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How to get Canada Work Permit from India in 2021

Increasingly, Indians are choosing to work, study or settle in Canada over other countries. Here’s how to apply.

Let’s review how to get Canada work permit from India in 2021. More than ever before, Indians are migrating to Canada for jobs, family reunification, business of for tourism. The most common reasons for migration being work and/or study. Canada offers ready job opportunities for indigenes and foreigners alike than most other countries of the world.

If you are an Indian who desires to work in Canada, you need to understand how to get the Canada work permit from India. Asides from that, you need to clearly understand what the Canada work permit means, as well as what is means to be exempted from obtaining the permit in order to begin work in Canada.

What is Canada Work Permit?

The Canada work permit is any official document issued by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows you to work in Canada for a specified period. Only permanent residents and Canadian citizens can work for as long as they wish in Canada without a permit. Hence, the work permit is a temporary permit which may, or may not be renewable.

Canada work permit is not a fixed type of document as there are many programs or processes that can enable you to work in Canada. For example, if you are student whose program includes co-op, you can get the co-op work permit. Post graduate students can obtain the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP); you can also get a work permit through any of the Express Entry immigration pathways, and so on.

Can you Work in Canada Without a Work Permit?

All foreigners who wish to work in Canada require a work permit. However, there may be exceptions based on some special circumstances. Certain persons are automatically allowed to work in Canada without work permit. Children or the common law partner of a foreign representative in Canada do not need a work permit to start working. Also, some jobs in Canada do not require a work permit. Such jobs include:

  • Clergy men
  • Indian representatives in Canada (representatives of other countries to Canada also do not require a work permit to work)
  • Students (full-time or part-time)
  • Military personnel
  • Coaches
  • Athletes
  • Emergency service providers
  • Performing artists
  • Film media crew
  • Incident investigators
  • Examiners or evaluators
  • Investigators and expert witnesses
  • Judges and referees
  • Public speakers, etc.

To qualify for the work permit exemption while working any of these jobs, you must meet certain other criteria as contained in the International Mobility Program requirements. The organization you work for may need to be registered with the general body overseeing that field of work for you to qualify for the work permit exempt. There may also be other requirements which you must meet. The International Mobility Program provides these details and the conditions that must be met for each job type.

If you are a registered Indian in Canada, you can work in the country without a work permit. Registered Indians are persons registered under the Indian Act of Canada. Indians who have become permanent residents in Canada, as well as those who have obtained Canadian citizenship do not require a work permit to be able to work in Canada.

Get the Canada Work Permit from India

As stated earlier, there are many programs that can allow you to apply for Canadian work permit. You may also apply directly to work in Canada as a foreigner through any of the provided immigration pathways. The most convenient options for obtaining Canada work permit as an Indian include:

  • The International Mobility Program (IMP)
  • The Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP)

There are several programs under these two options which can earn you a work permit in Canada. You should understand each program and the way it works so as to determine which ones you best qualify for and how you can go about applying for it.

Top 3 International Mobility Programs (IMP)

The International Mobility Program is the most popular for obtaining Canada work permit. All the options available in this program provide Canada aspirants with ease of application as well as a shorter processing time. The biggest advantage for applying for work permit through IMP is that you are exempted from the requirements of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA is a document obtained from employers that certain immigration programs may require you to provide when applying for work permit.

You will be able to obtain an open or close work permit using IMP. The most convenient options for work permit under IMP are:

#1. Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP)

With India as one of the countries taking the lead on the number of international students studying in Canada, the Post Graduate Work Permit remains the most utilized work permit type by its citizens. The PGWP simply allows you to stay back and work in Canada after your post-secondary studies. The essence of this work permit is to allow international students obtain relevant experience in their chosen career paths. Depending on the duration of your program, your post graduate work permit may remain valid within 1-3 years.

The PGWP is highly advantageous in that it makes applying for pr later on easy since Canadian work experience is a criterion for obtaining permanent residency. To obtain a PGWP after studying in Canada, you must do the following:

#2. Intra-Company Transfer

If the company or organization you are working with in India has a head office, branch, or affiliate in Canada, you may be able to obtain a Canada work permit through the Intra-Company transfer program. Three types of employees are allowed to immigrate to Canada through the intra-company transfer program:

  • Executives
  • Senior managers
  • Skilled workers

Skilled workers in the sense of those who have built enough expertise in the way the organization works and have a highly valued skill to offer to the branch in Canada. If your company understands how your skills or work experience can be of benefit to the branch in Canada and is willing to release you to the branch, you can begin the application process. Using intra-company transfer, you may be able to obtain a renewable work permit that will be valid for up to a year.

#3. Significant Benefit Work Program

If you visit the Canada embassy in India and explain your job description and a relevant assignment you have to accomplish in Canada, the immigration officer may determine if you qualify to immigrate to the country for business or work purposes. This method of obtaining work permit is known as the Significant Benefit Work Program and it also falls under the International Mobility Program.

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program

The Temporary Foreign Worker Program includes a couple of immigration options that require you to first obtain employment from a recognized Canadian organization. The Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is a very important requirement to meet when applying for working permit through the Temporary Foreign Worker Permit. Your employer will provide you with the document after sustaining a mutual agreement that you will be immigrating to Canada for work purposes.

The essence of this program is to fill sudden or temporary vacancies in the Canadian Labour Market. There are lots of immigration programs available under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. They are

With many program options to choose from under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program, you will find one that applies to you as it relates to your new job in Canada.

To qualify for applying for work permit through any of these programs, you only need to discover the jobs that are in demand in Canada.

After that, you may need to work towards upskilling so you can meet the requirements most employers are searching for. You can also actively begin to apply for Canadian jobs. There are lots of job search tools and consulting services that you can employ for actively searching vacancies in Canada.

More Options for Indians

FAQs for How to Get Canada Work Permit from India

How Long does it Take to Process the Canada Work Permit?

There is no fixed processing time for a Canadian work permit since it depends on the kind of program you applied for. It may take anything from two weeks to ninety-working days for you to obtain your permit after you apply.

However, due to the impacts of COVID-19, the processing time for your particular program may take longer than the normal duration.

Can I apply for Canada Work Permit without a Job Offer?
A job offer is a criterion for obtaining a work permit in Canada. Therefore, you cannot apply for a work permit if you don’t have a job yet.
What is the Validity Period for Work Permit in Canada?

Since there are different programs that could get you a Canadian work permit, the validity period may be different. Usually, most work permits expire within 1-3 years.

The validity period of your passport or travel document can affect the duration of your work permit. The validity period of the permit cannot extend beyond the validity period of your passport.

If you will not complete the ideal number of years of work in Canada before your passport expires, you can extend the work permit after you have renewed your passport.