Step-by-Step Process for Getting a Work Permit for Foreign Workers

by | May 18, 2023

If you’re a Canadian employer who’s wondering about the process for securing a work permit for your foreign worker, well, the process will depend on whether or not you will need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).If you fit into one of the LMIA exemptions, then you will have to submit what is called an Offer of Employment through the Government of Canada’s Employer Portal.

Stage 1: Determining the Need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)

The first step in securing a work permit is determining whether you need to apply for an LMIA or if you qualify for an exemption.

Step 1: LMIA Authorization or Offer of Employment Submission

If your situation requires an LMIA, you’ll need to seek authorization from the government to offer the job to a foreign worker. This involves applying for an LMIA and may include posting local job advertisements for a specific period to identify qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents.

Step 2: Offer of Employment for LMIA Exemptions

If your position qualifies for an exemption, you’ll still need to submit an Offer of Employment through the Employer Portal. The offer should outline the job details, including salary and benefits.

Stage 2: Initiating the Work Permit Application

Once you have determined whether an LMIA is required or if you qualify for an exemption, you can move on to the work permit application process.

Step 3: Work Permit Application Submission

After completing the initial stage, it’s time to proceed with the work permit application submission. The application is technically submitted by the employee and is supported by either an approved LMIA or an Offer of Employment.

Assessment and Determination by Immigration Authorities

Once the work permit application is submitted, the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will review the application and assess the employee’s eligibility.

Step 4: IRCC Evaluation and Determination

The IRCC evaluates the employee’s experience, skill sets, and education to ensure they meet the specific requirements for the job in Canada.


Securing a work permit for foreign workers in Canada involves a step-by-step process. It requires determining the need for an LMIA or identifying if the position qualifies for an exemption. Then, the work permit application is submitted, and the employee’s eligibility is assessed by the immigration authorities. While LMIA or Offer of Employment are essential components, the final determination considers the employee’s qualifications. By following this process, Canadian employers can apply for work permits or assist foreign nationals in obtaining them.


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