Work in Canada

Many immigrants dream of getting a job abroad and travel to the country of destination with the certainty they are employed and will be able to afford the costs of living abroad. Canada issues every year hundreds of thousand work permit through several immigration programs for foreign workers. In the last three year, Canada issued hundreds of thousand work permits for foreign workers.

But how to get a work permit and work in Canada?

If you are outside Canada and is wondering how you can get a work visa to Canada, see below the options available for foreign workers to apply for a work permit:


Before hiring an international worker, most employers need a government authorization that comes through an approved Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) application. LMIAs are processed by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) which ensures that the entry of these workers will not have a negative impact on the Canadian labour market.

Foreign nationals with a job offer supported by an approved LMIA are able to apply for a work permit.


The International Mobility Program (IMP) allows workers to apply for a work permit without a LMIA.

The exceptions include professionals and business investors defined on international agreements, Canadian interests such as significant benefit or reciprocal employment, public policies, workers without other means of support such as refugees, permanent residence applicants in Canada, vulnerable workers, and humanitarian reasons.

The IMP includes many LMIA-exempt work permit options. See below some of the most common ones:

Provincial Nominees

Provinces nominated applicants for permanent residency but only the Federal Government can grant permanent residency to an applicant. Provincial nominees receive 600 points when applying for permanent residency programs via Express Entry.

Provincial Programs applicants who have been nominated by the province might be eligible to apply for a work permit and be able to work in Canada while they wait for their permanent residency application to be processed by IRCC.

Atlantic Immigration program

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot is the pathway for those looking to immigrate to one of the Atlantic provinces in Canada: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. Candidates can apply from overseas or from Canada if living here temporarily with valid status.

The Pilot is also a program for permanent residency and, to be able to work in Canada while waiting for their permanent residency to be processed, candidates can be granted a work permit.


International Experience Canada

The International Experience Canada (IEC) is the pathway for young professionals looking to gain work experience in Canada. The Program is available to citizens from countries or territories that have an agreement with Canada allowing them to apply for an IEC work permit.

There are 3 categories of work permit under the IEC Program:

Working Holiday: for candidates without a job offer in Canada.

Young Professionals: for candidates with a job offer in Canada in an occupation NOC skill level 0, A or B, and, in some specific situations, skill level C

International Co-op (Internship): for candidates registered at a post-secondary institution and have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada

The eligibility requirements vary according to the country of citizenship. Usually, the candidates have to be between the ages of 18 and 35, have minimum of $2,500 CAD to cover the expenses in Canada, and be admissible to Canada.

Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot

The Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot (RNIP) is a program designed for those who want to live and settle in one of the participating communities in Canada, becoming permanent residents.

Participating communities:

Vernon, British Columbia

West Kootenays, British Columbia

North Bay, Ontario

Sudbury, Ontario

Timmins, Ontario

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Thunder Bay, Ontario

Brandon, Manitoba

Altona/Rhineland, Manitoba

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Claresholm, Alberta

RNIP applicants need a job offer and might be granted a work permit to work in Canada while the permanent residency application is still being processed by IRCC.


Francophone mobility

Attracting French-speaking immigrants to Canadian communities outside of Quebec is a national priority for Canada. To facilitate this, the International Mobility Program (IMP) for Francophones allows employers to hire Francophone or bilingual workers outside Quebec. Eligible French-speaking workers can receive a temporary work permit

To be eligible for the IMP for Francophones, you must:

Receive an eligible job offer outside Quebec.

Be qualified to work in managerial, professional, technical or skilled trades occupations with an NOC of 0, A or B.

Be able to communicate in French (level equivalent to CLB 7 or higher)


How to apply for jobs in Canada?

Foreign workers living abroad can also apply for jobs in Canada. The employer needs to sponsor the worker via provincial, regional, or federal programs if the worker does not qualify to apply for an open work permit.

Websites for jobs search and application in Canada:

You can search jobs on each province website.