Open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada, with a few exceptions. The following are examples of open work permits.
Employer specific work permits allow you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include the name of the employer and how long you can work for. Most require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The following are examples of employer specific work permits.
When Canadian employers are having difficulty filling job positions with Canadian permanent residents or citizens, Canadian employers may seek to attract temporary skilled workers from abroad to fill those positions.
Candidates who already hold open work permits can search for employment in Canada whilst keeping in mind any restrictions on their work permit.
An employer-specific work permit can only be obtained if the candidate has a qualifying offer of employment from a Canadian employer. An employer-specific work permit is issued on a temporary basis on the condition that the foreign national works for the specific employer who is named on the permit. For most employer specific work permits, the employer must make an application for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to Service Canada to ensure that employing a foreign worker will not have a negative effect on Canada’s labour market.
Once the LMIA has been obtained, an application can be made for a work permit. A work permit will confirm the terms and conditions of the foreign national's stay and work in Canada. These will include job title, name of employer, and the length of time that the foreign national can work in Canada.
A temporary foreign worker is protected by Canada’s labour laws. Each province and territory has an employment or labour standards office that deals with labour and employment laws. They can advise about fair pay, hours of work, rest periods, working conditions and provide other services. For more information on your rights, IRCC has many helpful links located here.