How To Work in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

19 January, 2024

How To Work in Canada: A Comprehensive Guide

The Canadian economy is growing, and with that, job opportunities in Canada are also increasing. Is your dream to work in Canada? Then pay attention to the different ways to build your career on Canadian soil and what you need to make this dream come true.


How to Obtain a Work Permit in Canada


The process for obtaining a work permit in Canada varies significantly depending on the type of permit a person is applying for. For example, international students studying in Canada often receive automatic authorization to work part-time as part of their study permit.
In most cases of restricted work permit applications, a foreign national must have an official job offer from a Canadian employer supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Even those exempt from LMIA or not requiring a work permit should be aware of the specific documentation needed to ensure entry into Canada. There are generally two ways to obtain a work permit in Canada: a restricted work permit and an open work permit.
Restricted work permits are tied to specific employers, meaning that a foreign national with a restricted work permit must continue working with the same employer at the same location unless they choose to change their work permit.
One thing to keep in mind is that there is no way to apply for a work permit on its own – the application must be linked to another process. We list the options below:


Being a student in a higher education program:


If you are enrolled in a government-recognized higher education program (university or college) in Canada, you are allowed to work part-time (20 hours per week) during academic sessions and up to 40 hours per week during breaks. However, if you decide to "freeze" a period on your own, you will not have the right to work full time!


Completing a higher education program and already enrolling in a second higher education program.


The student has the possibility to stay in Canada and work full-time for up to 150 days after receiving the document certifying the completion of the first course, provided they already have the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) for the second course they intend to take.


Being an accompanying (spouse) of a higher education student:


As long as your partner is enrolled in a university or college program for at least 8 months, full time, at a public institution, or a degree-level course (bachelor's or master's) at a private school, you have the right to apply for an Open Work Permit, allowing you to engage in any profession full-time. This work permit is valid for the duration of the spouse's course.


Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP):


PGWP is a work permit for international students after graduating from courses of at least 8 months, full time, at a government-recognized institution with a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), either public or a degree-level course (bachelor's or master's) at a private school.
The duration of the work permit is determined by the immigration officer at the time of PGWP application, considering the time of your studies in Canada. The student can apply within 180 days after receiving the first document certifying the course completion. This type of permit is a great opportunity to gain Canadian work experience in the chosen field.


Having an LMIA:


LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) has employer support, meaning it is a job offer made by a Canadian company. To apply for LMIA, the employer must prove to the Canadian government that the hiring is essential and does not deprive any Canadian native of the position.
This type of permit usually lasts for 1 to 2 years and is linked to the company, position, and location in question. One advantage of this program is that a job offer provides extra points in the Express Entry system – one of the main methods used to immigrate to Canada.


Possessing permanent residence:


If you are a permanent resident of Canada, whether through a federal program, provincial program, or Spouse Sponsorship, you have the same rights as a Canadian citizen (except for a passport and voting in elections). This means you can work full time in the country.


Bridging Work Permit


If your work permit is nearing its expiry date (within the next 4 months) and you are awaiting the response to your permanent residence application, you can apply for a Bridging Work Permit. This permit allows you to continue working full-time until the decision on your application is finalized.


And what documents do I need to work in Canada?


Whether part-time or full-time, you need a SIN (Social Insurance Number) to work legally in Canada. But don't worry, the entire process should not take more than 15 minutes. Just head to a Canada Service Centre with your documentation (passport, work and/or study permit). An official will assess them and provide you with the number on the spot.


Are there any specific language requirements to work in Canada?


Yes, there are specific language requirements to work in Canada. Proficiency in English or French is essential for most jobs in Canada. Fluency in one of these languages is necessary to effectively communicate with colleagues, clients, and customers in the workplace. 
Additionally, language skills are often evaluated during the immigration process, as they play a crucial role in integrating into Canadian society and participating in the workforce. Demonstrating a strong command of English or French through standardized language tests, such as the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) or the Test d'évaluation de français (TEF), can enhance your chances of finding employment in Canada. 
It is important to note that specific language requirements may vary depending on the job and industry, so it is advisable to research and understand the language proficiency expectations for your desired occupation in Canada.


Benefits of Working in Canada


Working in Canada comes with various benefits. Canadian labor laws ensure that workplaces maintain a high level of safety, and all employers must adhere to specific laws and regulations to ensure the well-being of their employees. Additionally, wages in Canada are competitive, and foreigners are legally required to receive salaries equivalent to their Canadian counterparts.
Furthermore, certain types of work permits in Canada allow the spouses and children of workers to accompany them to the country. Another significant benefit for those interested in immigrating permanently to Canada is that by gaining work experience in the country, a foreigner can enhance their eligibility for various Canadian permanent residency programs.




If you are in Canada for an English course, with a Tourist Visa, or eTA, it is NOT allowed to work, either part-time or full-time.
There are other options to obtain a work permit, such as the Global Talent Stream and the Work Holiday Visa – but these are seasonal programs that may not always have openings for Brazilians.
Are you ready to advance your career with Canadian work experience? Contact e-Visa, and one of our consultants will outline the best strategy for you!
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