Canada Skilled Worker


Canada Skilled Worker

Canada's Skilled Worker offers a variety of pathways for foreign nationals seeking employment opportunities within the country.

Overview of Main Canada Work Permit Categories

Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

The TFWP allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary labor and skill shortages. Applicants must receive a job offer from a Canadian employer who has obtained a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), proving that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job and that no Canadian worker is available to do the job.

International Mobility Program (IMP)

The IMP lets employers hire foreign workers without the need for an LMIA. Exemptions from the LMIA process are based on broader economic, cultural, or other competitive advantages for Canada and reciprocal benefits enjoyed by Canadians and permanent residents.

Open Work Permits

Unlike employer-specific work permits, open work permits do not require a job offer or an LMIA. They allow holders to work for any employer in Canada, excluding those listed as ineligible by the government or those offering striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.

Employer-specific Work Permits

These permits allow foreign nationals to work in Canada according to specific conditions outlined in the permit, such as the employer's name, location of work, and the duration of work. An LMIA or an LMIA-exempt offer is usually required.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for Canadian work permits must meet several general and specific criteria to ensure their applications are considered. While these requirements can vary significantly between the different work permit categories, some general eligibility criteria include:

  • Legal Documentation: Valid passport or travel document that ensures the applicant can return to their country of origin.
  • Health and Character: Applicants might be required to undergo a medical examination and must not have a criminal record, implying they are not a security risk to Canada.
  • Financial Stability: Proof of sufficient funds to support themselves and any family members during their stay, as well as for their return home.


  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP): Requires a valid job offer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), demonstrating that no Canadian citizen or permanent resident is available to perform the job.
  • International Mobility Program (IMP): Applicants must be eligible under one of the IMP streams, which include significant benefit, reciprocal employment, and other categories that do not require an LMIA. Certain streams may require specific qualifications, experience, or participation in specific agreements (e.g., NAFTA, CETA).
  • Open Work Permits: Eligibility may depend on the applicant's status in Canada, such as being an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution or being the spouse of a skilled worker or international student.
  • Employer-specific Work Permits: Requires a job offer from a Canadian employer and, in most cases, an LMIA. The offer must detail the job duties, duration of employment, and location of work.

Document Checklist

When applying for a Canadian work permit, the following documents are generally required across all categories:

  • Application Form: Fully completed and signed application forms specific to the work permit being applied for.
  • Passport: Valid passport with enough blank pages for any necessary stamps.
  • Photographs: Recent passport-sized photos according to the specified requirements.
  • Job Offer Letter: From a Canadian employer, if applicable.
  • LMIA: A copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment, if required.
  • Proof of Qualifications: Including diplomas, degrees, certificates, and any relevant transcripts.
  • Proof of Professional Qualifications: Including licensure or certification, if required for the job.
  • Proof of Financial Means: Bank statements or other proofs to show you can support yourself and accompanying family members.
  • Medical Exam Results: If required, from an approved panel physician.
  • Police Clearance Certificate: To prove you have no criminal history.
  • For specific work permit categories additional documents may include:
  • Proof of Relationship: For open work permits applicable to spouses or common-law partners.
  • Canadian Educational Credential: Or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) for international credentials, for those applying through certain streams of the IMP.
  • Provincial Nomination: If applicable, for those nominated by a province or territory for permanent residence.