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Can I Get A Canadian Work Permit Without A Job Offer?

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in Canada? Maybe you’ve already gotten a job offer, and you’re not sure what your next step is. Do you need a Canadian work permit or what should you consider when applying for a work permit in Canada? The answer to that question is, “It depends.” Read on to learn about what jobs you’ll need a work permit for, and which jobs don’t require one.

Types of Work Permits

Before we discuss what kinds of jobs require a work permit and which don’t, it’s important to understand what kinds of work permits and visas the Canadian government offers to people interested in coming to Canada.

There are a number of categories of foreign workers in Canada. A temporary foreign worker is, as the name implies, someone who comes to Canada to work for a brief time. There are two types of working permits in Canada available to foreign workers: open and employer-specific. An open work permit means that you can work for any employer, except for those who don’t comply with Canada’s labour laws or for those companies that offer escort services, erotic massage or exotic dancing. As the name implies, an employer-specific work permit allows you to work for one particular employer.

You could also immigrate to Canada as a part of the Express Entry system. Permanent workers are those who plan to settle in Canada permanently. In order to qualify for this status, you must be a skilled professional or trades-person with a certain amount of work experience. You don’t have to have a job offer in order to apply to be a part of the Express Entry system. However, if that’s the case, you do have to register with Employment and Social Development Canada’s job bank so you can be connected to a Canadian employer.

What if you’re a young person who doesn’t have a great deal of work experience, but you believe there are many opportunities in Canada? The International Experience Canada gives people aged 18-35 from other countries the chance to work and travel in Canada. Some countries restrict participation to people under the age of 30. Participants can work in virtually any field they desire to gain valuable work experience. They don’t need a job offer in order to work in Canada.

When Do You Need a Job for a Work Permit?

There are a variety of jobs for which you need an offer of employment. Two common examples are, caregivers and agricultural workers.

Caregivers are employed to take care of children, the elderly and the disabled. There are two types of caregivers: those who live in their employer's home and those who live outside of it.

Agricultural workers are employed on farms and in food processing factories. They need a job offer in order to receive a work permit.

Other Types of Visa Categories

There are other categories of foreign workers that don’t actually need visas.

A business person comes to Canada to do work under the framework of one of the free trade agreements Canada has signed. Business people need work permits.

A business visitor takes part in business activities without being part of the labour market. Business visitors don’t need work permits.

Can I Work as a Student?

You can work if you’re a full-time student at a post-secondary institution and you’ve found a part-time job on campus (like at a bookstore or in the library). For those types of jobs, you won’t need a work permit.

Even if you’ve found an off-campus job, you still might be able to work without a work permit. You can’t work more than 20 hours, though, and you have to maintain good academic standing.

What if you’re planning on participating in a co-op program or an internship? You can do that, though you’ll need a work permit as well as a study permit. The program has to be an integral part of your studies, and it can’t be more than 50% of your academic work.

Even your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit if you’re a student, meaning that he or she can work for almost any employer in Canada while you’re a full-time student.

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