Apply for Work Permit Inside Canada

Temporary measures due to COVID-19!


Apply for a work permit inside CanadaMercy is a citizen of Kenya. She travelled to Canada last month with her husband. Mercy’s husband is an international student in Canada. Consequently, Mercy holds a Visitor Record that is valid for the next two years. Unfortunately, her Visitor Record does not allow her to work in Canada. Since she needs the income to help with their household expenses, she wonders if she could apply for a work permit inside Canada.

The government of Canada allows every work permit applicant to submit their application for work before entering Canada. Of course, they need to wait for the results. If approved, they may then travel to Canada and receive their work permit document at a port of entry (POE). However, under certain circumstances, you may apply for a work permit upon arriving in Canada or after entry. For the latter, keep reading this article. For the former visit the following page:

Who may apply for a work permit after entry?

You may apply for a work permit after entering Canada if you

  1. are studying in Canada with a valid study permit,
  2. are working in Canada with a valid work permit,
  3. hold a temporary resident permit (TRP) that is valid for six months or more,
  4. are not a business visitor but legally working in Canada without a permit,
  5. a dependent child, a spouse, or a common-law partner of any of the people mentioned above,
  6. are applying for a work permit under NAFTA,
  7. have received a positive referral from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade,
  8. applied for a work permit before entering Canada and the application was approved in writing but IRCC has not issued the permit [practitioners see R199],
  9. a refugee claimant waiting for the Refugee Protection Division hearing (some exceptions apply),
  10. hold a removal order that is not enforceable [practitioners see R206],
  11. applied for permanent residency under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class,
  12. a protected person,
  13. have successfully passed the stage one of an H&C application,
  14. a dependent child, a spouse, or a common-law partner of any of the people mentioned on rows k to m [practitioners see R207], or
  15. a vulnerable worker or a family member of a vulnerable worker [practitioners see R207.1].

What documents do I need?

Depending on the nature of your application, you may need some or all of the following documents:

  • An LMIA or a file number that shows you are exempt from an LMIA (for employer-oriented jobs)
  • A copy of the documents that show you are eligible for applying from inside Canada (e.g. a copy of your valid study permit or your spouse’s work permit)
  • Identity documents such as passport, digital photo, etc.
  • Relationship documents such as a marriage certificate
  • Completed form IMM 5710 (Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker)
  • If you are in a common-law relationship, you may need to complete the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form [IMM 5409]
  • If you have a representative the Use of a Representative form [IMM 5476] and a submission letter by your representative

Of course, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive. Depending on your particular circumstances, the list could change.  Regardless, you may apply online or in the paper, depending on your circumstances.

What if I am not eligible to apply after entry?

If you are inside Canada, but you are not eligible to apply for a work permit from inside Canada, consider one of the following options.

  • Leave Canada and apply from outside Canada. You may go back to Canada, only when the officer makes a final decision about your application.
  • Go to a land crossing (POE) between Canada and the United States and apply for the work permit there. We call this practice flagpoling. You need to hold a valid or implied status while making such a move.
  • Send your package in paper to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in New York. You may do so only if you already hold valid biometrics. You also preferably need to hold a valid visa to the United States, in case you need to visit the VAC in person.

I prefer the first option.

Biometrics for in-Canada applicants

Starting December 3, 2019, if you are applying from inside Canada you may need to give biometrics. Read the following article for more information:

If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review the form for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licenced practitioner.

Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada


This article provides information of a general nature only. It may no longer be current. It does not give legal advice. Do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. We cannot be held responsible for the content of these articles. If you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. If you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment. All the characters in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Any resemblance in names, dates, and places (whether individuals, organizations, regions, or countries) is coincidental.

Related Posts

Apply for Permanent Residence

Canada invited 521 PNP candidates to Apply for Permanent Residence

Sep 15, 2021
Ontario proof of vaccination

Ontario will require patrons to provide proof of vaccination starting next week

Sep 15, 2021
Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams

Ontario invited 691 candidates under Masters Graduate and PhD Graduate streams

Sep 14, 2021
Canadian Experience Class draw

Canada invited 2,000 Canadian Experience Class candidates | CRS: 462

Sep 14, 2021

Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

Al Parsai

Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He also teaches immigration courses at Ashton College in Vancouver, Canada. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of ICCRC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

Do you have any questions?