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Canada Employer-specific Work Permit

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    A work permit or work visa allows a foreign national to work in Canada for a specific period. In Canada, work permits can be generally divided into two, which are:

    • Open Work Permit
    • Employer-specific work permit

    Canada Employer-specific Work Permit

    Employer-specific work permit is a closed work permit issued to foreign workers, with or without Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA). The holder of this work permit will be allowed to work under only one employer in one single position. The duration of the work permit and sometimes, the location where the applicant is allowed to work from will be specified in the work permit. Though these limitations exist for Canada Employer-specific work permit, it allows the holder to obtain much valuable Canadian work experience, which would boost their chances of obtaining permanent residence in Canada.

    Who requires an Employer-specific Work Permit?

    • Foreign workers who have applied for PR through Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot(RNIP). They can apply for a work permit with a validity of one year.
    • Foreign workers who have received provincial nomination, but are yet to apply for Employer-specific Work Permit.
    • Foreign workers who have applied for Canada PR through Atlantic Immigration Program. If they have applied for PR through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program before March 5, 2022, they will be eligible for LMIA-exempt work permit. However, if they have applied after March 6, 2022, They will require a positive LMIA report. The validity of the work permit will be two years.

    LMIA for employer-specific work permit

    At the same time, if your work permit requires an LMIA, you will have to obtain a copy of a positive LMIA from your employer in order to apply. You will also have to submit a copy of your employment contract. A positive LMIA report means the employer could not find a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to fill the vacancy. So, it’s a report that hiring the foreign worker is going to have a positive impact on the Canadian labour market.

    If the work permit is LMIA-exempt, the employer needs to sign certain declarations and certifications. The employer must submit the employment offer through the employer portal. Upon submission, they will receive a 7-digit employment offer number. The employer should give the candidate this employment number.

    The employment offer submitted in this manner enters the Global Case Management System or GCMS. Once the application for ESWP with passport number and citizenship is entered, the status of employment is changed from ‘pending’ to ‘matched’. Then the work permit will get:

    • LMIA exemption code
    • Name of your employer
    • Title of occupation
    • Duration of employment
    • NOC code

    Once this is done, the employer will not be able to make alterations to the offer. Neither will they be able to reuse the offer for any other applicant.

    Application fee for Employer-specific Work Permit

    The application fee for Employer Specific Work Permit is $155. The candidate may also have to pay fee for biometrics. Usually, the ESWP is processed within 9 weeks, provided the candidate has submitted complete documents and provided accurate information.

    Documents required to apply for a Canada work permit

    If you are applying from outside Canada, you will need the following documents:

    • Proof of your financial ability to support yourself when you are in Canada
    • Assurance that you will leave Canada once your work permit expires.
    • Assurance that you won’t work for ineligible employees
    • Proof of not having any criminal background
    • Medical clearance

    If you are applying from inside Canada:

    • A valid legal work or study permit
    • Graduated from an eligible higher education institution
    • If under sponsorship, the sponsor must have a valid study or work permit.

    For Employer-specific work permit, the applicant must have proof of the employer offering them the job and making payment of the employer compliance free. The employer must also have association with Social Development Canada(SDC) and Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA).

    Eligibility requirements for Employer-specific Work Permit

    The applicant must meet the following requirements to obtain an Employer-specific Work Permit

    • Prove that you will leave Canada once your work permit expires
    • Prove that you have the financial capacity to support yourself and your family while you are in Canada.
    • Prove that you do not have any criminal background.
    • Prove that you would not cause any threat to Canada’s security
    • Prove that you will be in good health
    • You should not work for any employer who is listed as ineligible.
    • You should not work for work for any employer offering promiscuous services such as escort, massage, striptease etc.
    • You should provide the officer any other document that may be required to allow you to enter the country.

    Issuing Canada work permit

    The temporary work permit is issued to an applicant at the point of entry by a Canada Border Services Agency(CBSA) officer, when they arrive in Canada. With an employer-specific work permit, the applicant will be able to work for only a particular employer. But if they find another employment and want to work for another employer before obtaining permanent residence, they will have to apply for a new work permit.

    The work permit holder must always remember that they will be allowed to work in Canada only temporarily. If they want to work permanently, they need to qualify for permanent residence in Canada. With the Canada work experience that you would acquire with the temporary work permit, you will be able to apply for Canada permanent residence under Canadian Experience Class or Provincial Nominee Programs.

    Do you wish to know more about living and working in Canada? The Canada immigration experts of CanApprove are here to help. Contact us now!


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      Frequently Asked Questions

      What is the difference between an open work permit and a closed work permit in Canada?

      A closed work permit allows you to work in Canada with or without a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). You will need a job offer from a Canadian employee to obtain a closed work permit.

      An open work permit allows you to work in Canada and can be obtained without a job offer. You can obtain an open work permit through programs such as post-graduation work permits, bridging open work permit, inland spousal or common-law sponsorship and international experience Canada. 

      What is the validity of the employer-specific work permit in Canada?

      The validity of the employer-specific work permit in Canada is generally two years. However, you can extend the work permit’s validity by renewing it once you have obtained a job. 

      Do I need a work permit if I have a Canada PR?

      No. Once you obtain a Canada Permanent Residence, you won’t need any work permit to get employed in Canada. You can also switch multiple jobs with a Canada PR. 

      Can I obtain a Canada PR after with a work permit?

      Yes. You can apply for a Canada PR from within Canada if you’re a work permit holder. In fact, work experience can increase your CRS score and help you get a Canada PR. 



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