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Please Note: We do not assist with finding a job in Canada. We provide legal services after you secure a job offer from a Canadian employer.

Siskinds’ immigration law group will provide you with legal advice on whether you need to apply for a work permit in Canada. Whether you need a work permit depends on the type of work you intend to perform in Canada.

If you require a work permit to work in Canada, we will complete an assessment to make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria to apply for a work permit. If you are eligible, we can help you with your work permit application.

We can assist you at any stage of your work permit application starting with an eligibility assessment through the preparation of application and submission to government authorities.

Types of Work Permits

Employer-Specific Work Permits

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions listed on your work permit, which include:

  • the name of the employer you can work for;
  • how long you can work and the expiry date of your permit;
  • the location where you can work (if applicable).

The employer listed on your work permit is the only employer you can work for in Canada.

If you currently hold an employer-specific work permit, you cannot simply switch to another employer. We can advise on what steps must be taken to work for an employer who is not listed on your work permit and to ensure that you are not working in Canada illegally.

Open Work Permits

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada in any occupation, subject to some restrictions imposed by the government of Canada. An open restricted permit may restrict the occupation or location of the employment but not the employer. One can apply for an open work permit in limited situations.

Because an open work permit is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your work permit:

Our team will advise you on whether you qualify for an open work permit in your circumstances. If you already hold an open work permit (e.g. a Post-Graduation Work Permit) and you work for a Canadian employer, your spouse/partner may be eligible for an open work permit as well.

Work as an International Student

If you have a valid Canadian study permit and you are a full-time student who has started the study program in Canada, you are eligible to work up to 20 hours/week off campus during regular school terms/semesters without a work permit.

If you are coming to Canada as an international student or you are currently studying in Canada, our team can advise you on whether you need a work permit and how to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

Extension of Work Permits and Implied Status

If you apply to extend your work permit within Canada before it expires you can legally stay in Canada and continue working until a decision is made on your application. In these cases, you would have ‘implied status’. You should not leave Canada until a decision is made on the application.

Our team can assist you to extend your work permit, if you are eligible and to advise your employer of your authorization to continue working while under the implied status.

If you require assistance to extend your work permit, please contact us.

Restoration of Status

If a visitor, worker or student has lost their status (if their permit had expired before they submitted an application to extend their status), they may be able to restore their status if they apply within 90 days of losing status and continue to meet the initial requirements of their stay.

Those awaiting restoration of status may stay in Canada until a decision is made on their application, but those in Canada on work or study permits cannot continue to work or attend school until their status has been restored.

If you have lost your status, contact our immigration group to discuss whether you are eligible to apply for restoration of status.

Types of Work Permits

Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

Our team assists citizens of United States and Mexico with applying for Canadian work permits under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

International Experience Class (IEC) Work Permit

Some countries have an agreement with Canada that allows individuals to apply for an International Experience Class (IEC) work permit.

Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit

The intra-company transfer category allows international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

Depending on the length of your program of study in Canada, you may be eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).

Work Permit supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

If you are not eligible for an open work permit, your prospective Canadian employer may have to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).