Temporary Visitors 

1) Temporary Foreign Workers

If an applicant wishes to enter the country temporarily in order pursue employment for a Canadian employer, he/she will most likely have to apply for a Work Permit. Please note that, generally speaking, a Work Permit application should be lodged once a job offer has already been issued in writing by a Canadian employer (this does not apply, however, to open Work Permits).

A Work Permit is usually issued for a specific employer (the afore-mentioned Open Work Permits are sometimes issued under specific and narrow set of circumstances) and for a specific (usually 1 or 2 years) time period. Should an employer wish to retain an applicant’s services beyond the validity of his/her Work Permit, an extension application will have to be filed prior to the expiry of the current permit.

Because most work permits are issued for a specific employer, should the employment be terminated, a new permit will be required.

LMO Confirmation by Service Canada

Most work permits will require a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) confirmation prior to applying. This approval issued by Service Canada confirms that there are no other Canadians equally (or better) qualified to fill the position. The LMO application must consist of details of the position being offered, proof of the employer’s recruitment efforts in Canada, and evidence of the employer’s inability to find a suitable Canadian to fill the position.


The LMO-exempt employment is one that benefits from certain exemptions under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. This type of Work Permit has expedited processing and involves less paperwork. Some of these exemptions include NAFTA-based Work Permits; Intra-Company Transfers as well as Significant Benefit provisions, just to name a few.

2) Foreign Students

In order to study at an university, college or trade school in Canada, an applicant will need a Study Permit. Please note that minor children who are planning on attending pre-school, primary school, or secondary school are not required to obtain a Study Permit, (except for children who are accompanying their parents who hold Temporary Resident Visas).

In order to apply for a Study Permit, an applicant must provide proof of acceptance into an approved institution, evidence of sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs (either applicant’s own funds or those of his/her family members or Canadian hosts), and demonstrate the intention to return home upon the completion of studies (i.e. an applicant most show social and financial ties with home country).

Typically, when issued, a Study Permit will be valid for 1-3 years, depending on the length of the program of study in question, as well as CIC’s discretion. Over the last few years, Canadian government has somewhat eased the Study Permit eligibility criteria, paving the way for more foreign students arriving in Canada on such permits.