How to submit a Canada work permit application
When I published my book, my main goal was to reduce confusion as much as possible. Ironically, we are not suffering from a lack of immigration information to Canada, but too much information. Therefore, finding your way is not easy. Here is another challenging issue. Do you know how to submit a Canada work permit application? Of course, the simple answer is either on paper or in-person or online. However, which option do you pick for your application? Can you select them randomly, or is there a best practice? Without further ado, let’s answer yet another confusing set of questions.
- Where to apply for a work permit
- Before entry applications
- Port of entry applications
- After entry applications
- Let us help!
The answer to how to submit a work permit application depends on where you apply. Nonetheless, there are three main options:
You most likely don’t have the luxury to pick and choose. Thus, you must see which option is available to you. If you click the links above, you’ll find out about your options. Regardless, here is a summary:
- Every work permit applicant may apply before entering Canada. Of course, you must meet the requirements and submit a complete package.
- People who are exempt from a visit visa to Canada may apply at a port of entry. However, their case must be free of complexities.
- Some temporary residents in Canada may apply for a work permit after entry. For example, study permit or work permit holders. Of course, you may read my article on this subject for a comprehensive list.
IRCC recommends the online application option for before entry applicants. However, you may alternatively submit your application on paper to a Visa Application Centre (VAC) near you. While the online application is more common, I cannot say which option is better. Nonetheless, here is some food for thought:
- When you apply on paper, you must pay the VAC processing fee on top of the IRCC fees.
- By submitting paper-based applications, you may give biometrics at the time of applying. Of course, you must visit the centre in person for this purpose, rather than mailing the documents. However, when you make the online application, you must later see a VAC and give biometrics. Regardless, if your biometrics are valid, then this second step is not necessary.
- With an online application, you face file size limitations. Therefore, you may end up not being able to upload some of your documents. Of course, alternatively, you could compromise the quality of your files to upload more information. Honestly, it is a challenge that never ends. Alternatively, with an on-paper application, you leave the hassle to the VAC operator. Of course, your fate depends on how they handle the documents.
- Sometimes immigration officers refuse an online application because they miss noticing some of your essential documents. However, you may request reconsideration in those cases. Of course, you need to review the officer’s notes to make sure this is the case.
- Unfortunately, on rare occasions, the VAC misses submitting the complete package to IRCC. Therefore, you could not say on-paper applications are bullet-proof.
As you can see, there is the good, the bad and the ugly about both options. However, I prefer the online application in most cases. It is more convenient after all.
Submitting a work permit at a port of entry is relatively straightforward. Of course, you must prepare a complete package beforehand. If the work permit is LMIA-based, then you must have the LMIA letter with you. However, if it is LMIA exempt, you must have the A number. Nonetheless, for open-work-permits, you must present documents to show you qualify.
Port of entry applications is the fastest way to receive a work permit. However, if your case has complications, then the CBSA officer refuses to process the application. Sometimes, funny things happen at a port of entry. Therefore, apply at a POE only if you are well prepared, especially if you are flagpoling. Of course, if your case has any complications such as inadmissibility to Canada, then stay away from POE applications.
In most cases, your only option for after entry applications are online. However, you may apply on paper if you have a valid excuse. For example, you may use the on-paper option if you could not apply online due to a disability. Regardless, IRCC recommends on-paper applications in the following situations*:
- Permanent residence applicants in Canada who
- used Express Entry to submit their permanent residence application, and
- have received an acknowledgment of receipt letter (IMP code: A75)
- Open-work-permit pilot program for permanent residence applicants in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (IMP code: A70)
- Foreign physicians coming to work in Quebec (IMP code: C10)
- Refugee claimants (IMP code: S61)
- Failed refugee claimants waiting for removal who need to support themselves (IMP code: S62)
- Persons under an unenforceable removal order (IMP code: S62)
- Live-in caregivers who have submitted their permanent residence application (IMP code: A71)
- In-Canada applicants under the Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or the Home Support Worker Pilot (IMP code: C90) and their family members (IMP code: C91)
- Post-graduation work permit extension (IMP code: C43)
- Destitute students (IMP code: H81)
- Holders of a temporary resident permit that’s valid for a minimum of 6 months (IMP code: H82)
- Start-up visa workers (IMP code: A77)
- International experience Canada (IMP code: C21)
- Seafood-processing workers
- Agricultural workers who are not part of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
- Visitors in Canada applying for an initial study permit, work permit or both who are accompanying a spouse holding a low-skilled work permit
If you wonder how to submit a work permit in Canada or face other issues, contact us. Of course, you may, alternatively, book a consultation session with me.
You may also fill out our assessment form. Consequently, if we find an opportunity for you, we will get back to you soon. If not, we will keep you on file for future opportunities.
* Source: IRCC (subject to change)
If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. 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 advice from a licenced practitioner.
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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.
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.