There is no set validity period for a Canadian work visa. Most often, how long your Canadian work visa is valid will depend on the job offer from your employer, the length of time listed on your Labour Market Impact Assessment, and how long your passport is valid.

Have it in mind that Canadian visa officers also have the authority to add conditions to a work visa such as the length of time for which the work visa will be valid. They can also make changes to the validity period depending on many other factors.

A Canadian Work Visa is a combination of a Temporary Resident Visa and a Work Permit that gives the holder the permission to work and get paid in the country. Each year, Canada gives out about half a million work visas to temporary foreign workers around the world.

According to experts, working in Canada remains an excellent option for those eager to immigrate to the country permanently. Agreeably, there are numerous options when it comes to obtaining a Canadian work visa.

Some work visas will warrant that you first obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer, while some will need the prospective employer to provide a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), and some will ask that the person possess some kind of connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.).

Most often, the work permit that comes with the visa outlines the specific requirements and restrictions attached to the authorization.

Work permit holders are not allowed to work at a business where there are grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation of some workers. Also, remember that work visa holders are not permanent residents of Canada and will be expected to leave the country at the end of their authorized stay.

Possible Factors That Will Influence the Validity of a Canadian Work Visa

Just as was noted above, a Canadian visa officer reserves the right to make changes to your work visa validity period according to:

  1. The Validity of Your Passport or Travel Document

Most often, a Canadian visa officer won’t approve a validity period that is longer than the validity of your passport. Howbeit, this rule does not apply to:

  • Citizens of the USA
  • People looking to enter the country from the USA or St. Pierre and Miquelon who have been lawfully admitted to the USA as permanent residents
  • Residents of Greenland seeking permission to enter Canada from Greenland
  • Individuals requesting to enter Canada from St. Pierre and Miquelon who are citizens of France and residents of St. Pierre and Miquelon
  • Members of the armed forces of a country that is a designated state under the Visiting Forces Act. However, for this rule to apply, the member of the armed forces will have to be seeking entry to Canada primarily to carry out official duties. This rule does not apply to people working in the civilian sector of a country’s armed forces.
  • Individuals looking to enter Canada as, or to become, members of an air transportation crew. These people are expected to hold and show an airline flight crew license or crew member certificate issued by International Civil Aviation Organization specifications.
  • Individuals are eager to enter Canada as members of a sea transportation crew. These people are expected to hold a seafarer’s identity document issued according to International Labour Organization rules. They will also need to be crewmembers of the boat that carried them to Canada.
  • Applicants with no other means of support. (Foreign Nationals with No Other Means of Support)
  • Permanent residency applicants residing in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada).
  1. Category of Work

There are certain categories of work that come with well-stipulated work visa validity periods. These works and their validity periods include:

  • Professionals working under NAFTA: Three years and there is no limit on the number of times a permit can be extended as long as the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Professionals working under free trade agreements similar to NAFTA: One year and there is no limit on the number of times a permit can be extended, as long as the applicant continues to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Professionals working under the General Agreement on Trades in Services (GATS): 90 days over 12 months, and there is no limit on the number of extensions
  • For workers transferring from a foreign company to a Canadian company, work permits may be issued for the following periods:
    • Executives and managers: Maximum initial validity period of three years, while renewals for two-year periods are possible, however, the total period of stay will not be more than seven years.
    • Specialized knowledge transferees: Maximum initial validity period of three years, while renewals for two-year periods are possible, however, the total period of stay won’t be more than five years.
    • International Experience Canada Participants: 6-12 months, depending on the country-specific agreement.
    • Study Permit Holders: Valid as long as the study permit is valid
    • Spouses of Diplomats of Military Personnel: The spouse’s work permit’s validity will not exceed the length of the diplomat or military personnel’s stay in Canada.
    • Post-Graduation Employment Work Permit: Maximum validity of three years with no renewals.
    • Live-In Caregiver Program: Maximum total validity period is four years including extensions.
    • Refugee Claimants: Maximum initial validity period is 24 months, while renewals for 1-year periods are possible.
    • Destitute Students: A validity period that is long enough to let the student earn enough funds to complete his/her term of study.
    • Temporary resident permit holders. Not be longer than the validity period of the temporary residence permit. Holders of this permit are only permitted to apply for a work permit if their temporary residence permits have a validity period of longer than 6 months.
  1. Other Factors

As long as your passport remains valid, other factors might influence the validity of your Canadian work visa:

  • Your means of support in Canada
  • The period contained in your application
  • The duration of validity of your LMIA or Certificatd’acceptation de Quebec, as applicable
  • The expected duration of your employment as noted in the job offer
  • The maximum work permit validity period allowed by any particular program or agreement in which the applicant is involved.