June 16, 2024

Are you interested in coming to Canada temporarily on a work visa? Then this post is for you.

The information here covers:

  • Available Canadian work visas for foreigners
  • Requirements for temporary work visas in Canada
  • Things to confirm before paying anyone for a Canadian temporary work visa.
  • Cost of a work visa in Canada

Are there temporary work visas to only come to Canada to work for some time? YES!

Canada has more than 100 immigration programs, but as with many other popular Canadian visas (study, Express Entry, etc), there are requirements to be met for a work visa.

The categories of ‘temporary work visas’ that you may be eligible for in Canada as a foreigner are:

  • Open work permits
  • Temporary Foreign Worker Program
  • Post Graduation Work Permit
  • Co-op work permit
  • International Experience Canada Program

These work visa categories also have sub-categories and specific application requirements. There are also general conditions to meet in each category. This post will provide you with direct links to the Government of Canada website where you can read more.

As I have said a lot of times, three (3) boxes to tick when deciding to immigrate to Canada are: Interest, Eligibility, and Financial Ability. So, before proceeding with any of the available work visa categories, you need to first confirm which one you are eligible for, and have the financial capacity to pursue.

– Open Work Permits

As implied, this is open and does not require a job offer in Canada before you can apply.

However, only restricted categories of applicants are eligible for an open work permit in Canada. You may be eligible if you are;

  • A spouse of a temporary resident (i.e international student / postgraduate work permit holder / temporary foreign worker). Details here

New changes were also made to the eligibility of the spouses of some international students on March 19, 2024. Details available here

  • Or a Bridging Open Work Permit if you have applied for Permanent Residence in Canada while on a work permit, and still awaiting a decision on the PR application when your work permit is about to expire. Details here

The two sets of people above are among the categories of applicants who are eligible for an open work permit in Canada.

– Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

This appears to be the most popular work visa in Canada (for those outside Canada). It allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labour and skill shortages when qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available for the job.

As stated, the essence of the TFWP is to fill skill shortages. It also has different sub-categories, details are available here.

The primary requirement for the TFWP is that you must first have a job offer, and the employer must also obtain what is called the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Getting a job offer first in Canada to be eligible for a work visa is where the challenge is for many interested applicants. Also, before applying for a work visa, the employer who has offered the applicant a job must also be willing to process the LMIA.

It is the responsibility of the employer to get you this LMIA and pay for it by themselves.

Also, you cannot pay an employer to give you a job in Canada, that is against the law. Please take note of this!

The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) will show a need for a foreign worker OUTSIDE Canada to fill the job. It will show that no Canadian worker is available to do the job after it has been advertised for some time. Details available here

If you and the employer then scale this hurdle, the employer wishing to hire you as a temporary foreign worker will then pay a processing fee of $1,000 CAD for the LMIA request, and a “privilege fee” of $100 CAD. Once you have the LMIA, you can then apply for a work visa.

It is important to note that the employer must pay the $1,100 for the LMIA. An employer also cannot charge the applicant for a job offer. It is against the law. So, if someone is telling you (as the employee) to bring money for a job offer and LMIA in Canada, I can tell you that it is 100% illegal.

Many people who get the work visa through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) get it in highly specialized professions (such as health, tech, agriculture, trades profession, blue-collar jobs, etc), or occupations with high labour shortages in Canada.

Look very well before you leap!

The popular sub-categories of visas under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are:

  • In-home caregivers – Details here
  • Global Talent Stream (for Tech Workers) – Details here
  • Foreign Agricultural Worker – Details here
  • Academic Worker Category – Details here

Click the links above to read more about the sub-programs.

– Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

The PGWP allows international students who have completed their programs in a designated learning institution in Canada to stay back and work full-time after studying. This is specifically only for those who have studied in Canada.

The duration of their work permit will depend on the years of study. Details available here

Please note that not all programs/institutions are eligible for a Post Graduation Work Permit in Canada. Do your due diligence and be sure of the program/university you are applying to if you have plans to get a PGWP.

You can check eligible programs/institutions here

– Co-op work permit

You will be eligible for this as an international student in Canada if a full-time work experience/internship is part of your study curriculum. This is different from the part-time work you can do on a study permit.

Co-op work permits are for you to do an internship while still completing your study in Canada. Details available here

– International Experience Canada Program

This program allows citizens of certain countries (mostly European Countries) to apply for a separate work visa in Canada. The program requirements and list of eligible countries are available here.

Where and How to look for jobs in Canada.

If you are interested in a work visa in Canada, the first thing is to start by looking for a job offer.

  • You can look for jobs yourself or through licensed recruiters in Canada. A lot of the genuine licensed recruiters are based in Canada and will not ask you to pay them for a job offer. Paying for a job offer is against the law in Canada.
  • Also focus on employers who are ready to hire internationally and process the LMIA, and do your due diligence very well. A genuine employer will also NOT ask you to pay for LMIA, that is the responsibility of the employer, and they pay that to the Employment and Social Development Canada directly.
  • Employers should never charge you a fee for a job offer, and should never ask you to pay for the LMIA, it is against the law.
  • Some of the resources and websites that you can use to look for jobs in Canada are available here
  • If you need a Canadian resume or CV template, also check the templates available here.
  • And when someone says they can get you this free work visa in 3 months, with free accommodation, free flight, and other promises, just check the current processing times for work visas too, to manage your expectations. You can check the processing times here


In particular, the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) is what many fake agents advertise outside of Canada. They make fake promises and ask people to pay for jobs, work permit, LMIA, and many other things. They also make promises like free accommodation, free flight, pay a deposit and pay the remaining on arrival in Canada, etc. All these are the handiwork of S.O.Js (fake visa agents), and this is where a lot of people get scammed or are abused when they get to Canada.

The scam became so much that the government had to make some recent adjustments and updated the program requirements for the TFWP. You can read more about this here. And you will find other useful information on how to work in Canada on the Government of Canada website here

So, if anyone has promised to get you a temporary work visa in Canada and you do not fit into any of the categories listed above, please ask them very well and do your due diligence before handing out your hard-earned money.

I hope this is of help to someone. Cheers!

If you have questions on Career & Personal Development, Education Decisions, Global Opportunities, Building a Personal Brand, or related discussions, and want to reach out to us, click here.

NB: The posts and information on this website are not legal advice.

© Olu of Canada

5 thoughts on “How to Get a Work Visa in Canada.

  1. I quite appreciate all you do. I happened on your page through a post made by someone. You are doing great and so much to learn on your site. Wonderful experience I must say. Thank you.

    I also would like to reach out for support on some of the posts you made if you do not mind.

    You are doing great. Thank you once again.

  2. Good evening Mr, Olu. God bless you for all the information you are putting up here. Please can you help me with the link to apply for scholarship into masters program in Canada. Thanks and God bless you.

    1. Good evening Mr Olu.
      Thanks for the enlightenment. I am interested in working in Canada but not temporary. I will need more information on that please.

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