How to Apply For an Open Work Visa to Canada?

Canada’s thriving economy, welcoming society, and diverse job opportunities make it an attractive destination for individuals seeking to work and build a successful career abroad. The Canadian work visa allows foreign nationals to work temporarily or even permanently in the country, contributing their skills and expertise to various industries. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the Canada work visa process in 2023, covering the different types of work visas, eligibility requirements, application procedures, and important tips for a successful application.

Types of Work Visas in Canada:

Temporary Work Permits:

Temporary work permits are issued to foreign nationals who wish to work in Canada for a specific employer and for a limited period. There are several categories of temporary work permits:

Employer-Specific Work Permits:

These permits require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer who has obtained a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). The LMIA demonstrates that hiring a foreign worker will not negatively affect the Canadian labor market.

Open Work Permits:

Open work permits allow foreign workers to work for any Canadian employer without the need for an LMIA. They are generally issued under specific circumstances, such as through the International Mobility Program (IMP) or as part of spousal or partner sponsorship.

International Experience Canada (IEC):

The IEC program allows young people from countries with bilateral agreements with Canada to work and travel in Canada for up to two years, depending on their nationality and the specific agreement in place.

Provincial Nominee Program (PNP):

The Provincial Nominee Program allows individual provinces and territories in Canada to nominate foreign workers with the skills and experience required to fill specific labor market gaps. Each province or territory operates its own PNP stream(s) with unique eligibility criteria and occupations in demand.

Eligibility Criteria for Work Visas:

The eligibility requirements for obtaining a Canadian work visa depend on the type of visa and the specific program under which an individual applies. Some common eligibility criteria include:

  • Job Offer: Most work permits require a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. The job offer should include details such as the position, salary, and duration of employment.
  • Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): For employer-specific work permits, the Canadian employer must obtain an LMIA from ESDC to demonstrate the need to hire a foreign worker. The LMIA ensures that there are no suitable Canadian citizens or permanent residents available to fill the position.
  • Qualifications and Experience: Applicants must possess the necessary qualifications, skills, and work experience relevant to the job they are offered.

Application Procedures:

Applying for a Temporary Work Permit: The application process for a temporary work permit typically involves the following steps:

  • Obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer who may require an LMIA.
  • Gather all necessary documents, including a valid passport, photographs, and supporting letters.
  • Complete the appropriate application forms provided by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  • Pay the required processing fees online or through the nearest Canadian visa application center (VAC) in the applicant’s home country.
  • Submit the application online or through the VAC, along with all supporting documents.
  • Attend an interview, if required by the visa office.
  • Wait for the application to be processed, which may take several weeks to months, depending on the workload and processing times.
  • If approved, the applicant will receive the work permit, allowing them to work in Canada for the specified employer and duration.

Applying for Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP): The application process for the Provincial Nominee Program varies depending on the province or territory. However, it generally involves the following steps:

  • Choose a province or territory that aligns with the applicant’s skills and experience.
  • Review the specific eligibility requirements and criteria for the chosen PNP stream.
  • Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) or a formal application to the respective provincial or territorial government.
  • If nominated by the province or territory, the applicant will receive a Provincial Nomination Certificate.
  • Use the Provincial Nomination Certificate to apply for a work permit through IRCC. A provincial nomination enhances the applicant’s chances of obtaining permanent residency in Canada.

Tips for a Successful Application:

  • Start Early: Begin the application process well in advance to allow ample time for gathering documents and completing all necessary steps.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consider seeking guidance from a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer, especially for complex applications or specific PNP streams.
  • Double-Check Documents: Ensure that all documents are up-to-date, properly translated (if required), and duly notarized.
  • Follow Instructions: Carefully read and follow the instructions provided by IRCC or the provincial government to avoid delays or potential rejections.
  • Be Patient: The visa application process may take time, so patience is essential. Stay informed of any updates or requests for additional information from the visa office.


Q1: What is a work visa, and who needs it in Canada?

A work visa, also known as a work permit, is a document issued by the Canadian government that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada legally. It is required for individuals who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and wish to work in the country temporarily.

Q2: What are the types of work visas available in Canada?

There are two main types of work visas in Canada: Temporary Work Permits and Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) work permits. Temporary Work Permits include employer-specific work permits, open work permits, and International Experience Canada (IEC) permits. PNPs allow individuals nominated by a Canadian province or territory to work in that specific province or territory.


The Canada work visa process in 2023 provides various opportunities for skilled workers from around the world to contribute to the Canadian workforce and pursue fulfilling careers in a welcoming and diverse country. Understanding the different types of work visas, meeting the eligibility criteria, and submitting a well-prepared application are key steps to securing a work permit in Canada. By following the guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide and seeking professional advice when needed, foreign nationals can increase their chances of obtaining a work visa and embarking on a new and exciting journey in the Canadian labor market.