Canada Temporary Foreign Worker Visas | Complete Guide

Canada temporary foreign worker visas is one of the easiest visas you can get if you want to travel to Canada to work. Canada, as a highly developed nation offering numerous employment opportunities and competitive salaries, is a magnet for foreign workers seeking quality jobs. To accommodate this influx, the Government of Canada has introduced specialized work visas.

For those aspiring to work in Canada, securing a Canadian work permit is imperative, enabling them to engage with potential employers or formalize work contracts. Applying for a work permit coincides with the visa application process, with the Consular Office treating both applications simultaneously.

There are two avenues for obtaining a Canada work permit:

  1. Temporary Work Visas
  2. Permanent or Immigrant Work Visas

Temporary Work Visas grant temporary worker status, allowing individuals to work in Canada for six months or less. Conversely, Permanent or Immigrant Work Visas are issued to those who are immigrating to Canada due to employment prospects. This article concentrates on an overview of Temporary Work Visas.

What Constitutes a Canada Temporary Work Visas?

A Canada Temporary Work Visa is a composite document that combines a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) and a Work Permit. A TRV permits a stay in Canada for up to six months, while the Work Permit empowers individuals to seek employment or work in a pre-arranged job.

It’s important to note that this work visa is not a permanent solution; its validity varies from a few months to years, contingent upon the specific type obtained. Upon its expiration, applicants have the option to apply for renewal or return to their home country.

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The maximum duration one can work temporarily in Canada, with all extensions considered, is four years. However, this may differ based on the applicant’s country of origin and visa category.

Overstaying a visa’s expiration date in Canada carries the risk of deportation, which can subsequently hinder future visa applications.

Who Requires a Canada Temporary Work Visas?

Individuals with intentions to work and earn a salary in Canada must obtain a Temporary Work Visa or Work Permit. The following criteria must be met:

  • The intention is to gain employment in Canada with remuneration.
  • The salary is provided by a Canadian-registered business entity.
  • The primary place of work is in Canada.
  • Salary payments are made and deposited in a Canadian bank account.

However, if the employment is based outside Canada, and the visit to Canada is brief and work-related, a work permit may not be necessary.

Certain groups of visitors are exempt from requiring a Canadian work permit, including:

  • Foreign Government Workers
  • Foreign Government Representatives and their family members
  • Military Personnel
  • Business Visitors
  • Performing Artists
  • Athletes and their Team Members
  • Judges, Referees, or Similar Workers
  • Media Crews and News Reporters
  • Public Speakers and Convention Organizers
  • Evaluators and Examiners
  • Clergy
  • Health Care Students
  • Students Working on Campus
  • Civil Aviation Inspectors
  • Aviation Accident Inspectors
  • Emergency Service Providers
  • Expert Witnesses and Investigators
  • Researchers with Limited 120-Day Assignments in Canada

If one does not fall into any of these exempted categories, then a Temporary Work Visa and Permit are mandatory.

How to Apply for a Canada Temporary Work Visas?

The steps to apply for a Canada work visa include:

  1. Obtain a temporary job offer from a Canadian company. The requirement for a job offer depends on the type of work permit being pursued.
    • Open Work Permit allows for changing employers within Canada.
    • Employer-Specific Permit necessitates securing employment before applying.

    If the intention is to seek employment upon arrival in Canada, this step can be skipped. For working holiday visas, prior knowledge of the prospective workplace can enhance visa approval chances.

  2. Explore job opportunities in Canada, either through online resources, websites, or by enlisting the services of headhunting agencies in Canada.
  3. Secure a job offer from a Canadian employer willing to employ you temporarily.

Canada Work Visa Validity

The temporary Canada work visa remains valid for a period of six months or less. Afterward, applicants can apply for an extension through the Consulate or return to their home country. The total duration of stay in Canada, including extensions, should not exceed four years, subject to Consulate decisions.

Fees for Canada Work Visa

Application fees are applicable when applying for a work permit and visa. The work permit fee is CAD$155, with each extension application incurring the same cost. For Open Work Permits, the fee is CAD$100.

Can Dependents Accompany You With a Canada Work Visa?

The Canadian Government permits work permit holders to include close family members in their application. Eligible family members include spouses or common-law partners and minor children. Their documentation must be submitted alongside the main applicant’s to constitute a family application.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the processing time for a Canada Temporary Work Visa?

The processing time for a Canada Temporary Work Visa can vary depending on several factors, such as the type of work permit you’re applying for, your home country, and the current workload of the Canadian visa processing centers. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to receive a decision on your application.

To get a more accurate estimate of the processing time for your specific situation, it’s advisable to check the official website of the Government of Canada or contact the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country. Additionally, applying well in advance of your intended travel date can help ensure that you receive your work permit in time to start your job in Canada.

Can I extend my Canada Temporary Work Visa if I want to stay longer than the initial period allowed?

Yes, you can extend your Canada Temporary Work Visa under certain conditions. If you wish to continue working in Canada beyond the expiration date of your initial work permit, you’ll need to apply for an extension before your current permit expires. Ensure that you meet all the eligibility criteria for the extension, which may include having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and complying with any other specific requirements associated with your visa category.

Extensions are typically granted for the same duration as your initial work permit, and you can continue working while your extension application is being processed, as long as you submitted it before your current permit expires. It’s crucial to plan ahead and apply for an extension in a timely manner to avoid any disruptions to your employment in Canada.


Navigating the process of obtaining a Canada Temporary Work Visa involves careful planning and adherence to specific requirements. While processing times may vary, applicants should prepare well in advance and keep abreast of updates from the Canadian government regarding visa applications. Remember that extensions are possible if you wish to prolong your stay, but it’s essential to meet all eligibility criteria and apply in a timely manner.

Whether you are seeking employment opportunities, a chance to gain international experience, or simply exploring a working holiday in Canada, understanding the visa application process is crucial. The Canadian government welcomes skilled workers and provides pathways for them to contribute to the country’s diverse workforce.

Keep in mind that visa policies and requirements can change, so always refer to official government sources or consult with the Canadian embassy or consulate in your home country for the most up-to-date information. With the right preparation and documentation, you can embark on a successful journey to work in Canada, seizing the opportunities that this vibrant and diverse nation has to offer.

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