TWP : Where to apply-Canada

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Applying from outside Canada

  • If you take this approach, you submit your application for a temporary work permit to the Canadian visa post that handles visa applications for your country.
  • In the case of the UK, the visa post that processes TWP applications is the Canadian High Commission (CHC) in London.
  • When the immigration staff at CHC London are satisfied with your TWP application, they send you a pre-approval letter (on average 8-10 weeks after applying).
  • You take this pre-approval letter with you when you travel to Canada.
  • When you present yourself at a Canadian port of entry (POE), the immigration officer will issue your TWP on the basis of the letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) or, more precisely, from CIC staff located at CHC London.
  • Please take note of this, because it's an important distinction. You will not leave the UK with a TWP in hand. Rather, you will leave the UK with a pre-approval letter from CIC. The immigration officer at your POE will issue you with a TWP on the basis of the letter from CIC.
  • The immigration officer (IO) at the POE can use his/her discretion as to the length of time for which he/she issues the TWP. It is common for the IO to issue a TWP that is valid for the same length of time as your LMIA.
  • If CIC has any concerns (a missing document or whatever), you can address their concerns while you're still in the UK.
  • If you have pre-approval from CIC, it's close to a certainty that the IO will issue you with a TWP.

Applying from inside Canada


You can apply for a work permit from within Canada if:

  • You have a valid study or work permit, or your spouse or parents have a study or work permit.
    • But note that it takes longer for a spouse to get a work permit from inside Canada, so it's better to apply for one before you get to Canada.
    • Also be aware that it's virtually impossible for a teenager to get a work permit, because he/she will not have enough work experience to secure a job that no qualified Canadian resident wants.
  • You have a work permit for one job but want to apply for a work permit for a different job.
  • You have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more.
  • You are in Canada because you have already applied for permanent residence from inside Canada. You have to pass certain stages in the PR application process before you can apply for a work permit.


You must have the following documents:

  • A job offer from a Canadian employer
  • A completed work permit application form.

You must:

  • Satisfy a visa officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires.

You may have to:

  • Provide a police clearance certificate (but police clearance certificates are not usually required of work permit applicants).
  • Undergo a medical examination. (This requirement usually applies to people who want to work amongst vulnerable populations, e.g., in hospitals, schools, and childcare centres.)

Applying at port of entry

This is the most common way to apply for a TWP.


You can apply for a work permit as you enter Canada if:

  • You do not need a temporary resident visa to visit Canada, and
  • You have a LMIA in hand or your job is LMIA exempt.

When to apply at POE

You may consider applying for a TWP at a POE if one of the following conditions applies:

  • You want to avoid the 8-10 week processing time for a TWP via London.
  • You already live in Canada and you only need to do a trip around the flagpole, that is, drive to the Canada-USA border and back.
  • Your spouse belongs to Skill Level O, A or B on the National Occupational Classification Matrix, he/she already is in Canada on a TWP, you are travelling to Canada to join him/her, and you want to pick up your spousal open work permit (SOWP) at your POE.

The CIC website has information on applying at the POE here and here.

Spouses and children

  • Please note that, if you travel to a Canadian POE on your own and apply for a TWP, you cannot apply for an SOWP for your spouse or study permits for your children who will follow you to Canada later.
  • Your family members will have to request their own work / study permits when they arrive at a POE.
  • Each family member must bring the following documents to the POE:
    • passport
    • two photos
    • means of paying the fees
    • copy of your valid work permit
    • copy of your LMIA (not required but nice to have)
    • evidence that you work in Canada (letter from employer and a few payslips)