Canadian law requires a legal authorization from the Canadian embassy before a foreign worker without a PR or citizenship is allowed to temporarily take employment in Canada.

Applying for a Work Permit involves a job offer and sponsor from a local employer with a positive LMO (labour market opinion). A positive LMO shows that the employer needs foreign workers to fill the job offer because there were no Canadians available.

Before the HRSDC gives a positive LMO to the employer, they consider whether the working conditions are adequate, whether the foreign worker were given the same conditions offered to Canadians, effort made to hire local workers, and the necessity and urgency of hiring workers. An LMO might not be needed in some cases of intercompany transferring, possession of a working holiday visa and having a spouse with a skilled work permit or a student visa.

This protects the foreign workers from improper treatment at work place, and it also protects Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents from losing opportunities by giving disadvantages to foreign workers through difficult application process and expensive application costs.

LMO is not necessary in some cases, as when you hold L1 Visa, Working Holiday Visa, or when your spouse is a Federal skilled worker.

Work Permit Application Process

Step 1


– The employer gives a job offer to the foreign worker
– When forming a contract with the employer, the foreign worker must confirm both parties’ rights and the legality issues involved in the contract.
– When the contract is completed upon both parties’ agreements, it is recommended to complete a medical exam in advance to minimize the processing time.
– The employer must apply for LMO to HRSDC. The employer needs to demonstrate the efforts made to hire a local worker with evidence, such as the advertisement effort.

Step 2


– HRSDC LMO evaluation standards
– Occupation & Job Duties
– Wages & Working Conditions
– Advertisement & Recruitment
– Labour Market Benefit
– Labour dispute

Step 3


– When the LMO application is approved by HRSDC, the foreign worker must hand in the application for the work permit with other related documents at the Canadian embassy or an airport/border.
– Before entering the border, the foreign worker needs to know the result of the medical examination in advance; the worker can be denied from entry if the medical examination is not approved.