Although Canada has a reputation for a cosmopolitan openness in its relationship with international travelers, obtaining a Canadian work visa can still seem to be a challenging experience. However, the process, while involved and somewhat time consuming, is rather straightforward and relatively painless. While visiting Canada on vacation is easy to do, anyone who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident must have a visa to work in Canada.
How to Get a Working Visa for Canada
Gather the required personal identification, which consists of either a valid passport or a valid travel document from the country you are applying from, and six photographs of you and any family members that will be coming with you. These photos must match detailed specifications, which can be found in the Resources section at the end of this article.
Gather documents proving your employment in Canada. These include either a copy of your job offer or your contract with your prospective Canadian employer, including the file number given by Human Resources and Social Development Canada, which your employer should have; proof, such as a resume, that you are qualified for the particular job; and the "Certificat d'acceptation du Québec" if you will be working in the province of Québec.
Be aware that you will have to satisfy a Canadian officer that you will leave Canada after your employment is over, that you are law abiding and don't have a criminal history, that you have enough money to support yourself and your family, that you are not a security risk to Canada, and that you are in good health, which may require a medical examination.
Fill out "Application for a Work Permit," form IMM 1295, a link to which can be found in the Resources section at the end of this article.
Pay the processing fee. This is generally C$150 per person. Regardless of whether your visa application is accepted, this processing fee will not be refunded. The proper payment method differs. depending on which visa office is responsible for your area, so contact your local visa office for more details on what kind of payment is acceptable.
Submit the application, your identification and proof of employment documents, and processing fee to your local Canadian visa office. Alternatively, if you are from the United States of America, Greenland or St. Pierre and Miquelon, you can apply at a Canadian port of entry.
Wait for your application to be reviewed. If a personal interview is necessary, you will be informed of the time and place. If your application is approved, you will be sent a confirmation letter. On showing this confirmation letter to a Canadian officer at a port of entry, you will receive your visa. If your application is not approved, you will receive notification in writing.