How to Prepare to Get a Temporary Job in Canada

 A little over 50,000 Canadian jobs go unfilled every single day. This statistic depicts how lucrative it could be for people looking to get better-paying jobs and lift their living standards by immigrating to Canada. Many temporary job positions are available, albeit subject to certain rigorous regulations, that can open doors to permanent employment and residency in Canada. However, as lucrative as it sounds, you still need a system to help you navigate the complicated system of getting a temporary job in Canada.

Here is a brief guide on how to prepare to get a temporary job in Canada. Read below to find out which jobs require work permits and don’t and how to get a work permit to start your career in Canada.

Basic requirements for getting a temporary job in Canada

One of the basic requirements for a job in Canada is that the applicant needs to speak fluent English. Most Canadians either speak English or French, and this is why speaking and understanding English is a basic requirement for employment in Canada. There is plenty of coaching available to level up your English language skills. However, the next big requirement is a little complicated.

Most of the jobs in Canada require applicants to get a work permit. Work permits are an absolute requirement if you are not a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. Applicants need to apply for a work permit from the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) or a relevant Canadian Visa office before coming to Canada.

To obtain work permits, applicants need to have a job offer from a viable Canadian Employer. Moreover, since the Canadian law requires employers to offer jobs to citizens before employing immigrants, the same Canadian employer needs to apply for a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

The ESDC determines if the job is suitable to be offered to an immigrant after they’ve completed their evaluation. However, there are certain job positions for which special work permits are available and, thus, they do not require this evaluation. You can also apply for a special type of evaluation if you are already in Canada and looking for a temporary job. It is important to understand that work permits do not mean permanent residency. Coming to Canada as a permanent resident requires a different application.

 Work permits or not?

As mentioned before, work permits are a basic requirement for several temporary jobs in Canada. Work permits, along with approval from the ESDC, lay the foundations for temporary employment in Canada. As mentioned before, work permits need to be obtained before coming to Canada, along with a job offer from a Canadian employer. Other important considerations regarding the work permit for a temporary job in Canada are as follows:

  • Work permits do not mean permanent residency in Canada
  • Close family members, such as children and spouses, need to obtain separate work permits
  • Immigration Canada must meet all legal requirements in addition to obtaining the work permit
  •  Immigrants from some countries need to obtain a Temporary Residence Visa before applying for a work permit
  • Employer sponsors are needed in conjunction with work permits
  • Openwork permits for jobs of unspecified nature may be available in certain conditions

However, there are also career options where you may be exempted from obtaining a work permit beforehand. These jobs usually require skilled workers on an urgent basis. These careers include clergy members, news reporters, public speakers, athletes, science researchers, corporate trainers, service technicians, health profession students, and diplomats.

There are also certain scenarios where obtaining approval from the ESDC by the employer may not be necessary. Keep in mind that these job positions still require a work permit. Following people may be allowed to work in Canada without prior confirmation from the ESDC:

  •  Award recipients
  • Volunteer workers
  •  Religious workers
  • IT-specialty staff
  • Occupational workers for a niche requiring urgent staffing
  • Media crew workers
  • Guest lecturers and professors

What is an open work permit?

It is important to understand that obtaining work permits for jobs in Canada does not automatically qualify close family members to work in Canada. Family members need to apply for separate work permits to be able to work in Canada. However, there may be some situations where common-law partners may qualify for an open work permit. A basic requirement for these permits is that the qualifying job should have a definite period of at least 6 months. Similarly, dependent children may also qualify for an open work permit in certain situations.

Openwork permits are permits for jobs of unspecified nature. These permits do not require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and proof of an offer of employment.

  • Following people qualify for an open work permit:
  • International students qualifying for a post-graduate work permit program
  • Destitute students
  •  People who have applied for permanent residency in Canada
  • Dependent family members of people who have applied for permanent residency
  • Spouse of a skilled worker
  • Refugee and protected person
  • Temporary resident permit holders

Where to find jobs in Canada?

There are multiple online portals where foreign workers can find a temporary job in Canada that suits their qualifications. These portals are a great way to find qualifying jobs even before you come to Canada. Alternatively, you can opt to hire an immigration attorney to scout qualifying positions for you. Hiring a qualified immigration attorney is not necessary, but it speeds up the hiring process by taking care of all the necessary verifications and approvals for you.


There are many job opportunities in Canada for immigrants, so Canada comes on top of the list of best countries to find a job overseas. The process is fairly simple, albeit tightly regulated. However, if you know what you are doing and are doing it the right way, it’s not hard to acquire a temporary job in Canada and then open doors for a permanent job and residency. If you don’t know what you are doing, you can always hire an immigration attorney to help you through the process.

Brett Sartorial

Brett is a business journalist with a focus on corporate strategy and leadership. With over 15 years of experience covering the corporate world, Brett has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, analytical and insightful journalist. He has a deep understanding of the business strategies and leadership principles that drive the world's most successful companies, and is able to explain them in a clear and compelling way. Throughout his career, Brett has interviewed some of the most influential business leaders and has covered major business events such as the World Economic Forum and the Davos. He is also a regular contributor to leading business publications and has won several awards for his work.