Work Permit

Each year, many foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily. These temporary foreign workers help fill labour shortages that currently exist in Canada through the transfer of skills. Employers help facilitate this transition by first obtaining authorization to hire a foreign worker.


There are different types of work permit when it comes to Immigration Canada, learn about them bellow:

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is a cross-border agreement between Canada, The United States of America and Mexico. It was created to facilitate special economic trade relationships between these countries. Citizens of these member countries have special privileges or exemptions from certain rules. If your occupation is listed in the NAFTA Agreement and you are a citizen of the member countries, for example, your employer is not required to first obtain authorization (a Labour Market Opinion) before hiring you.


An intra-company transferee is essentially and work transfer program for lack of a better analogy. It involves an eligible worker who wishes to transferbetween two qualifying organizations of the same company. The parent company being abroad and the branch company in Canada. As the applicant, there is a long list of criteria that you must meet in order to qualify. The same goes for your company. There must exist a “qualifying” relationship between your home company and the branch you wish to transfer to. Demonstrating this relationship is easier said than done.

If you intend on applying as an intra-company transferee, as the applicant, you must:

  • have worked:
    • on an ongoing basis,
    • for at least one year in the last three years,
    • for the same or a related employer in the United States or Mexico,
  • be transferred to Canada to work short term for the same or a related employer,
  • work as a manager, as an executive or in a job that uses specialized knowledge, and
  • have a work permit.

The above will help you understand whether or not you meet the basic criteria to be considered an eligible worker. You will also need to determine the nature of your work:

Executive Capacity Means That The Employee Primarily:

  • Directs the management of the organization or a major component or function of the organization;
  • Establishes the goals and policies of the organization, component, or function;
  • Exercises wide latitude in discretionary decision-making; and
  • Receives only general supervision or direction from higher level authorities

 Managerial Capacity Means That The Employee Primarily:

  • Manages the organization, a department, subdivision, function, or component of the organization;
  • Supervises and control the work of:
    • Other manager or supervisors;
    • Professional employees, or
    • Manages an essential function within the organization, or a department or subdivision of the organization
  • Has the authority to hire and fire, or recommend these and other personnel actions, such as promotion and leave authorization; and
  • Exercises discretion over the day-to-day operations of the activity or function for which the employee has the authority.

Application to work in Canada — work permits including open work permits

Work permit: How to apply

Get a work permit

Extend your work permit – Bridging open work permit

Work permit: About the process