Expats intending to work in Canada legally will, in most cases, need a work permit. There are two types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. Both types have their own requirements and privileges.


Types of work permits in Canada

Employer-specific Permits

This type of permit, as the name suggests, is only valid for a job from a particular employer. Should an expat wish to change employers, they would need to find a new job and restart the work-permit process.

To obtain an employer-specific permit, expats must first secure a job offer from a Canadian employer. Canadian employers must be able to prove that the job on offer cannot be filled by a Canadian citizen. The employer must show that they have advertised the position throughout Canada for a certain period and have been unable to find a qualified local candidate.

Open Work Permits

Open Work Permits are not tied to a particular employer and allow permit holders to change jobs or employers freely. This type of work permit is available to expats who fulfil any one of a number of requirements, including holding a temporary residence permit, being a permanent residency applicant, or being a spouse of a skilled worker.

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