Work Permit Steps-Canada
This is a really quick explanation of the temporary work permit (TWP) application process.
It describes a simple case, the application of a person who does not need a medical exam or a police check.
You apply for a job.
Your prospective employer wants to offer you a job, but has to apply for a labour market opinion (LMO) first.
The employer applies for, and receives, an LMO. (This will happen if the employer has advertised the job for the required length of time and has not received an application from a qualified Canadian resident).
When the employer receives the LMO, he supplies a copy of it to you.
Along with a copy of your prospective employer's LMO, you can submit your temporary work permit (TWP) application to the Canadian High Commission (CHC) in London (or whichever Canadian visa office handles applications from residents of the country in which you live). - some people may be able to apply for their TWP at the border (quicker).
If your spouse or partner wants an SOWP, he/she you should submit his/her application for one in the same package as your TWP application.
It will cost you $150 for each of your work permit applications, so $300 for the two of them together.
If everything is in order with your employer's LMO and your work permit applications, CHC London will send you an approval letter.
You will fly to Canada and, at your Canadian port of entry (POE), apply for a TWP and an SOWP. If you bring the approval letter from CHC London, the process at the POE is more of a rubber stamp than anything else. The Immigration Officer (IO) at your POE will issue you with a TWP and SOWP.
Usually the IO at the POE issues a TWP for the same length of time for which the LMO is valid. The length of time for which your partner or spouse's SOWP will be valid, in turn, will depend on the length of time for which your TWP is valid.
Another option is to fly to Canada and apply for your TWP and SOWP at your POE, without applying to CHC London first. It certainly is quicker to do it that way, but some immigration experts have warned that applying for a TWP at your POE is not without risk. A couple of forum members have had some white knuckle moments when their TWPs were almost not issued at their POEs. But, with that having been said, many forum members have had their TWPs issued this way. For more information, see the Wiki entitled TWP : Where to apply-Canada.
You also may find it helpful to read the Wiki article called Immigration Timeline-Canada.