Canadian Visa Information

If you’re looking to make the land of maple, beavers, and brilliant hockey your home, look no further. The Canadian Visa and working permit programs are full of exceptions and exemptions. To get cleared for work and citizen life in the Queen’s other country you must follow instructions to the “T.” But it seems that once you’re in, you’re in. Canada thrives off the immigrants that support its economic infrastructure. To apply for a Visa, check out which one is appropriate for you: Skilled Migration, Family Class, Business, Working Holiday, and Study and Student Work.

Who needs a permit to work in Canada?   

If you want to move to Canada, then it all comes down to where you come from, what you plan on doing there, who you’re taking with, and how much money you’ve got.

Ways to work in Canada

    1. Skilled Migration
    2. Family Class
    3. Business
    4. Working Holiday
    5. Study Permit and Student Working Permit
    6. Provincial Nominees

1. Skilled Migration

$550 fee (Principal Applicant), additional fees for family members vary

To be eligible for a Skilled Migration permit, you must:

-have an offer of employment from a Canadian employer* OR
-you are a foreign national who has been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student OR
-you are a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one or more of the occupations listed here…

*A Canadian employer must apply for a Labour Market Opinion on the applicant’s behalf. This shows the government that the employer has made considerable effort to advertise the position to Canadians before hiring a foreign national.
* Not all cases require a Labour Market Opinion to obtain a work permit, however. Such occupations include but are not limited to:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Intra-company transfers
  • Participants in exchange programs
  • co-op students
  • Spouses of Academics and students
  • Religious workers
  • Workers covered under international trade agreements
  • Others- Refugee determination process

If your application has been approved, you must then fulfil further requirements to qualify as a skilled worker:

  • have at least one year of full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in a part-time, continuous position
  • AND your work experience must be Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or Skill Level A (professional occupations) or B (technical occupations and skilled trades) on the Canadian National Occupational Classification list
  • AND you must have had this experience within the last 10 years.

Once these details are provided and the application has passed, it will be assessed on the Skilled Workers grid criteria listed here:

  • Education (25 pts)
  • Language ability (in either English or French, the two official languages) (up to 24 pts)
  • Work experience (up to 24 pts)
  • Age (up to 10 pts)
  • Pending arranged employment in Canada (up to 10 pts)
  • Adaptability (up to 10 pts)

Applicants must also demonstrate to the Canadian government that they have enough money to support themselves and their dependents during their stay in Canada. For an individual, C$9.897 must be shown and the sum increases with each accompanying person.

Applicants are also required to go through medical, criminal, and background checks.

If helpful, an applicant can use a representative to support them in the immigration process.

The C$550 processing fee must be paid when an application is submitted. If the candidate cannot obtain a work permit, the processing fee will be refunded.

If an application is approved, then the Right of Permanent Residence fee must be paid. The C$490 fee must be paid (by applicants, spouses, and common law partners) before Citizenship and Immigration Canada issues the permanent resident visa. If a visa is unused or an application is cancelled, this fee can be refunded.

2. Family Class C$475 fee (Principal Applicant)

Canadian residents who are 18 years or older may sponsor a relative in their pursuit of becoming a permanent Canadian resident.

Persons eligible for sponsorship:

  • Spouses, common-law or conjugal partners 16 years of age or older
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Dependent children including (including adopted children)
  • Children under the age of 18 who applicants intent to adoptSiblings, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, who are orphaned, under 18 years and are not married
  • One relative of any age who is not a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident may be sponsored

*Police certificates and clearances are also required, as are medical examinations (which can vary for family members and applicants)

*Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, Quebec determines its own eligibility rules concerning sponsorship. For more information, contact Quebec Immigration (

3. Business Immigration Program, $1050 fee (Principal Applicant), additional fees for family members vary

Business visas are typically given to immigrants who are interested in investing or starting businesses within Canada. Business immigrants are chosen on their ability to contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy. Applicants can apply for the Business visa under one of three programs: Investor, Entrepreneur, and Self-Employed.


The Investor Business Immigration program is for individuals looking to invest C$ 400.000 into the Canadian economy. Investors must also have:

  • At least two years of business experience
  • A net worth of at least C$ 800,000 that was legally acquired AND
  • Fulfil all medical and security and criminal requirements

Citizenship and Immigration Canada will manage the C$400,000 investment and return it approximately two years after payment with profit.


The Entrepreneurship Business Immigration program is for individuals who (have):

  • At least two years of business experience
  • A net worth of C$300,000 that was legally acquired
  • Fulfil all medical and security and criminal requirements

Self-Employed Persons

The Self-Employed Persons Business Immigration Plan is for individuals who intend to be self-employed in Canada. All applicants must:

  • Have experience that will contribute to the athletic and cultural life of Canada OR
  • Experience in farm management and the intention to purchase a farm in Canada
  • Fulfil all medical, security, and criminal requirements

The province of Quebec operates its own business immigration program. If you want to settle in the province of Quebec, visit the

4. Working Holiday, C$150 fee

Working Holiday visas are available for individuals spending a holiday in Canada and participating in work. The Canadian Working Holiday program is administered by the Canadian High Commission or embassy of which an applicant resides. The following countries participate in the Working Holiday program:

  • United Kingdom
  • Finland
  • Sweden
  • Denmak
  • Australia  
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • United States

    Other select countries

The Canadian Working Holiday program makes it possible for young travellers to have short-term work experience and internships during their stay in Canada.

You must be between 18-30 years, have a valid passport for 14 months after you apply, and be in good health. You must also be able to prove that you possess C$4,000 to support yourself.

Working Holiday Visa holders may work in any job of their choosing (no restrictions) for 12 months and are allowed unlimited travel in and out of the country. However, your visa is not put on hold during your time out of Canada.   

Spots in the Canadian Working Holiday Program are limited throughout the year by a quota system. Then, it’s a first-come, first-serve basis so be sure to apply early.

5. Canada Study Permit, C$125 fee

Each year, more than 130,000 students study in Canada. Many more come to Canada to learn English or French. Most students will then need a study permit if they wish to study in Canada. As always, there are exceptions:

  • If you are studying in a short-term course or programme of 6 months or less, you do not need a Study Permit
  • If a family member is a staff member to or foreign representative to Canada, you do not need a Study Permit
  • If you are a minor child living in Canada, you do not need a Study Permit.


6. Provincial Nominees

C$550 fee (Principal Applicant), C$550 for additional family members

The Provincial Nominee Program enables provincial governments to choose nominees or candidates they feel will contribute significantly to the economic and social life of Canada. Each province has distinct rules and regulations for nominations and how to apply after being nominated. Be sure to check to get more information on specifics.