Employer-Specific Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit allows an individual to work in Canada for a particular employer, with potential additional conditions which limit their right to work in Canada. It is potentially suitable for those who have received a job offer from a specific employer which has already completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

Who can apply for an Employer-Specific Work Permit?

In order to apply for an employer-specific work permit from outside Canada, you should check whether or not you will need a visa to enter the country when you arrive. Anyone can apply for a work permit before entering Canada providing that they have a job offer and eligible sponsoring employer.

To apply for an employer-specific work permit from within Canada, you should either:

  • already hold a valid study or work permit;
  • have a spouse, common-law partner or parent with a valid study or work permit;
  • be an international student who has graduated from a designated learning institution in Canada and who is eligible to apply under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program;
  • hold a temporary resident permit with at least six months’ validity remaining;
  • be awaiting a decision on a permanent residence application;
  • have applied for refugee protection;
  • have been recognized as a convention refugee or protected person;
  • be permitted to work in Canada without a work permit, but require one in order to change jobs; or
  • be covered by the provisions of the Canada-USA-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA)

In addition, when applying for an employer-specific work permit, you must be prepared to prove that:

  • you intend to leave Canada upon the expiry of your work permit
  • you can support yourself and your family members while in Canada
  • you have sufficient funds to allow you to return home when your permit expires
  • you have no criminal record in any country you have lived in previously
  • you are in good health

Your employer must have provided you with an employment contract, and have either completed a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or provided you with an ‘offer of employment’ number if your position is exempt from the LMIA requirement.

What does an Employer-Specific Work Permit offer?

Employer-specific work permits allow holders to work for a specific employer in Canada. It may also come with other conditions limiting the holder’s right to work, such as the specific work location or the duration of their employment.

In order to change employers or alter any other limitations imposed by the work permit, you must apply to amend its conditions. You must do this before changing the terms of your employment.

You may also want to consider if an open work permit is a better fit for your circumstances, as these have fewer restrictions and are less likely to carry conditions limiting what kinds of roles you can take up or where you are able to work.

How do I apply for an Employer-Specific Work Permit?

Applications for an employer-specific work permit can be submitted from inside or outside of Canada. The work permit processing fee is CAD $155 and may be supplemented by additional fees to cover the cost of taking your biometric data (fingerprints and photograph), if required.

Processing times can vary. Typically, applications from inside Canada are processed within around six weeks, but applications from outside Canada can take up much longer. Applications from individuals intending to fill ‘priority’ occupations (e.g. healthcare) typically receive a decision more quickly.

Kunal Thakur

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant R#519955

Kunal Thakur is a passionate Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) with close to two decades of immigration experience, during which he has successfully guided thousands of people on their immigration journey. He is quick in responding to client queries and constantly strives to give his clients the best possible advice. Kunal brings immense value to our team with his talks and discourses on immigration. When not in front of his laptop reading and analysing client cases, he enjoys spending his spare time exploring new places and trying new things. Kunal is currently based in Adelaide, Australia. You can book a time with him here.

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