There is a vibrancy of the culture and belonging on your end of the line, yet there may be an even brighter home waiting for you on the other end of my line. With so much opportunity and space to make your dreams a reality, if you are interested in a new career in Canada, there is more than one way to get a Canadian work visa to fast-track the application process as a foreigner.

The immigration industry is largely driven by natives from countries abroad because people are looking forgreater prospects in first-world countries abroad.

In 2021, Canada will welcome an estimated 401,000 immigrants from countries like Mexico, Peru, Chile, and Ecuador, all of whom are moving to Canada to make it their home to create a better future for themselves and their families.

With so much political and economic uncertainty during the global Covid-19 crisis, if you are interested in furthering your career, you can apply for a work visa to legally work as a foreigner in Canada. Whether you are a skilled or unskilled foreign worker, you can gain access to one of the greatest, most accepting, and multicultural countries in the world.

The Need for a Canadian Work Visa

Canada is looking for skilled workers to fill thousands of jobs that offer market-related competitive salaries with benefits. In 2021, the average salary for full-time workers is around 952 CAD a week or 54,630 CAD a year. With an unemployment rate of only 7.5 percent, which is far lower than most countries in the world, the country is also working towards lowering the employment rate to 6.52 percent in 2022.

There are more than one program to choose from, which are categorized under the two primary work permits, both of which have different requirements to determine which work visa works best for you.

Work Permits Programs
Type What is it?
Temporary Foreign Work Permit (TFWP) All Employer-Specific work permit streams can be found under TFWP, all of which have conditions that include the employer's name, the duration of the employment contract, and more.
Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) A program designed for international graduates from tertiary Canadian Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) that want to work in Canada.
Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) A requirement from employers that want to hire foreign workers that has a country of citizenship that is not on their list of countries under the International Mobility Program (IMP).
International Experience Class (IEC) The IEC consists of 3 visa categories, each offering a different type of work permit.
Global Talent Stream A program that allows Canadian companies on the GTS Occupations list to hire skilled foreign workers in specific fields without the need for an LMIA.>
International Mobility Program (IMP) This program looks after Canada's broader economic and cultural interests by allowing employers that want to hire foreign workers, to do so without the need for an LMIA.

Types of Work Permits

  1. Open Work Permit - Includes programs like the International Experience Canada (working tourist visa) and the International Mobility Program
  2. Employer-Specific Work Permit - Includes numerous streams that are processed depending on if an applicant has a job offer

working holiday


To get your Canadian work visa, you need to be able to show that you can perform the duties and deliver on the expectation of the job that gets offered to you.

All skilled job positions require a copy of education credentials and also, proof of a Education Credential Assessment (ECA) to show that your qualifications meet the quality and standards of that in Canada. You can retrieve your ECA from the following places:

  • World Education Services
  • Credential Assessment International Service of Canada
  • Comparative Education Service (University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies)
  • International Credential Evaluation Service

Additional information, including documents that vary based on the work permit that you are applying for will also be required, especially if you are applying to the TFWP, which will require you to show proof that you intend to return to your home country. Proof of your past work experience and the necessary funds to apply for a Canadian work permit will also be required.

Steps to Apply

  1. Assemble documents
  2. Prepare the required information/ answers
  3. Create an online account
  4. Receive a personalized to-do-list
  5. Pay visa fees
  6. Submit the application

Who is Eligible for a Canadian Work Permit?

You are eligible to apply for a Canadian work visa if you are:

  • A dependant family member of another person that has applied for permanent residence
  • An international student that is willing to work 20 hours weekly in Canada
  • A spouse or common-law partner of an international student/ Atlantic Immigration Pilot program applicant
  • A recent graduate from Hong Kong (Temporary work permit that is valid for three years or until your passport expires) If you have received a qualification from a university in Hong Kong, you will require an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), but only if you have a diploma. With a degree, you don’t require an ECA, yet it can be necessary to request it later.

Can My Work Permit Expire?

If you have a work visa that is expiring soon, but you still want to live and work in Canada, you can extend the work permit. In this case, all of your details will remain the same, including information such as your employer, work location, and job.

With an employer-specific work permit, if you want to get another job from another employer, you will be required to apply for a new work permit.

In the case that your work permit expires before you apply for an extension, you will have up to 90 days to restore it, yet you will not be able to work until you apply and get the extension granted. Should your application not be approved, you must leave Canada and reapply for a new work permit too.

When you reach a point where you only have four months left until your work permit expires, you can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), which will allow you to continue working in Canada until you receive your results.


A BOWP allows you to apply for permanent residence through the following immigration programs:

  • Express Entry
  • Provincial Nominee Program
  • Home Childcare Provider/ Home Support Worker
  • Caring for children class/ Caring for people with medical needs or disabilities
  • Agri-Food Pilot candidates

BOWP Eligibility Requirements

  • Valid / Temporary work permit (expiring in 4 months time)
  • Currently living/ working in Canada
  • Receive a positive outcome of your permanent residency application under Express Entry
  • Application for an open work permit

When you get a Canadian work visa, you are protected as a foreigner living and working in Canada with rights and the necessary protection from the Canadian labor laws. This helps you by keeping your employment status legal and can create the opportunity for you to apply for Canadian permanent residency.

With a work permit, you can secure a job and live in Canada permanently without worrying about being without a job or having to move back to your home country if you would still like to live in Canada. As a country filled with prospective opportunities, who knows what your next big career-defining move could be and how it will change and improve your life. How exciting!

Have a question? Get in touch with a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) that we work with today to get all the information you need to take the next step to becoming a Canuck.