- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Canada Guide (PDF)
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
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.
►See Visas for Canada for more information about the correct paperwork when it comes to moving to Canada
"We came to Canada via the Express Entry system, which is a skilled, points-based system, which grants permanent residence. The process itself is not difficult, but it is long and time consuming.The only time I would recommend an agent or immigration lawyer is if you have a complicated case that may require more documents or involve additional procedures." Read more about moving to Canada in our interview with Catherine.
Are you an expat living in Canada?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Canada. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.