Can I work in Canada if I’m not a permanent resident?

You must apply for a work permit to work in Canada if you're not a or a Canadian citizen. For example, if you have come to Canada as an international student, you will have to apply for a work permit.

If you have made a refugee claim and you want to know about working in Canada, see Can I work in Canada after I make a refugee claim?

There are two kinds of work permits: closed work permits and open work permits.

A closed work permit is also called an employer-specific work permit. You can only work for the employer named in the permit. And there are rules about where you can work and how long you can work.

An open work permit means that you can work for any employer. But you can't work for an employer in a business where you could be at risk of sexual exploitation. And you must follow the conditions of your work permit.

Most people who want to come to Canada to work must apply for a work permit before they arrive. Some people can apply from inside Canada, such as students, sponsored spouses, or people who need to extend an existing work permit.

Getting a work permit can be difficult, depending on the kind of work that you plan to do. Sometimes your employer will have to prove that they can't get Canadian workers to do the work before they can get a work permit for you.

If you're being mistreated or discriminated against at any job, you can contact your local community legal clinic, the Human Rights Legal Support Centre, or your local settlement agency for help.

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