Work permits are usually applied for in the country of citizenship or country of residence, with a few exceptions where work permits can be applied for in Canada, and they are:
- Spouses and children of individuals who have study or work permits and these documents are valid for longer than six months.
- International full time students who have finished their study programs of eight months or longer. These permits are called Post Graduated Work Permit.
- Applicants for permanent residence in Canada, provided that they have obtained their approval in principle in their permanent residence applications.
- Work-permit-holders who want to apply for positions different from those stated in their current work permits
- Citizens of countries that have signed the NAFTA agreement (USA, Mexico). Applicants must meet the criteria of business visitors, professionals, intra-company transferees, traders and investors.
Most work permit applications submitted from outside Canada require a job offer from a Canadian employer, and that the employer obtains a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
Most work permit applications submitted from inside Canada do not need a job offer and are exempt from LMIA.
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