How to receive a Canadian work permit document

Most foreign nationals who intend to work in Canada need a work permit. Refugee claimants and protected people are no exception to this rule. When the authorities approve your permit, you will receive a work permit document. However, the delivery method is different depending on how you apply for the work permit. The current article is an effort to introduce how you receive a Canadian work permit document. Moreover, it helps you protect yourself from scammers.

Receiving a work permit document for applications outside Canada

Assuming you have all the documents in place, section 197 of IRPR allows you to apply for a work permit before entering Canada. You could apply online or at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in the past. However, the VAC may refuse to accept paper applications since the COVID-19 pandemic. Please get in touch with them directly if you wish to apply on paper.

Upon approval of an overseas work permit application, two scenarios could happen:

After one of the previous stages is complete, you will receive a work permit approval letter. This formal letter explains the validity of your work permit and includes your personal information. Moreover, it carries a barcode. You need to print the letter and take it to the Canadian port of entry. A Border Services Officer will scan the barcode and issues the actual work permit document.

As you can see, the authorities do not hand over the work permit document for you before entering Canada. Of course, the process is partly to protect the integrity of our immigration system. I have an article that explains how scammers issue fake work permits for their victims before arrival. Nevertheless, you won’t receive the work permit document in an authentic setting before arrival.

Obtaining the work permit document when applying at a port of entry

Under section 198 of IRPR, some people may apply for a work permit at the port of entry. Even if you are not visa-exempt, you could still use flagpoling to apply for a work permit at a US-Canada border crossing. Of course, you still need to present a complete set of documents. If the border officers approve your application, you will receive the work permit document on the spot.

Receiving the work permit document when applying after entry

Some people may apply for a work permit after entering Canada. You usually apply online. However, IRCC may accept paper applications from applicants who have difficulty using the online system. I do not recommend paper applications, though. Regardless, you receive an in-Canada approval letter when they approve your application. You do not need to leave Canada. They will mail the work permit document to your mailing address. In other words, the only time you receive a work permit by mail is when you are inside Canada and have applied from inside Canada.

I applied outside Canada but travelled before receiving the permit.

Sometimes you have a valid eTA or TRV and travel to Canada while IRCC processes your application. This approach is a bit risky. The officer might think you have applied after entry and refuse the application. They shouldn’t. However, I had seen this happen to one of my clients a few years ago. Even if you set that risk aside, you face another problem. If the officer approves your application, you will receive the work permit approval letter with the barcode. You then need to take one of the following steps to receive your work permit document.

  • Travel to another country and then, on the way back, present the letter to the BSO and collect the work permit document.
  • Flagpole!

Both approaches cost you money and take time.

Beware of scammers

The world of immigration and especially work permits is full of scammers. If something is too good to be true, it isn’t true. Therefore, do not cave into encouraging words. Read the following articles for more information:

Let us help!

If you have faced problems with your work permit application or other issues, fill out the following form. Alternatively, please book a consultation session with me or fill out our assessment form. If you are a licensed practitioner, you may book a mentorship session with me.

    Full Name (required)

    Email (required)

    Have you entered your email address correctly?

    WhatsApp number(optional)

    Are you inadmissible to Canada?
    YesNoI don't know

    Have you received a removal order from Canada?
    Yes, DepartureYes, ExclusionYes, DeportationYes, type unknownNoI don't know

    Any other issues (select all that apply)?

    Do you believe humanitarian and compassionate grounds apply to you?
    YesNoI don't know

    Please explain the issue briefly:

    Upload a file that could help us better understand your situation - only PDF, JPG or PNG and less than 0.5MB

    Related Posts

    PGWPs extension

    PGWPs expired after September 2021 will qualify for an additional work permit

    Jun 27, 2022
    delays in immigration

    New task force to improve delays in immigration applications

    Jun 27, 2022
    The sectors with the most job vacancies in Canada

    The sectors with the most job vacancies in Canada in 2022

    Jun 26, 2022

    What is an IRCC number?

    Jun 25, 2022

    Would you please fill out our free assessment form if you wish to visit or move to Canada? We will review it 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 immigration advice from a licensed practitioner.

    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    Disclaimer:
    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

    Click to read the disclaimer.

    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC 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?