Work Visa Permits

Do You Require a Work Permit for Canada?

If you plan on working in Canada, have been offered a job in Canada, your company is transferring you to a Canadian location, or you want to open a new business, you need to apply for a Canadian work visa.

A Canada work visa or Canada work permit is issued by the Canadian government and allows a foreigner, such as a United States citizen, to work legally in the country for a specified period of time.

What Are Some Obstacles You May Face in Obtaining a Canadian Work Visa Permit?

Typically, obtaining a Canadian work visa is a two-step process.

Step 1: A Labour Market Opinion (LMO) letter from Service Canada (formally HRSDC) is required

Before you apply, you must obtain a Labour Market Opinion from Service Canada.

In order for an LMO to be obtained the Canadian company seeks the approval of the job offer in order to be allowed to give it to the requested foreign worker.

Canada will then issue the LMO approval only IF they feel satisfied that there are no Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are qualified or wishing to apply for the position offered to the foreign worker OR that the foreign worker will be willing to train Canadians during their employment in Canada.

In most cases, the employer is required to prove to Service Canada that it has done everything possible to hire a Canadian citizen or permanent resident but were not successful in doing so.

The employer must first advertise the position in Canada before offering it to a foreign worker.

If Service Canada feels that the employer has extended all possible avenues in hiring a local citizen, they will then “confirm” the employment offer and issue the necessary LMO letter.

Step 2. Application for Canadian Work Visa

After the LMO is issued, the requested worker is invited to apply for a Canadian via or work permit from a Canadian Consulate or Embassy.

In many situations, the worker is required to interview with a visa officer. If the officer feels that the employment will not affect job opportunities for Canadians, the work permit will be issued.

Note: in some cases, applicants from a particular country will be required to pass a medical examination.

Let Us Help You Make Sense of Canadian Immigration and Work visas

Since every situation is unique, there is no single solution to every case. Contact us for information on how to best move forward.

It is also important to note that improperly filing your application could harm your chances of approval. At the very least, this could result in a delay.

At Niren & Associates we have more than 30 years of experience in helping people obtain the Temporary Residence Work Permit that they require.

Our Los Angeles office has worked thousands of US and Canadian visa cases in the past. We hope that you will contact us so we can assist you in the future.

Our Canadian immigration lawyers are fully licensed and stand ready to help you right now

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Canadian Work Visas

Question: Do all foreigners require a Canada Work Visa?

Answer: No. There are certain people who are EXEMPT or do not require a Canada Work Visas (subject to certain conditions). These include:

Foreign Diplomats

Military Personnel


Performing Artists (under certain circumstances)



Ship or Truck Personnel

Designated Foreign Buyers and Sellers

Note: There are other exemptions that can be found in the Canadian Immigration Regulations.

Question: If I work in Canada for a set period of time, am I able to receive Permanent Resident status?


Answer: Possibly. If you work in Canada for two years with a valid Work Permit, you may be eligible for Permanent Resident status under the Canadian Experience Class. This depends large on your employment classification and language proficiency.

Question: I am a Canadian Employer who wants to hire a Foreign Worker. Do I require an LMO for my prospective employee?

Answer: Not always. For Fast Track Processing for Canada Work Visas, there are some exemptions from Canadian LMO applications:

Not everyone requires an LMO to get a Canadian Work Visa. There are certain occupations that are exempt from requiring an LMO from Service Canada such as:

Certain computer professionals who qualify under the Software Development Workers Pilot Project (SDWPP)

Foreign Students holding a Canadian Study Permit

Citizens of the US whose occupations fall under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This category is for US Citizens and Mexican Citizens.

Spouses of Highly Skilled Workers who qualify under the Spousal Pilot Project

Given the wide range of offenses caught by the criminal inadmissibility provisions, it is important that you investigate the potential criminal history of all nonimmigrant clients entering the US for business or pleasure before sending them to the US.

We Can Help You Get Desirable Results

In order to properly execute a strategy for you to gain a temporary residence work permit, we need to learn more about your exact situation including which steps you have taken and what you need to do in the near future to ensure success.


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