In order to legally work in Canada, foreign nationals will, in most cases, need a work permit. There are two types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. Both types have their own associated requirements and privileges attached.

Types of work permits in Canada

Employer-specific Permits

This type of permit, as the name suggests, is only valid for a job from a particular employer. Should an expat wish to change employers, they would need find a new job and go through the work-permit process again from scratch.

To obtain an Employer-specific Permit, foreigners must first solidify a job offer from a Canadian employer. Canadian employers must be able to prove that the job being offered cannot be filled by a local employee and that there is no one available in the domestic market that has the skills or the experience to assume the job. The employer must show that they have advertised the position throughout Canada for a certain period and have been unable to find a local candidate suitably qualified for the job.

Open Work Permits

Open Work Permits are not tied to a particular employer and allow permit holders to change jobs or employers freely. This type of work permit is available to expats who fulfil any one of a number of requirements, including holding a temporary residence permit, having applied for a permanent resident permit, or being a spouse of a skilled worker.