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Overview of the Canadian work permit system

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    As an immigrant in Canada, one of the most important things you will need to secure is a work permit. Without it, you cannot legally work and earn a living. So, in this article, we’ll be giving you a complete overview of the Canadian work permit system, including how to apply, eligibility requirements, processing times, & more.

    WHAT IS A CANADIAN WORK PERMIT?

    A work permit is a document that authorizes a foreign national to work legally in Canada.

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    The work permit is issued by Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and is required for most foreign workers, with few exceptions.

    TYPES OF CANADIAN WORK PERMITS

    There are two types of Canadian work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.
    Open work permits allow foreign workers to work for any Canadian employer without having a specific job offer in hand. On the other hand, employer-specific work permits are tied to a specific employer and job, and the worker cannot work for any other employer without obtaining a new work permit.

    ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR A CANADIAN WORK PERMIT

    To be eligible for a Canadian work permit, you must meet certain requirements. These requirements vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for, but generally include:

    • A valid job offer from a Canadian employer.
    • A positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment & Social Development Canada (ESDC) for employer-specific work permits.
    • Proof that you meet the requirements of the job, such as education, work experience, and language proficiency.
    • Proof that you have enough money to support yourself and any family members who are accompanying you to Canada.
    • A clean criminal record and good health.
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    HOW TO APPLY FOR A CANADIAN WORK PERMIT

    To apply for a Canadian work permit, you will need to follow these steps:

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    • Find out if you need a work permit or if you are exempt.
    • Obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer.
    • Obtain a positive LMIA, if required.
    • Gather all necessary documents, including your passport, LMIA, and proof of eligibility.
    • Complete the application form.
    • Pay the application fee.
    • Submit your application to the appropriate IRCC office.

    PROCESSING TIMES FOR A CANADIAN WORK PERMIT

    The processing time for a Canadian work permit varies depending on the type of work permit you are applying for and the country from which you are applying. Generally, the processing time for employer-specific work permits is longer than open work permits.

    Currently, the average processing time for an employer-specific work permit is around three months, while the processing time for an open work permit is around two months.

    RENEWING OR EXTENDING YOUR CANADIAN WORK PERMIT

    If your Canadian work permit is about to expire, you may be able to renew or extend it. To do so, you will need to follow these steps:

    • Apply for an extension at least 30 days before your current work permit expires.
    • Provide evidence that you are still eligible to work in Canada.
    • Pay the application fee.
    • Submit your application to the appropriate IRCC office.

    If your work permit has already expired, you may still be able to apply for a restoration of status. However, you must do so within 90 days of your work permit expiring and meet all the eligibility requirements for the work permit.

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    In summary, the Canadian work permit system is an important component of the Canadian immigration process. As a foreign national, you will need a work permit to work in Canada legally, and the process of obtaining one can be quite involved. However, by following the steps outlined above and ensuring that you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can increase your chances of obtaining a Canadian work permit and starting your new life in Canada.