[2023] What is Canadian Work Visa (Work Permit)?

To work in Canada, you must obtain a work visa (work permit). This article will explain what Canadian work visa is and how to obtain it.

To work in Canada, you must obtain a Work Visa.

This article explains the types of Canadian Work Visas and how to obtain them.

What is Canadian Work Visa

Work Visa is a document that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada legally.

“Work Visa” is commonly used, but formally, it is named “Work Permit”.

Types of Canadian Work Permit

Actually, there are several types of Work Permits in Canada.

They are divided roughly into two categories:

  • Open Work Permit
  • Closed Work Permit

Open Work Permit

The first category, Open Work Permit is a work permit that doesn’t specify the “employer” and “job title”.

There are several types of Open Work Permits.

Post Graduation Open Work Permit (PGWP)

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) is granted to students who graduate from public colleges or universities.

They must finish programs with a length of more than 8 months.

The validity of PGWP depends on the length of the programs they finished.

Basically, from 8 months to 2 years, the validity of PGWP is the same as their study length. If the study period is more than 2 years, 3 years of PGWP will be given.

For the public colleges eligible for PGWP, please see the article below:

[2023] All About Public Colleges – Canada
[2023] All About Public Colleges – Canada
According to the Canadian education system, colleges in Canada are divided into two categories which are Private colleges and Public colleges. In this article, general and detailed discussion are mainly focused on public category. What is Public College? Public colleges in Canada is an education institution where the program are funded by the Government. There are many different […]

Spouse Open Work Permit

If your spouse obtains a study permit for a public college or university or obtains a work permit, you might be eligible for a Spouse Open Work Permit.

Working Holiday Work Permit

If you have a passport from one of the countries which have a working holiday agreement with Canada, you can apply for a Working Holiday Work Permit.

The requirements are different by the countries, but basically, Working Holiday Work Permit has an age limit of 30 or 35 and it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If you are not sure whether you can apply for an Open Work Permit, Canadashaws Consulting will help you.

Get Free Work Consultation


Closed Work Permit

Generally speaking, when we talk about a work permit (work visa), it means a closed work permit.

LMIA Work Permit

To hire a foreign worker, the employer must go through an assessment called LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment).

The employer is assessed if they offer a fair and safe work environment to the foreign worker.

For LMIA, please see the article below:

[2023] LMIA | How to Get Positive LMIA
[2023] LMIA | How to Get Positive LMIA
When you want to hire foreign workers, you need to apply for LMIA. LMIA is an assessment process that protects both Canadians and foreign workers.


Also, please try Canadashaws Consulting’s LMIA consultation.

Get Free LMIA Consultation


What you can do with your Work Permit

Work Permit allows you to work in Canada, but it also allows you to do three other things:

  • Studying for less than 6 months
  • Spouse can obtain an Open Work Permit
  • Children can go to public school (elementary to high school) for free (only if your work permit is valid for more than one year)

What you need to apply for a Work Permit

You can apply for a work permit online or when you enter Canada.

Online Application

Online application is the most standard way to apply for your work permit. However, you need to wait for the application to be approved before coming to Canada.

The processing time varies by the country you applied from. It takes roughly 3 to 6 months.

Border (Port of Entry) Application

You can also apply for your work permit when you enter Canada. This application is called Border Application or Port of Entry Application.

You can obtain a work permit right away, but if you can’t answer the officer’s questions correctly, you will be in big trouble.

So if you are not fully confident with your English (or French), we recommend an online application.

Documents Needed for a Work Permit Application

When you apply for a work permit, you will need the following documents:

  • Passport
  • LMIA Positive Decision Letter (for LMIA work permit)
  • Job Offer(for LMIA work permit)
  • Proof of you meet the Job Requirements (for LMIA work permit)
  • Proof of Relationship (for Spouse Open Work Permit)
  • Proof of your Eligibility (PGWP and Working Holiday)
  • Proof that you leave Canada at the end of your work


Work Permit is a great tool for your future PR application. However, finding an employer who sponsors your work permit application is difficult.

Please contact Canada Shaws Consulting. We will help you find a way to obtain a work permit.

Get Free Work Consultation
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