Last Updated on June 11, 2016
Here, you will find:
- A description of the conditions that are attached to a temporary work permit
- A description of how these conditions can be added removed or changed
- Information on how long a temporary work permit may be valid
- Information on how the validity period of a work permit can be extended
Canadian visa officers have authority to add conditions to a work permit such as:
- The length of time for which the permit will be valid
- The type of work that the work permit holder may perform
- The employers that the foreign worker may work for
- The geographic locations in which the foreign worker must work
- Specific times and periods during which the foreign worker can or cannot work
All work permit holders must satisfy the following requirements:
- They may not work for, or extend their employment with, an employer whose name appears on the list of ineligible employers. This rule only applies if it has been less than two years since the employer was put on the list.
- They may not work for or extend their employment with a business that offers: stripteases, erotic dances, escort services or erotic massages.
If a foreign worker violates either of these two rules, his/her work permit will be revoked.
The extent to which a Canadian visa officer can add the conditions mentioned above to a work permit will be altered if the foreign worker applicant is eligible for an open work permit or is required to undergo a medical examination (Medical Exams for Temporary Foreign Worker Applicants).
Work permits are usually valid for six months. However, a Canadian visa officer can change the validity period of a work permit according to:
- The expiry of the worker’s passport or other travel document. Generally, a Canadian visa officer will not issue a work permit that is valid for longer than the validity of the worker’s passport. This rule, however, does not apply to:
- Citizens of the USA
- People seeking to enter Canada from the USA or St. Pierre and Miquelon who have been lawfully admitted to the USA as permanent residents
- Residents of Greenland seeking to enter Canada from Greenland
- People seeking to enter Canada from St. Pierre and Miquelon who are citizens of France and residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon
- Members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act. In order for this rule to apply, the armed forces member must be seeking entry to Canada in order to carry out official duties. This rule does not apply to people working in the civilian sector of a country’s armed forces.
- People who are seeking to enter Canada as, or in order to become, members of an air transportation crew. These people must hold an airline flight crew licence or crew member certificate issued in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization specifications.
- People seeking to enter Canada as members of a sea transportation crew. These people must hold a seafarer’s identity document issued according to International Labour Organization rules. They must also be crewmembers of the boat that carried them to Canada.
- Applicants with no other means of support. (Foreign Nationals with No Other Means of Support)
- Permanent residency applicants residing in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)
- Note: all of the additional considerations listed below will never cause a work permit to be issued for longer than the validity of the worker’s passport UNLESS they are subject to one of the exceptions listed above.
- The foreign worker’s means of support in Canada
- The period for which the foreign worker has applied to stay in Canada
- The duration of validity of the applicant’s LMIA or Certificat D’Acceptation de Quebec, as applicable
- The expected duration of the applicant’s employment as indicated in the job offer
- The maximum work permit validity period allowed by any particular program or agreement in which the applicant is involved.
If all requirements are met and a temporary foreign worker applicant is issued a work permit, Canadian visa officers will give the work permit the longest validity period possible given the factors mentioned above.
The longest total time a worker can work in Canada on a work permit is four years including all extensions. There can be exceptions to this rule, however, if:
- The foreign national’s work in Canada creates or maintains social, cultural or economic benefits for Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
- The foreign national’s work in Canada relates to an international agreement between Canada and one or more countries. This includes seasonal agricultural workers.
- The foreign national’s work is performed while he/she is authorized to study in Canada
Workers who have already worked for four years in Canada will be able to apply for another work permit once:
- 48 months have passed since the worker last accumulated 4 years of work in Canada
- 48 months have passed since the worker last worked in Canada.
There are certain categories of work, however, that come with specifically mandated work permit validity periods. The kinds of work and validity periods are as follows:
- Professionals working under NAFTA: Under NAFTA, work permits are issued for three years. All permit extensions will also be for three years. There is no limit on the number of times a permit can be extended.
- Professionals working under free trade agreements similar to NAFTA: Under these agreements, work permits are issued for one year. All permit extensions will also be for one year. There is no limit on the number of times a permit can be extended.
- Professionals working under the General Agreement on Trades in Services: A work permit under this agreement will only be valid for 90 days over a 12-month period. There is no limit on the number of extensions.
- For workers transferring from a foreign company to a Canadian company, work permits may be issued for the following periods:
- Executives and managers: Permits will have a maximum initial validity period of three years. If an executive or manager is opening an office in Canada, however, the maximum initial validity period is only one year. Renewals for two-year periods are possible but the total period of stay may not be more than seven years.
- Specialized knowledge transferees: Permits will have a maximum initial validity period of three years. If a specialized knowledge transferee is opening an office in Canada, however, the maximum initial validity is only one year. Renewals for two-year periods are possible but the total period of stay may not be more than five years.
- International Experience Canada Participants: These permits have a validity period of 6-12 months.
- Study Permit Holders: Work permits will be valid for as long as the study permit is valid. A work permit will only be issued, however, if the work is essential to the applicant’s program of study.
- Spouses of Diplomats of Military Personnel: The spouse’s work permit’s validity will not exceed the length of the diplomat or military personnel’s stay in Canada.
- Post-Graduation Employment Work Permit. These permits have a maximum validity of three years with no renewals.
- Live-In Caregiver Program. The maximum total validity period of these work permits is four years including extensions.
- Refugee Claimants. The initial work permit will be valid for 24 months. Renewals for 1-year periods are possible.
- Destitute Students. A work permit will be issued for a validity period that is long enough to allow the student to earn sufficient money to complete his/her term of study.
- Temporary resident permit holders. The validity period of the work permit will not be longer than the validity period of the temporary residence permit. Temporary residence permit holders can only apply for a work permit if their temporary residence permits have a validity period of longer than 6 months.
For more information on how to extend or change work permit in Canada, please click here.
For more information on how to apply for a temporary work permit, click here.
Interested employers: Kindly contact us here to receive further information.
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