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  • Writer's pictureHossein Alavi, RCIC

Canadian Work Permit: Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Apr 10

Navigating the Work Permit Process in Canada

Your Go-To Guide for Work Permits in Canada: FAQs Answered

Are you planning to work in Canada? If so, you may need a work permit to do so. In this post, we'll answer some common questions about how to apply for a work permit in Canada.

A Guide to Traveling Outside Canada as an International Student

How do I apply for a work permit?

In most cases, you'll need to apply for a work permit before entering Canada. However, in some cases, you may be able to apply at the border. To apply for a work permit, you'll need to provide various documents and meet certain requirements. These may include:

  • A job offer from a Canadian employer

  • Proof that you meet the requirements for the job

  • A valid passport or travel document

  • A medical exam (in some cases)

  • Biometrics (fingerprints and a photo)

To apply for a work permit, you'll need to complete an application form and pay a fee. You can apply online, by mail, or in person.

Are there any conditions on my work permit?

Yes, there may be conditions on your work permit. These may include:

  • The type of work you can do

  • The employer you can work for

  • Where can you work

  • How long you can work

You can find a list of all possible conditions in Regulation 185 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations. Even if you have no specific conditions on your work permit, there are still standard conditions that apply to all work permit holders. For example, you cannot work for an employer in a business where there is a risk of sexual exploitation.

How do I remove medical conditions from my open work permit?

If you have a medical condition on your work permit, you may be able to remove it by following these steps:

  • If you haven't left your country of residence, get an upfront medical exam from a panel physician

  • Bring proof that you've had a medical exam when you travel to Canada

  • If you're already in Canada, get an upfront medical exam from a panel physician

  • Apply to change your work permit conditions, and include all the required documents

Can I apply for a work permit when I enter Canada?

In general, you should apply for a work permit before you travel to Canada. However, in some cases, you may be eligible to apply at a port of entry. To be eligible, you must meet certain requirements.

Can I apply for a work permit from inside Canada?

Absolutely, you have the provision to apply for a work permit from within the Canadian borders. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canadian government has made a provisional amendment, permitting visitors to submit their work permit applications from within the country. This temporary accommodation is effective through February 28, 2025, facilitating a smoother transition from visitor to worker status during these challenging times.

Do I need a medical exam to get a work permit?

You may need a medical exam to get a work permit if you'll be working in a job where it is important to protect public health (such as health services, child care, or primary or secondary education) or if you're from a designated country or territory. If you need a medical exam, an officer will tell you and provide instructions on how to proceed.

Who needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment?

Employers of some types of temporary workers need to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the worker applies for a work permit. An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada that gives the employer permission to hire a temporary worker. If you're a worker, you can answer a few questions to find out if your employer needs an LMIA.

What is a port of entry (POE) letter?

A port of entry (POE) letter is a letter of introduction that you may receive from IRCC if you've been approved for a study permit, work permit, or super visa. It's not your actual permit, but it lets the border services officer know that you've been approved to enter Canada.

How long is my POE Letter valid?

The validity of your POE Letter is indicated in the "Permit validity" box. You must enter Canada before this date. If the validity date has passed and you haven't yet entered Canada, you'll need to submit a new application. You can't extend the validity date of your POE Letter. Your POE Letter will be valid for the requested length of your work permit, study permit, or super visa.

How do I change employers?

To change employers, you'll need to apply to change the conditions of your work permit. Before you apply, you'll need some information and documents from your new employer. If your employer needs a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire you, they'll need to give you a new job offer letter, a new LMIA number, and a new contract. If your employer doesn't need an LMIA, they'll need to give you the offer of employment number they received when they submitted your offer of employment.

Can I have a work permit and a study permit at the same time?

Yes, you can have a work permit and study permit at the same time if you're eligible for both permits and can show the officer that you can balance work and studies. When you apply, you'll need to include a letter explaining how you'll do this and how you'll balance your work schedule with your studies.

In summary, applying for a work permit in Canada can be a complex process. It's important to make sure you meet all the requirements and provide all the necessary documents. If you have any questions or need help with your application, consider consulting with an immigration lawyer or a regulated immigration consultant. Good luck with your application!

At Immigrative, we understand that obtaining a work permit in Canada can be a complex and challenging process. That's why our experienced immigration professionals offer a comprehensive range of services to guide you through the entire process, from determining the right type of work permit to apply for to preparing and submitting your application and ensuring compliance with Canadian government requirements. Whether you're an individual looking to work in Canada or an employer seeking to hire foreign workers, we can help you navigate the complexities of the Canadian immigration system and achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn how we can help make the process simpler and more efficient for you.


This blog post is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For personalized advice regarding your specific immigration situation, it is recommended to consult with an authorized immigration professional.

About the Author:

This blog post is authored by Hossein Alavi, RCIC, a seasoned Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and the founder and CEO of Immigrative Visa Services Inc. and EduPal Canada. With over ten years of experience in the education and immigration sectors, he is dedicated to assisting individuals and companies with their Canadian immigration needs. Contact Immigrative Visa Services Inc. today to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward realizing your Canadian dream.


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