Permission to work


Procedure for obtaining approval. A temporary resident visa may be required in addition to a work permit for foreign nationals working in Canada. The government of Canada provides a list of countries and territories that require a temporary resident visa. Foreign nationals may also need to pass a medical examination, depending on their country of origin (see

Cost. The cost is CAD100 (single entry), CAD100 (multiple entry) and CAD500 (family rate).

Time frame. This varies greatly depending on the country of application and the visa office’s caseload at the time of the application. A temporary visa can be renewed in Canada. However, the application must be made before the expiry of the individual’s latest permit.

Further, if an individual makes a visa application while in Canada and subsequently leaves Canada before a final determination is made, then they may lose any implied status to remain in Canada while the application is being processed. The individual will then need to make any subsequent visa application outside of Canada at the appropriate Canadian embassy or consulate.


Procedure for obtaining approval. Securing a work permit is often a two-step process. First, the applicant’s job offer from a Canadian employer must be confirmed by Employment and Skills Development Canada (ESDC), a federal government agency. ESDC will then issue a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The employer seeking to obtain an LMIA must show that the job cannot be filled by a Canadian and that the presence of the foreign national will have a neutral or positive effect on the labour market in Canada. Employers must carry out a comprehensive recruitment process for Canadians and permanent residents of Canada before applying for an LMIA.

If a positive LMIA is obtained, the foreign national can apply for a work permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), which will allow the applicant to work in Canada for a defined period.

However, there are significant exemptions from the need to follow a two-step process. Certain exemptions to these requirements are designed to facilitate the entry of defined categories of foreign nationals into Canada. Of particular significance are the business visitor, professional, and intra-company transferee categories. Business visitors are exempt from obtaining work permits. Intra-company transferees, as well as certain professionals, are exempt from the LMIA process as a result of certain bilateral treaties. However, these workers may still be subject to visa and medical examination requirements.

Cost. The cost is CAD1,000 per individual LMIA and CAD155 per work permit.

Time frame. For LMIA applications submitted inside Canada, the time frame is generally eight to 12 weeks. The processing time frame is dependent on caseload.

Living costs

The prices for renting an apartment vary significantly between locations, but it is typically possible to find reasonable accommodation for less than CAD 900 a month in Canada, if you look in the right places

Cost of Living in Canada

Restaurants Avg.
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 15.00 C$
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 60.00 C$
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 8.99 C$
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 5.50 C$
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 6.00 C$
Cappuccino (regular) 3.76 C$
Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 1.95 C$
Water (0.33 liter bottle) 1.68 C$
Markets Avg.
Milk (regular), (1 liter) 2.09 C$
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 2.77 C$
Rice (white), (1kg) 4.03 C$
Eggs (12) 3.33 C$
Local Cheese (1kg) 11.83 C$
Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 13.20 C$
Beef Round (1kg) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 14.73 C$
Apples (1kg) 3.79 C$
Banana (1kg) 1.73 C$
Oranges (1kg) 3.73 C$
Tomato (1kg) 3.61 C$
Potato (1kg) 2.41 C$
Onion (1kg) 2.18 C$
Lettuce (1 head) 2.00 C$
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 2.13 C$
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 15.00 C$
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 2.45 C$
Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 2.65 C$
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 12.00 C$
Transportation Avg.
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 3.00 C$
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 91.00 C$
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 3.65 C$
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) 1.84 C$
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 32.35 C$
Gasoline (1 liter) 1.11 C$
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 23,000.00 C$
Utilities (Monthly) Avg.
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Water, Garbage) for 85m2 Apartment 150.65 C$
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.30 C$
Internet (10 Mbps, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 56.04 C$
Sports And Leisure Avg.
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 50.65 C$
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 20.33 C$
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 12.50 C$
Clothing And Shoes Avg.
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 59.81 C$
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, …) 43.31 C$
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 98.98 C$
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 116.27 C$
Rent Per Month Avg.
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 1,116.49 C$
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 885.78 C$
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,831.88 C$
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,413.60 C$
Buy Apartment Price Avg.
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment in City Centre 4,297.94 C$
Price per Square Meter to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 3,043.35 C$
Salaries And Financing Avg.
Average Monthly Disposable Salary (After Tax) 2,993.96 C$
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly 3.00

Salary rates

As of October 2015, the minimum wage was CAD11.25 per hour in Ontario (the biggest city is Toronto) and CAD10.55 per hour in Québec (the biggest city is Monreal).

Job Gross Monthly Average Income  WeeklyHours
Engineer average income 5,610 dollars 31.5
Miner average income 4,780 dollars 42.1
Professor average income 4,631 dollars 36.6
Firefighter average income 4,240 dollars 35.2
Accountant average income 4,188 dollars 30.2
Wood Grinder average income 4,100 dollars 38.0
Teacher average income 3,868 dollars 31.1
Professional Nurseaverage income 3,833 dollars 31.7
Carpenter average income 3,059 dollars 34.1
Physiotherapist average income 3,046 dollars 33.0
Computer Programmeraverage income 3,043 dollars 26.3
Auxiliary Nurse average income 2,752 dollars 30.1
Office Clerk average income 2,565 dollars 31.2
Bus Driver average income 2,573 dollars 32.1
Car Mechanic average income 2,497 dollars 34.0
Postman average income 2,494 dollars 29.6
Furniture Finisheraverage income 2,373 dollars 35.6
Chambermaid average income 2,210 dollars 32.1
Hotel Receptionistaverage income 2,151 dollars 39.4
Baker average income 1,953 dollars 30.5
Garment Cutter average income 2,041 dollars 38.6
Salesperson average income 1,867 dollars 32.4
Mining-Quarrying average income 5,677 dollars 41.2
Gas-Electricity-Wateraverage income 4,615 dollars 39.3
Financial average income 4,053 dollars 27.6
Manufacturing average income 3,834 dollars 38.4
Construction average income 3,816 dollars 38.6
Education average income 3,491 dollars 32.5
Transport-Communicationaverage income 3,484 dollars 35.9
Real Estate average income 3,306 dollars 31.1
All Sectors average income 3,156 dollars 31.7

The job market

The Canadian job market is similar to that in other developed countries. The majority of jobs are in the service sector, with the remainder in manufacturing and natural resources.

If you are looking for a well-paid professional position, high English language ability is essential. In Quebec, companies will require excellent knowledge of the French language. English-French bilinguals are in demand; many companies have to do business with both English- and French-speaking Canada.

Depending on the job, qualifications are weighted differently. While the universal requirement for almost any position is some prior relevant experience, many well-paid jobs require that you possess a university/college degree and some other skills and abilities (i.e. computer, communication, etc.). Voluntary work and participation in sports are also some of the favourable characteristics that employers seek because in this time of teams and collective work, team participation capability is an essential factor.

If you are looking for a part time position to support your other endeavours (such as studying), it is normally easy to find some occasional work. Part-time positions, especially those in retail or catering, do not usually pay much. Think about your special skills. Maybe your native language is one people are looking to learn, so give private lessons or see if you can teach in a language school.

There is a significant underground job market in Canada. Many individuals working on construction sites and some other manual labour positions may not have a work permit. Although this is also an option, we do not recommend working without a work permit as this increases the risk of being deported and being forbidden to come back to Canada.


The majority of Canada’s economic growth is concentrated in the four major cities: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and Montreal.