How to Get A Canadian Temporary Foreign Worker Visa

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Getting a temporary foreign worker visa for Canada can seem like a daunting process, but it doesn’t have to be. As a foreign national looking to work in Canada temporarily, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take to secure your Canada work permit. In this blog post, we’ll break down the application process step-by-step and provide tips to help you succeed.

Determine Your Eligibility

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re actually eligible for a Canada temporary foreign worker visa. Here are some of the basic requirements:

  • You must have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. They will need to get a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) proving there are no qualified Canadian citizens/permanent residents for the job.
  • You must meet any specific requirements for the job, such as education level or work experience.
  • You must prove you plan to leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.
  • You must undergo any required security and medical checks.
  • You must have a clean criminal record and good health.

As long as you meet these baseline requirements, you can move forward with the application. Some programs like NAFTA and other free trade agreements have special requirements, so check those as well.

Choose the Right Program

Canada has a few different programs under which you can apply for a temporary foreign worker visa:

  • LMIA-Based Work Permits: These require an approved LMIA from your employer. They allow you to work for any employer or change employers. Most common.
  • International Mobility Program: For workers exempt from needing an LMIA. Includes things like intra-company transfers.
  • International Experience Canada: For eligible young people 18-35 to get Canadian work experience through working holidays, co-ops, etc.
  • Provincial Nominee Programs: Some provinces have special programs tied to permanent residence. Require job offer.

Choose which program fits you best based on your age, occupation, experience level, and employer’s needs. The LMIA-based open work permit is the most flexible but requires the most paperwork.

Have Your Employer Get an LMIA (If Required)

If you are applying through the main LMIA-based program, your employer will need to get a positive LMIA before they can hire you and sponsor your work permit. This involves proving to the government that they couldn’t find any qualified Canadians/permanent residents for the job.

It’s a lengthy process so make sure your employer starts early! They will need to submit documentation like job ads, skill requirements, salary info, etc. It can take over 3 months to get approved so be patient.

Submit Your Work Permit Application

Once you have a valid job offer and any other required documents (like an LMIA), you can submit your temporary resident visa application. This is done online.

You will need to include:

  • Basic personal info
  • Travel document/passport
  • Proof of finances to support your stay
  • Job offer with LMIA number (if applicable)
  • Fee payment ($155)

Double check to ensure your application is fully complete to avoid processing delays or refusals!

Attend Biometrics Appointment

Most applicants will need to attend a biometrics appointment at a Visa Application Center to provide fingerprints and photo. You’ll be given instructions after you apply. It’s a quick process.

Your biometrics stay valid for 10 years, so if you’ve given them before, you may be able to skip this step.

Undergo Medical Examination

You will also need to complete a medical exam from an approved panel physician to prove you are in good health. They will check for serious contagious diseases.

The doctor will submit your results directly to IRCC. Make sure to get this done promptly or it could delay your application.

Wait for Approval

Once you’ve submitted all required documents, it’s time to wait! Processing times vary greatly by visa office and time of year, but can range from 2 weeks to 6 months.

You can check current processing times online to get an estimate. If it is taking longer than expected, try contacting IRCC for an update.

If approved, you’ll be issued a temporary resident visa and a separate work permit valid for the duration of your job.

Enter Canada and Start Your Job!

Once you receive your approved work permit, you can enter Canada as a temporary foreign worker! Be sure to bring all your approval documents when you travel to the border.

Make copies too in case any get lost or damaged. Review the terms of your work permit carefully so you comply with all the conditions.

Then it’s time to start your new Canadian job! Work hard and enjoy your life in Canada. Hopefully you can later transition to permanent residence if you wish.

That covers the key steps to getting a Canadian temporary work permit. The process involves a lot of paperwork but it’s very worthwhile for the chance to live and work in amazing Canada. Reach out if you need help navigating any stage of the complex application process.

For the latest tips and news about working in Canada as a foreigner, be sure to keep checking back with us at We want you to achieve your Canadian dreams!