How Do I Come To Canada As a Temporary Worker?

Posted Nov 15th, 2021

How Do I Come To Canada As a Temporary Worker?

If you are interested in working temporarily in Canada, there are a few different things you will need. Here, our Ottawa and Orleans immigration physicians explain the steps you need to take to be considered for temporary work in Canada and how we can help. 

There are many opportunities for well-paying and rewarding work in Canada. But how can you set yourself up to be able to find and land a job opportunity in the country and what is the process for becoming eligible for temporarily living and working in Canada?

There are a number of tests, applications and steps you need to undertake in order to be considered eligible for temporarily working in Canada and, here, we explain what those include and how we can help.

What do I need to come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker?

In order to come temporarily work in Canada, you have to be eligible for (and apply for) an work permit. Work permits are the one way to legally work in Canada as a non-citizen for temporary stints of work and are administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). 

Not all jobs require a work permit to legally be performed in Canada. Visit this webpage on the IRCC's site for more information about whether or not the kind of work you plan to conduct in Canada requires a work permit. 

There are two kinds of work permit that the IRCC provides to temporary workers in Canada: Employer-Specific Work Permits and Open Work Permits. The first of these is the most common kind of work permit provided to people looking to work temporarily in Canada, while Open Work Permits are generally only given out to people in very specific circumstances. 

What is required to get a work permit for temporary employment in Canada?

Different circumstances are required for qualifying to gain temporary employment in Canada through a work permit. 

Employer-Specific Work Permit

You must already have an offer of employment from a Canadian company. They must provide proof to the Canadian government (through something called a Labour Market Impact Assessment) that you are able to provide an economic benefit to their company that Canadian citizens aren't. Alternatively, they can have hired you through Canada's International Mobility Program.

Open Work Permit

This permit does not require a job offer and allows you to search for and work at any employer in the country. However, Open Work Permits are only available to individuals in specific circumstances, which we explain here

How do you get a work visa in Canada?

In both cases, there are a few different requirements to be eligible for a work permit, and thus, temporary work in Canada. These include:

  • Proof to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;
  • Proof that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;
  • Proof that you obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate);
  • Assurance that you will not be a danger to Canada’s security;
  • Proof you are in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
  • Assurance that you do not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
  • Assurance that you do not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
  • The ability to provide your immigration officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

How long does a work visa for temporary work in Canada last?

The length of time you will be able to legally work in Canada will depend on the kind of work you will be doing, the kind of work visa you have been provided and the free trade agreement that the country you are a citizen of has with Canada (if any).

Generally speaking, if you are traveling to Canada only for the purpose of working there, your work permit will be valid for 3 years if you are from one of the other countries that are part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 1 year if you are from a country who is part of a different free trade agreement including Canada and 90 days if you are from neither. 

All of that being said, if you and your employer both comply with the conditions placed on your work permit, Canadian work visas can be renewed as many times as you like without limit. 

Are you considering applying for temporary worker status in Canada? An immigration medical exam is a key part of proving you are in good health. The team of immigration physicians at can provide these exams and help you through the application process. Contact us today!

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