Working Temporarily in Canada

Every year, over 150,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages, or to work as live-in caregivers.

A work permit is needed for most temporary jobs in Canada.

Eligibility to apply from outside Canada

To apply for a work permit from outside Canada, you must submit the following documents:

  1. a job offer from a Canadian employer
  2. a completed application, that shows that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and
  3. written confirmation from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive labour market opinion.
  • In most cases, it is up to your employer to get that written confirmation.
  • In some cases, you do not need a labour market opinion.

Eligibility to apply from inside Canada

You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if:

you have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit

you have a work permit for one job but want to apply for a work permit for a different job

you have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more or

you are in Canada because you have already applied for permanent residence from inside Canada. You will have to pass certain stages in the main application process before you can be eligible for a work permit.

You must also have the following documents:

  1. a job offer from a Canadian employer
  2. a completed application, that shows that you meet the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, and
  3. written confirmation from HRSDC that the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job. This confirmation is called a positive labour market opinion.
  • In most cases, it is up to your employer to get that written confirmation.
  • In some cases, you do not need a labour market opinion.