Canada Work Permit
Canada work permits are issued under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The TFWP is intended to help Canadian employers recruit foreign workers in response to labour market shortages.
TFWP is made up of four streams: high-skilled workers, low-skilled workers, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program, and the Live-In Caregiver Program.
Foreign workers must have an approved job offer and a work permit before arriving in Canada under the TFWP.
IRCC works with Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to ensure foreign workers do not take jobs for which Canadian citizens or permanent residents are available. Canadian employers intending to hire a foreign worker must obtain prior approval. This is done by applying for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
In some cases, foreign workers may qualify to work in Canada without an LMIA under various programs, such as the International Mobility Program.
Post-Graduation Work Permit
Canada has made important changes to the Post-Graduation Work Permit related to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Post Graduation Work Permit gives international students the chance to work after graduation by granting a Canada work permit for up to three years.
The PGWP is exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) requirements.
The candidate must have attended a recognized post-secondary school, or a secondary school that offers qualifying programs, for at least eight months.
For programs last between eight months and two years, the Post Graduation Work Permit is issued for the length of the study. For international students who have studied for two years or more, a three-year permit is issued.
The valuable work experience gained during this period can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry.
- Be 18 or older.
- Have continuously studied full-time in Canada in a program at least eight months long.
- Have completed and passed all your program requirements
- Have graduated from one of the following:
- Public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school or university, or CEGEP in Quebec.
- Private post-secondary school that operates under the same rules as public schools (currently applies only to certain private post-secondary institutions in Quebec).
- Private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, leading to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP).
- Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelor’s, Masters or Doctorate degree) but only if you are enrolled in a study program leading to a degree as authorized by the province.
- Apply within 180 days of completing the program.
Special Case: Flight Instructors
To be eligible, a flight instructor must fit one of the following descriptions:
- Have completed a flight training course at a Canadian training centre and now have a Canadian commercial pilot’s license.
- Is in the process of getting an instructor’s rating andhas a job offer as a flight instructor from a flight training centre.
Validity of PGWP
The validity of a PGWP is linked to the length of study. If a candidate studied for less than eight months, they are not eligible.
Length of Study
8 months to 2 years
2 years or more
More than one program
Duration of PGWP
Same as length of study
Cumulative total length of study is applicable