To work or study in Canada you will most likely need a temporary work permit or a temporary study permit. To enter Canada as a visitor, a worker or a student you will also need to obtain an entry visa or an electronic travel authorization (eTA),
Temporary Work Permits
A work permit allows you to work in Canada for a specified amount of time. Most permits are issued for a specific employer, position and location. Visa officers assess if you are admissible to Canada, meet the requirements of the job and have the intention to leave Canada at the end of the authorized period.
Work permits can be issued under 2 streams, the International Mobility Program (IMP) or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). For the latter, your employer needs to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate no suitable Canadians are available for the job. Work permits issued via the IMP, for work in certain occupations or on the grounds of an international agreement, are LMIA exempt.
Open Work Permits
Open work permits allow you to work for any employer or multiple employers on a full or part time basis. Spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders or skilled work permit holders qualify for an open work permit. Open work permits can also be obtained via the International Experience Canada program (Working Holiday permit) for youth from certain countries. The Bridging Open Work Permit program allows certain permanent residence (PR) applicants to work on an open work permit while their PR application is in process.
International Experience Canada
Many countries have signed an agreement with Canada which gives their young adults the opportunity to participate in programs such as the Working Holiday Program (WHP) or Young Professional Program (YPP). Under the WHP you are issued a 1 or 2-year open work permit that will allow you to travel and work across Canada. The YPP work permit is designed for young adults who wish to gain work experience with a specific Canadian employer in their field of study or expertise.
Temporary Study Permits
A study permit authorizes you to attend a program of study at a specific institution for a specified amount of time. An officer will assess if you are admissible to Canada, have a proper letter of acceptance from a Canadian educational institution and if you have the financial means to support yourself. Under certain situations and with some specific conditions, some study permit holds are allowed to work in Canada without a work permit.
Temporary Visitor Record
If you are from a visa exempt country you are generally permitted to visit Canada for 6 months, but if you want to visit Canada longer or if you are not from a visa exempt country, you may require a visitor record for your stay. Officers will assess your admissibility, the reason for your visit, if you have sufficient financial means for your stay and if you have the intention to leave Canada at the end of the authorized period. Please note, visa exempt nationals will require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to be able to enter Canada regardless of their reason for entry and length of stay.
All visitors, workers and students not from a visa exempt country, require a single or multiple entry visa to enter Canada. Temporary residents who wish to leave and re-enter Canada must ensure they have a valid visa in their passport on the date of their re-entry into Canada, this date does not always correspond with the expiry date of the temporary permit. Please note, visa exempt nationals will require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to be able to enter Canada.