Canadian Work Permit for Professionals

by Basma Ihmaidan
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How to get a Canadian work permit?

If you are looking to get a Canadian work permit as a professional, you are in the right place. Learn how to get the opportunity you were waiting for!

One of the first things you need to do when you are in Canada and want to extend your stay is to seriously think of applying for a work permit.

Whether your goal is to stay in the country permanently or to complete an undergraduate or postgraduate program, etc. Having a work permit is crucial for an international student or professional in Canada.

There are different ways of getting a work permit. Among them, the most recommended, if you don’t have a professional degree is the study option.

It doesn’t seem to make sense if you already have a professional degree in your country of origin, right? The truth is … it makes complete when you’re in a country like Canada.

Studying a program or a new career in a Canadian College or University will open the doors to get a work permit directly.

There are also multiple programs that will help you immigrate and work in Canada, which, depending on your profile, you can apply.

Most popular programs to apply for a work permit

There are different programs that you can apply to work and immigrate to Canada. It is important to keep in mind that each case is different, so you should seek legal advice to determine which one is right for you. Let’s take a quick look at some of the programs below.

Federal Programs (Express Entry)

It is a program managed by the Canadian government to bring skilled workers into its economy through an online application system made by candidates and categorized according to their profile and eligibility criteria such as profession (NOC), work experience, age, etc. Candidates with the best profile are eligible to obtain an open work permit.

Provincial Programs

It consists of a program managed by the Canadian provinces, based on their particular needs and adjusted regularly. This is done because there is a deficit of professionals who can perform this type of work, so the provinces use this program to balance their workforce.

For example, some province needs bakers, they use the provincial program to find people with these profiles. Candidates must apply and be qualified by the provinces to be considered eligible for a work permit.

Working Holiday Visa

It is an open work permit granted by the Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) which allows you to study and work for a period of 12 months.

This program is under the International Experience Canada (IEC) agreement through which the Canadian government has agreements with different countries for its citizens to apply. For example (Chile, Spain, the Czech Republic). If you want to know more about the list of countries click here.

Study and work programs

The study and work programs allow you to work part-time while you study. One of the many benefits of this program is that in most cases, at the end of the study component or portion of your program, you choose to take a CO-OP (work internships) where you can work full time, and the work permit will have a duration equivalent to the duration of the program.

For example, if you studied a 12-month program, your CO-OP or work internship can be of up to be 12 months.

Many people choose the study and work programs because it is one of the most common and often quick ways of getting a work permit, of course, you have to have the economic funds to pay for your tuition, it is also complementary with the previous ones.

The process of getting a work permit can be different for each person. Therefore, what we recommend is to consult with a certified immigration consultant, they will guide you through the process to get a work permit.

General requirements for the work permit

Once you are in Canada, you have different ways of getting a Work permit, but as we discussed above, one of the most popular ways to streamline the process is through higher education programs.

When making your application to a higher education program, the work permit is received in a more direct and fast way compared to other types of processes that can be more complex.

Then, taking this into account, you will ask yourself: What do I need to know to continue my process through the study and work programs?

Apply to a study program

We recommend that you choose a program that can allow you to be eligible for a Canadian work permit. However, there are specialized educational agencies for international students that can guide you through the process and help you with the application and enrollment for the program.

Program duration

For a student visa, the duration of your work permit will depend on the course or study program you choose.

Study in a public or a private institution

You can only be eligible for a Canadian work permit if you are studying a higher education program in a public or private institution.

There are a limited number of seats available for international students in public institutions, and the intakes and application deadlines vary, so it is important to act fast to avoid being left out.

Canadian Work Permit

Canada is one of the best destinations in the world to work, providing an excellent quality of life for those who live in this country.

Something you should know is that the work visa in Canada is granted by the CIC or the Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship of Canada.

The CIC is in charge of managing the applications and requirements for work and study permits, citizenship applications and protection for refugees.

The different agreements between Canada and your country of citizenship, stay length, activities willing to perform or if you wish to study and work might condition your permit.

Open Work Permit

An open work permit will allow foreign nationals to work for any employer for a pre-determined amount of time.

Unless specified, there might be some restrictions, you are not allowed to work in some industries such as:

  • A health professional (doctors, nurses, etc.)
  • Child education and care professional
  • Some jobs in the adult entertainment industry
  • Others

An example of an open work permit is the Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), that offers international students the possibility of work for 1-3 years after completing a study program.

For the work permit, conditions apply depending on each program and individual, you can visit the official website of the Canadian government to learn more about the steps and other immigration-related matters. An open work permit can be applied from outside and inside Canada or within a Canadian port of entry.

These permits can be issued in some cases without the requirement of the LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment). However, these have to meet the required criteria.

Employer-specific work permits

This permit is more restricted, since you can only work for a particular employer and will include:

  • Name of the employer you can work for
  • Location where you can work (if applicable)
  • How long you can work (validity period)

Since it is a limited work permit, you should prove that you will leave Canada when the permit ends and that you have the necessary funds to support your initial stay. And of course, meet the necessary requirements in order to be eligible.

Tips to get a work permit

Here are some of the tips that you should keep in mind if you would like to work in Canada:

1. Create a Plan

Coming up with a plan or setting up a specific goal is crucial to get the work permit. To do that, you should know all the different programs and requirements that apply to your case.

You can always work with a certified immigration consultant. However, you should be careful with some people or companies that offer their immigration services.

This is a highly regulated activity and fines for misrepresentation (working without a valid license) are high. To be sure you are working with a qualified professional you can check the CIC website’s Regulated Immigration Consultant page.

2. Get additional training and qualifications (study and work)

Some careers in Canada are regulated, so it is difficult to work in these fields with an open work permit.

Many international students decide to take a complementary or similar program to the one they have already completed in their countries. These can improve your employment opportunities and allow you to apply to a study and work permit.

Why it is important a Canadian Work Permit?

A work permit will allow you to work legally as a qualified professional and will prevent you to break the law and enjoy all the benefits that this country has to offer.

There are many perks about working in Canada and can only be achieved through a work permit. This might open the doors to a permanent residency and/or citizenship and a better quality of life.

Start your journey by applying to a work permit through the study and work program as a medium-long term plan.

If you would like to know more about how to apply to a work permit, we invite you to download the Quick guide to work in Canada. On it, you will have more details and information about this process.

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