To come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker, you must get a work permit. There are different kinds of work permits.
If you are not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you need a work permit to work legally in Canada.
In general, you need to apply for a work permit from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or a Canadian visa office before you come to Canada. For these work permits:
- You need to get a job offer from a Canadian employer before you apply.
- The employer must apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
- ESDC will decide whether the employer can hire a foreign worker to fill the job.
For more information, go to Working Temporarily in Canada on the IRCC website.
If You Are in Canada
If you are already in Canada, you may be eligible to apply for a special type of work permit.
For more information, go to Eligibility to Apply from Inside Canada.
Work Permits are Temporary
You cannot use a work permit to immigrate to Canada. If you want to come to Canada as a permanent resident based on your work skills and experience, see if you qualify to apply as a skilled worker.
Find more information about Immigrating to Ontario.
Can I become a permanent resident?
Temporary foreign workers can apply for permanent residence under these programs:
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Opportunities Ontario: Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Caregiver Program – Note: There are changes coming to the Caregiver program in 2019. We will keep this updated when information comes available.
You must meet eligibility requirements to apply for these programs.
You can also apply as a skilled worker, but there is no special category within the skilled worker class for temporary foreign workers.
For More Information
- Working Temporarily in Canada – Information for foreign workers and Canadian employers. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- Applications to Work in Canada: Work Permits – Application forms and instructions about how to apply. From IRCC.
- Applying to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada – Worker (IMM 5553) – Information about who can apply for a work permit from inside Canada, and how to apply. From IRCC.
- IRCC Help Centre – A tool that helps answer frequently asked questions on immigration matters. It offers several ways of searching through the information available, including search by keyword. From Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – The federal department responsible for Canadian immigration, refugees and citizenship. Its website has information on immigration policy, programs and services, application kits, and more.
- Migrant Worker Guides – Multilingual information for Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in Ontario. These guides cover migrant workers’ rights and the services available to them. From the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI).