Can You Apply For a Canada Work Permit As A Foreigner?


Canada opens the door for individuals looking for job opportunities and a high quality of life. Several people from various countries including Nigeria see the Great White North as an attractive destination to start afresh. 

Whether it’s employment, business opportunities, or even academic pursuits, Canada provides the best atmosphere to do so. If you intend to work in Canada and have a good reputation, you need to obtain a work permit. 

This is very important because you will be able to gain employment from different organizations within the country whether you are a skilled professional, a temporary worker, or a recent graduate looking to gain international  experience. 

Perhaps you have been planning to make a big step towards achieving your career goals, then you must pass through this stage. 

The blog post provides you with comprehensive information that takes you through the processes of applying for a Canada work permit.

It outlines the requirements, eligibility criteria, and also some relevant steps involved to help you have a smooth application process. 

How Does the Canada Work Permit Work? 

The application process for getting a Canadian work permit is usually extensive. So before diving deep into that, we are going to discuss how the Canadian work permit process works. 


Firstly, you should understand that a work permit is a document issued by the Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows all foreign nationals or immigrants to work legally in the country for a specified period. 

While working under this permit, there are no sanctions attached. Work permits are of different types, starting from those for skilled workers, temporary workers, international students, and others. These few work permits mentioned have their own set of eligibility criteria and application procedures. 

Why is the Canada Work Permit Important? 

As an immigrant, you must have a work permit before fully getting employed in Canada. This is to ensure a smooth job process without any sanctions. 

Amazingly, the workers will be able to establish themselves in the country and pursue their career aspirations. Let’s look at some of the main reasons why having a work permit is very important; 

1. Legal Authorization to Work

The primary reason why the immigration authorities want you to have a work permit is to grant you legal authorization to work anywhere in Canada for a fixed period. 

Imagine working without a work permit. You could be penalized and deported to some extent. This potentially jeopardizes your status as a visitor in Canada. Obtaining work permits is the right thing to do because it signifies that your employment is legitimate and protected. 

2. Access to Employment Opportunities

Even if you need a valid job offer to demand a work permit in Canada, this benefit also provides you with several employment opportunities. This is because you have the legal authorization to work in Canada based on your field of work. 

Additionally, having a valid work permit also increases your chances of getting employed in any organization around the country. 

The jobs may be convenient provided that your portfolio matches their skills, qualifications, and required experience. Getting a good-paying job means that you can effectively contribute to the Canadian economy. 

3. Pathway to Permanent Residency

Obtaining a work permit means that you may be on the path to citizenship or permanent residency. 

During your stay in the country, you could apply for permanent residency if you have satisfied all the required conditions. When your work permit is yet to expire, you also have the opportunity to renew it. 

Consequently, you will be able to start afresh, establishing your personality, and professional skills in Canada and also build a Gmail of your own. 

4. Access to Social Benefits and Services 

Once you have the Canadian work permit and provided that you are working in the country currently, you get entitled to certain social benefits and services. 

They are exclusive to those contributing to the Canadian economy. These benefits are provided by the government and they include healthcare, education, and some social assistance programs. 

The essence of these benefits is to ensure the well-being of immigrants as well as their integration into Canadian society. 

The government is also ready to help navigate through any problems they usually face such as healthcare needs, luggage barriers, or cultural adjustments as they settle into their new lives in Canada. 

Applying for a Canada Work Permit 

We will examine each step one after the other, so you should pay attention as they are explained in detail. Here are easy steps you undertake to ensure a successful application without issues. 

Step 1: Your Eligibility 

Since you wish to apply for a Canada work permit, you need to determine your eligibility requirements. The requirements vary from individual to some extent. 

This also applies to other countries in the world. When it comes to Canada, applicants must have a valid job offer from any Canadian employer. 

The offer is not enough; the employee must also demonstrate that they have met all the job requirements for the specific work permit category. 

Importantly, you must assure the immigration authorities that once your permit expires, you’ll find your way out of the country or prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any accompanying family ever during your stay. 

You can also renew your work permit if you want to establish yourself fully on the path to permanent residency. 

Types of Work Permits

Let’s look at some of the typical work permits that Canada offers to newcomers. These permits are tailored to meet the ends of different categories of workers. Here are some of the common types of work permits; 

1. Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP): 

This enables Canadian employers to recruit newcomers to work temporarily. This usually happens in rare circumstances where there are labor and skill shortages in the country. 

2. International Mobility Program (IMP)

They deal with those who are not included in the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LIMA) process. 

This includes individuals under international agreements, intra-company transferees, and spouses of skilled workers. As a result, they offer limited permits to enable them to work and earn good wages. 

3. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

If you are an international willing to be among the country’s labor force while studying, you can apply for the PGWP work permits. 

Such an opportunity is not available to undergraduate but to postgraduate students. It enables them. to gain valuable work experience in Canada after completing their studies. 

4. Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP):

Under this program, agricultural employers are allowed to employ foreigners to work seasonally in Canada. There is also a specified work permit related to this for interested applicants. 

Step 2: Required Documents

Were you able to determine your eligibility? Then the next thing you need to worry about is gathering all required documents. 

These specific documents may vary based on your circumstances and the type of work permit you’re applying for. Here are some of the common requirements included; 

● A valid job offer letter from a Canadian employer

● Proof of educational qualifications and relevant work experience

● Passport or travel document

● Police clearance certificate

● Medical exam results (if required)

● Proof of financial support

● Any additional documents specific to your application

Step 3: Complete the Application 

Are you having your accurate documents in hand? Then you are ready to finalize the application process for your Canada work permit. Note that this process involves various stages which will be examined individually;

1. Online Application

Your work permit application can be done online through the IRCC website. The first thing to be done is to create an account. 

Then you fill out the application form correctly. It must be accurate and complete to prevent potential delays. When you’re done, kindly upload the required documents. 

2. Biometrics Appointment 

Based on where you are coming from, biometric verification is required. This includes submitting data of your fingerprint and photo. 

The purpose of this is to ensure easy Identification. For the biometric, do well to schedule an appointment with any designated Service Canada location. 

3. Pay the Application Fee

You may be required to pay the application fee, and it must be done. Your payment method typically involves a credit or debit card payment getaway. Note that the fees vary depending on the type of work permit and your location. 

4. Submit the Application

Before submitting your application, consider this as a crucial stage whereby you can review your appointment carefully to ensure accuracy and completeness before submitting it online. Subsequently, you’ll receive confirmation and instructions on the next steps afterward. 

Step 4: Processing Time and Waiting Period

This moment requires that you exercise patience after submitting your application. You also need to understand how the processing time works. 

When it comes to a Canada work permit, it can vary depending on certain factors such as the type of permit, your country of residence, and the volume of applications being processed. Processing typically ranges from a few weeks to several months. 

While waiting, ensure you regularly check your application status online and respond quickly to any requests for additional information or documentation from IRCC

Step 5: Arrival and Entry to Canada

When your work permit gets approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) which is a letter of introduction from the IRCC. 

This letter is very vital and you will need to present it to the Canadian border officials upon arrival. Other essential requirements include Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a visitor visa, depending on your nationality. You’ll be issued a work permit to legally work in Canada upon entry. 

Step 6: Renewing or Extending Your Work Permit

If you enjoyed your stay while working in Canada and want to keep on working, you can decide to renew your work permit. Take note of the expiry date and capitalize on it. 

Note that the process of renewal is quite similar to the initial application process and typically involves submitting a new application, along with updated documents and proof of continued employment. 


How much is Canada’s work permit visa fee in Nigeria?

A Canada work visa costs $155 for one person or $465 for a group. If it’s an open work permit, it’s $100.

Is it hard for foreigners to work in Canada?

Getting a job in Canada might be tough for newcomers, but it’s doable with determination and effort. By using the advice mentioned earlier, you can boost your opportunities for landing a job and establishing a thriving career in Canada.

Can I apply for a Canadian work permit from Nigeria?

You can get your Canada work permit online on the IRCC website or in person at the Canadian Visa Application Centre in Lagos or Abuja. Make sure to pay the application fee when you apply.

Can I apply for a Canadian work permit without a job offer?

In many situations, you don’t need a job offer. However, you’ll need one if you qualify for either the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and if you don’t have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family in Canada.

How can I convert my visitor visa to a work permit in Canada?

The time it takes to process a Canada work permit depends on the type of permit, your nationality, and when you apply.

How long does a Canada work permit take?

The time it takes to get a Canada work permit depends on the type of permit, where you’re from, and when you apply. Typically, it takes between 2 to 8 weeks. 

Final Thoughts

To sum up, it may be difficult when applying for or renewing a work permit in Canada. All that is required to ensure a smooth and successful application is careful planning and attention to detail. 

Therefore, your chances of success can be increased. Once you understand the eligibility criteria, the right documents demanded, and also the steps of completing the application process, you can navigate the application process with confidence and begin your journey toward working in Canada.

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