Work permits

This section contains complete details on how to obtain a work permit.

Who is hiring foreign workers?

Every year, more than 150,000 foreign workers move to Canada in order to fill limited-term positions and to help Canadian employers address shortages of qualified workers. Canadian employers are authorized to hire qualified foreign workers for a pre-determined period if they can demonstrate that they cannot find any qualified Canadians or permanent residents to fill the positions; they must also demonstrate that the workers’ arrival in Canada will not have an adverse effect on the Canadian labour market and that all other requirements and conditions have been met.

Do you work in a trade or profession that could enable you to obtain a work permit?

For further information, please refer to Employment Quebec’s statistics to determine whether your trade or profession has a favourable professional outlook. If this is the case in a given region, employers in most cases can recruit internationally for these types of positions.

For example, here is a direct link indicating that the outlook is favourable for an IT consultant in Quebec’s National Capital region (i.e. Quebec City and the surrounding area). Therefore, a foreign worker can fill this type of position provided that all requirements and conditions have been met.

Evaluate your professional prospects using Employment Quebec’s online portal.

Links to access the general procedure for obtaining a work permit

Please note: You may need a temporary resident visa in order to be admitted into Canada, depending on your country of origin.


The spouse of a specialized temporary worker (regardless of whether the couple is legally married or in common-law status for at least 12 months and regardless of whether they are the same or the opposite sex) may benefit from a specific procedure providing access to the labour market. The spouse can thus obtain an “open” work permit, i.e. without having a specific employer sponsor, although the validity of the permit cannot exceed the validity of the main applicant’s work permit, nor can the duration of the permit exceed that of the main applicant’s job.

As a general rule, a work permit application for an accompanying spouse is submitted at the point of entry into Canada if the applicants are from a non-visa country. Otherwise, the application should be submitted to a Canadian visa office. For further information, please consult the “Visas and immigration/working temporarily/spouses or common-law spouses” section of the website of the Canadian visa office closest to you (see list).

If you or your spouse wish to study for more than six months, you must first apply for a study permit and a Quebec acceptance certificate (CAQ).

Your minor or dependent children can attend school in Canada if you hold a work permit. Various procedures may apply depending on their age and on whether they accompany you or join you later on, etc. Here is the link for the general procedure.

Would you like to extend your stay?

If you would like to stay in Canada beyond the period granted under your initial work permit, you can submit an application while remaining in Quebec. Various options are available: