Apply for Work Permit at Port of Entry

POE Work Permits

Charlotte, a 25-year-old English woman, brims excitedly at working in Canada. She has all her documents ready but wonders if she can apply for her work permit at a port of entry. This question leads her to the heart of Canadian immigration policies. She knows navigating this path will be crucial for her adventure. Determined, Charlotte seeks clarity, embodying the spirit of many who dream of a new beginning in a land known for its opportunities and diversity. Her journey underscores a quest for understanding and pursuing a promise-filled life in Canada.

Who may apply for a work permit at a port of entry?

Generally speaking, you may apply for a work permit at the port of entry if you are exempt from visas (TRV) to travel to Canada [practitioners see R198(1)]. People could become exempt from a TRV because of any of the following reasons:

Click each of the links above for more details. Despite being exempt from a TRV, the following people may not apply for a work permit at a port of entry [practitioners see R198(2)]:

  • The documents are incomplete, or the officer needs to examine the authenticity of their application;
  • IRCC has considered the mode of application online only (e.g., CUSMA for Investors and Traders or Bridging Open Work Permits);
  • The nature of the work permit requires a medical examination, and the applicant has not gone through it or
  • The work permit is under the International Youth Exchange program.

US permanent residents and citizens are exempt from the last bullet point if they receive their work permit approval before entering Canada.

If a work permit application is complicated, it is better to apply before entry. Sometimes, CBSA officers refuse to process difficult work permit applications at a POE. Moreover, consult a professional to ensure you are making the right move.

What are the benefits of applying at a port of entry?

These are some of the perks of applying for a work permit at a port of entry:

  • The officers process your application on the same day. Sometimes, you receive your work permit in less than 30 minutes.
  • You do not need to fill out the application forms. Of course, you need to have a complete package with you.
  • There is a humane aspect to these types of applications. The officer will see you in person instead of reviewing many documents without seeing the actual human behind them.

What are the cons of applying at a port of entry?

Of course, not every application will go smoothly. Here are some of the potential negative aspects of applying at a port of entry:

  • Sometimes, there is a massive lineup of applicants. You could spend a few hours in line before meeting the officer.
  • The Border Services Officers may refuse to process the application. For example, if the application is incomplete or the number of applicants exceeds what they can handle.
  • If you are an anxious person, you could find the process nerve-racking.
  • On rare occasions, the officers may remove certain applicants from Canada or even detain them.

What do you need to apply for a work permit at a port of entry?

You must take a complete set of documents to the port of entry. For example, consider the following documents. Of course, this list is neither inclusive nor exclusive. Consult with your representative for more information:

  • Identity documents, such as passport and driver’s licence
  • The letter of LMIA or documents that show you are exempt from LMIA
  • Offer of employment
  • Some documents that prove your employer is legitimate and the job offer is genuine (not applicable for open work permits)
  • Your CV
  • Documents that show you are the right candidate for the job
  • Upfront medical examination report if your job requires going through the medical examination
  • Police certificate reports show you have no criminality issues.

I must emphasize this list is neither inclusive nor conclusive. Remember that most people need to give biometrics at the port of entry. They also must pay the processing fees for the work permit and biometrics.

What about accompanying family members?

Your accompanying family members could qualify for a Visitor Record or an open work permit. Of course, the permits depend on their relationship to you and the duration of your work permit. A typical visitor record allows a family member to stay with you in Canada while you are working. Luckily, your minor children may study in Canada without a study permit. However, you need to hold a valid work permit, and they need to maintain a valid Visitor Record. Your spouse or common-law partner could also work if they receive an open work permit. Since the circumstances vary significantly, this paragraph does not cover every situation.

If you intend to use a land crossing to receive your work permit, make sure to read the following article as well:

Dual Intent

If you already have an open immigration application and intend to enter Canada on a work permit, make sure to read the following article as well:

Let us help!

If you face issues regarding work, study, visit, or immigration to Canada, fill out the following form. Many of our clients have already applied for work permits at ports of entry or before or after entry. Of course, you may alternatively book a consultation session with me.

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

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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.

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.