How to come to work in Canada?

Discover how to navigate the process of working in Canada with this comprehensive step-by-step guide. From determining eligibility to securing a work permit, learn the essential steps and resources needed to kickstart your career in Canada.

by Legally Canadian

We can help you to achieve your goal of coming to work in Canada. As immigration lawyers we can guide you with respect to the proper application process for the work permit, as well as help your Canadian employer to apply for the necessary authorization (LMIA) to hire you, a foreign national, to work in Canada.

Here are some general steps to help you get started:

Determine your eligibility:

Canada has various work permits (both closed and open) and immigration programs, each with its own eligibility criteria. You should research and identify the program that best suits your qualifications, work experience, and goals. Some common programs include the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Provincial Nominee Programs, the Canadian Experience Class, International Experience Canada.

TIP: Having a valid Canadian job offer and/or a legal Canadian work experience could increase your chances to immigrate to Canada under one of the above programs. Some immigration programs require you to work for a Canadian employer before applying.

Research the labor market:

Before applying for jobs, it’s essential to understand the labor market in Canada. Research the demand for your skills and the job opportunities available in your desired province or territory. Websites like the Government of Canada’s Job Bank and provincial job portals can provide valuable information.

TIP: You can start your research at the COPS site first. Also take a look at the PNP lists of in-demand jobs for immigration.

Find a job offer:

In many cases, having a job offer from a Canadian employer is a crucial requirement for obtaining a work permit. You can search for job openings through online job portals, professional networks, company websites, and recruitment agencies. Networking and reaching out to employers directly can also be helpful.

You do not need to have a valid job offer to apply for

Here are some of the job search sites that might be useful:

  • Job Bank (
  • Indeed (
  • Monster (
  • Workopolis (

Work permit application:

Once you have a job offer, you can proceed with the work permit application process. Depending on the program and your circumstances, you may need to apply for either an employer-specific work permit or an open work permit. In some cases, the employer may need to get a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before hiring a foreign worker. If the LMIA is required, you will not be able to apply for a work permit without it.

TIP: To save you and your potential employer time, check in advance if an LMIA is required for your job.

Gather necessary documents:

Prepare the required documents for your work permit application, which may include your passport, educational certificates, job offer letter, proof of work experience, language test results, and other supporting documents. Make sure to review the specific requirements outlined by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for your chosen program.

TIP: IRCC has a detailed Guide outlining how an officer reviews an application for a work permit.

Submit your application:

Complete the application forms accurately and submit them, along with the required documents and processing fees, to the appropriate IRCC online portal. Pay close attention to the instructions and ensure all the information provided is correct and up to date.

Wait for a decision:

The processing time for work permits can vary depending on the program, current workload, and other factors. You can check the IRCC website for estimated processing times. It’s essential to monitor the status of your application and respond promptly if any additional information or documents are requested.

Plan for your arrival:

If your work permit application is approved, you can start planning for your move to Canada. Make travel arrangements, secure accommodation, and familiarize yourself with the province or territory where you will be working. You may also need to consider obtaining health insurance and opening a bank account.

It’s important to note that the above steps provide a general overview, and the process can be more complex depending on your circumstances. It is recommended to consult the official website of IRCC ( or seek professional advice from an immigration lawyer to ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information for your specific situation.

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