LMIA. The letter certifies that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job.

How to apply for a work permit with a positive LMIA

The employer receives the positive LMIA and sends it together with an offer of employment to the potential employee. The prospective worker submits a copy of the LMIA, a job offer, and a signed contract from the employer to Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Find out if you need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

We can help employers obtain an LMIA

Elboniel Consultants can assist Canadian employers in obtaining Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire foreign workers. We guide prospective workers in this complex process and their visa applications.

In deciding if an applicant qualifies to work in Canada without a permit, immigration officers assess if the activity the person plans to be involved in will earn wages or if the activity competes with occupations that Canadian citizens or permanent residents participate in.

If your occupation falls in one of the following job categories, you may seek work in Canada without a work permit:

  • Athletes and Team Members
  • Aviation Accident or Incident Inspectors
  • Business Visitor
  • Civil Aviation Inspectors
  • Clergy
  • Convention Organizers
  • Crew
  • Emergency Service Providers
  • Examiners and Evaluators 
  • Expert Witnesses or Investigators
  • Farm Work
  • Foreign Government Officers
  • Foreign Representatives and Their Family Members
  • Health Care Students
  • Implied Status
  • Judges, Referees and Similar Officials
  • Military Personnel
  • News Reporters and Media Crews
  • Off-Campus Work
  • On-Campus Work
  • Performing Artists
  • Public Speakers

For more information, see: Authorization to work without a work permit

Elboniel consultants can help you determine if you meet the eligibility requirements to work in Canada without a permit.