Canada issues on average 300,000 Temporary Work Permits to foreigners who come to work in the country but who are not granted permanent residence. Foreigners usually need such a permit to work in Canada, and there is a set application process to follow.
Although the process of application and issue usually takes several weeks, there may be certain circumstances in which things can be done more quickly. These are dependent upon the applicant’s nationality, the job they intend to do in Canada, and current occupation.
There are two possible work permit options: one is issued by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the other is an Offer of Employment by the employer, as approved by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). There may also be a requirement for immigrants to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for applicants from certain countries.
The application process is in 4 steps and involves both employer and prospective employee.

Step 1: Labour Market Impact Assessment

While the Canadian Government actively encourages foreigners to apply for work in the country, they do require that an employer has good reason to employ from overseas rather than the domestic workforce. To this end, in some cases, the employer will need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This is provided by ESDC and is granted if they are happy that there is no Canadian or permanent citizen available for the post.
There are some instances in which an LMIA is not required, these including for charitable or religious work, for international students in Canada who need to take a work placement, and – among others – where the immigrant’s position will provide significant cultural or economic benefit to Canadians.

Step 2: Temporary Job Offer

Once the LMIA is granted the employer will forward a copy to the employee with a detailed letter of the job offer, terms and conditions. These documents must be presented when applying for a work permit.

Step 3: Application for Work Permit

The potential employee now has the copy LMIA, the job offer letter and – where necessary – the CAQ. These and the application need to be submitted to the IRCC for approval and, if required, the individual also needs to apply for a TRV so they can legally travel to Canada. This can be obtained at a Canadian visa office in their country.

Step 4: Work Permit Issue

The permit will be presented to the immigrant at the point of entry. It can be for a set period of time ranging from days to years, and it should be noted that Canadian Temporary Work Permits are specific to that employer, so the immigrant will need to apply again before moving jobs.
Also worth noting is that the work permit does not grant permanent residence. If the immigrant wishes to reside in Canada permanently, they will need to go through one of the Canadian permanent residence processes as described elsewhere.