How To Work Temporarily In Canada (2/10)

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Welcome To Canada! Welcome to my new “How To… Canada” series! In this series, I’ll try to put my knowledge to good use and shed some light on my new country: Canada. You will learn how some immigration tips and tricks, how to improve your proficiency in both official languages, how to find a job, how to settle in Canada etc. I’ll publish a new “How To… Canada” post every Saturday.

Feel like checking out Canada before immigrating? Or just want to experience working abroad? Let’s have a look at how you can work temporarily in Canada. And luckily, you have a few options. You can either:

Let’s be honest: obtaining a work permit for Canada can be quite tricky. Indeed, you will most likely (90% of the time) apply from outside Canada. But to be eligible to apply, you must provide a job offer from a Canadian employer… and of course, contacting employers from abroad, without a work permit is tough. Plus, the employer will need to get a labour market opinion from Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC), to confirm that the employer can fill the job with a foreign worker (i.e to avoid an impact on Canadian job-seekers).

Unless Canada really needs you, the process can be extremely frustrating. Right now, three special categories enjoy an easier process because of the critical shortage: live-in caregivers, business people and information technology workers.

Remember that work permits are not immigration documents. Your work permit will include the type of work you can do, the employer you can work for and for how long. Should your employer let you go, you may have to go home… and it does happen. North American’s job market is extremely flexible and here, no job is forever!

You can download the application for a work permit and all the informations on the CIC website.

Another interesting option, providing you meet the requirements, is the working holiday visa program (WHV). It targets young people who wish to travel and work in Canada. Currently, it is required to:

The maximum validity of an employment authorization issued under this program is usually 12 months. The additional requirements vary from country to country. With a working holiday visa, you may not apply for social benefits and you will have to buy your own health insurance.

Applying for a WHV is usually pretty easy and done with minimum hassle. However, the number of places are limited yearly through a quota system and it comes on a first come, first serve basis. I have personally never heard of a WHV being denied: your biggest issue could be the quota system. These days, a lot of people apply for the WHV (to my knowledge, especially French, British, Australians and Kiwis) and it’s common to apply about a year before you actually go to Canada.

The working holiday visa program is a great way to discover Canada and can be your first step towards immigration, as you may apply for permanent residence once in Canada.

You might also want to check out these links:

Hope to see you soon in Canada! And as usual, I will try my best to answer any question you may have.


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. I researched on the options for my fiance to come to Canada, but it’s not easy for him to find a job before coming here. So I dropped the idea and moved on to something that seems better.

    bluefishs last great read…Quiz time

  2. Bueno, no sabia que hablabas español tambien. 🙂

    You’re making Canada sound more and more attractive. Let’s see who wins the election this year and I may have to come back and review every one of these posts…thoroughly! 😉

    Scarlets last great read…boobs and paradise

  3. I have an open temporary work permit, because my wife has a work permit through the University of Toronto. It means I can get a job anywhere as long as it’s not in agriculture. Unfortunately, since my wife’s contract is for less than three years, this means I don’t have access to Canada’s free health care system, although she does. It’s really, really dumb. I don’t know why they have this rule. It’s only in Ontario.

    johnadas last great read…STOP KICKING ME – An Update on the Royal Cargo

  4. It’s interesting how neat and orderly the process is. And to my knowledge, you don’t even have to build walls to keep people out. That’s wonderful.
    Now, how I can get away with only temporarily working during *my* workday (and still keep my job)? I need more water cooler time. LOL.

    Seraphines last great read…Insolvent But Too Big to Fail

  5. @bluefish – Couldn’t he has come under the sponsorship program? That sounds this easiest way for him to come to Canada.

    @Scarlet – Un poquito 😉 Canada is a great place to live, despite the harsh winters. Anytime!

    @RennyBA – Yes, I was just kidding, I don’t expect you guys to move across the Atlantic again! Besides, Norway is so similar to Canada, why bother? 😉

    @johnada – It’s good your wife has it though, with the baby coming etc. Ontario has some weird rules about its health care and I had to wait 3 months to be covered when I came too, even as a Permanent Resident!

    @Seraphine – I must say I like the way Canada deals with immigration and immigrants in general. We are lucky. We have winters to keep people out 😆

    @Annie – Absolutely! But you will be close anyway, so should you change your mind… 😉

  6. Rebecca Parco on

    Is there an age limit for a live in caregiver program under the Provincial Nominee Program of Canada. If the applicant will be coming from the Philippines, what is the processing time to acquire a Working Visa to Canada

  7. ¡ Hola Juliette !
    Je viens juste de découvrir ton blogue. J’ai lu ton parcours et le fait que tu vives à Ottawa, et je suis… jalouse comme tout !
    Je suis française, de parents espagnols et j’habite depuis 7 ans à Valencia (Espagne), mais j’ai à nouveau envie de prendre mon envol. Le Canada a toujours été mon rêve -et j’y suis allée pour quelques jours en Septembre- et je voudrais y retourner pour travailler temporairement, mais à 41 ans je me demande si ce n’est pas un peu tard… Oui, à mon âge on nous fait déjà croire qu’on est des vieux et en tout cas c’est trop tard pour le PVT!! Tant pis, qu’à celà ne tienne, je tente le coup quand même. En janvier, je retourne à Paris pour une petite semaine et je pense en profiter pour aller à l’Ambassade du Canada et à la Délégation du Québec pour avoir des informations (c’est pas facile de les obtenir depuis l’Espagne). J’ai un BTS de secrétaire trilingue, mais je pense aussi me diriger vers le monde du tourisme ou donner des cours de français à des étrangers (par exemple aux personnes venues d’Amérique Latine).
    J’ai une question : quels diplômes sont exigés pour donner des cours de français ?
    Voilà, Juliette, je suis très contente d’avoir attéri ici par hazard.
    Il ne me reste plus qu’à te souhaiter un Feliz Año 2009 en el que se cumplan todos tus deseos.
    Hasta pronto.

  8. Hi, both myself and my wife plan to move to canada from Ireland to find work also because we always loved the place! My question is my wife is qualified childcare creche supervisor and has all necessary qualifications and she is aged 28, the problem is I myself have just turned 36 and I have searched online and mosted website say its difficult to get work permit if your over 35!
    Is there any other way arround my age or what are the chances of getting work visa as spouse?

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