Applying to Enter Canada

There are several different ways to enter Canada. Does any of the following programs apply to you?

Click on the following programs to learn more.

Entering Canada Temporarily

Entering Canada Permanently

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Every year, over 90,000 foreign workers enter Canada to work temporarily in jobs that help Canadian employers address skill shortages. In general, there are three basic requirements under the program (in several cases, however, special exemptions apply):

For more information, and to see if you qualify, please visit the Government of Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration web page about working temporarily in Canada.

For more information about tourism occupations that are experiencing labour shortages in Canada, see our section Tourism Opportunities by Region.

Youth Mobility Programs and Working Holiday Programs

One third of all workers in the Canadian tourism sector are between the ages of 15 and 24. The Government of Canada has negotiated reciprocal temporary work permits with close to 40 countries so that youth between the ages of 18 and 35 can work in Canada for a year or more. These permits cover working holidays, student work abroad programs, international co-op placements, and young professional and young worker opportunities. In 2006, 56,000 young people came to Canada through various youth mobility programs.

To find out if your country has a working holiday program with Canada, contact your local Canadian embassy. You can find Canadian embassies through the Canada's Representation Abroad web page. Some useful websites have information for individual countries like Australia or New Zealand or groups of countries like Europe.

You can also see a chart with specific information on all programs – including age limits and processing times in the location where you live.

Labour Mobility Programs under Trade Agreements

Canada has signed international trade agreements with other countries: the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada–Chile Free Trade Agreement (CCFTA), and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS). These agreements make it easier for citizens from signatory countries to temporarily enter Canada to conduct business or investment activities and/or work as a professional. For more information, and to see if you are eligible, see the Citizenship and Immigration web page Working temporarily in Canada: Special categories—Business people.

Skilled Worker Class Immigration

Skilled workers have education, work experience, knowledge of English or French, and other abilities that will help them to establish themselves successfully as permanent residents in Canada. For more information, and to see if you qualify, visit the Citizenship and Immigration web page on skilled workers and professionals.

Business Class Immigration

The Business Immigration Program seeks to attract experienced business people to Canada who will support the development of a strong and prosperous Canadian economy. Business immigrants are expected to make a considerable investment or to own and manage businesses in Canada. For more information, and to see if you qualify, visit the Citizenship and Immigration web page on investors, entrepreneurs and self-employed persons. See our section Starting Your Own Tourism Business for more information.

Immigrant-nominee Programs

People who immigrate to Canada under provincial/territorial nominee programs have the skills, education, and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution to the province or territory that nominates them. For more information, and to see if you qualify, visit the Citizenship and Immigration web page Provincial Nominees.

Family Class Immigration

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (including an adopted child) or other eligible relative (such as a parent or grandparent) to become a permanent resident. For more information, and to see if you qualify, visit the Citizenship and Immigration web page on sponsoring your family.

Quebec-selected Skilled Workers

Quebec-selected skilled workers have the skills, education and work experience needed to make an immediate economic contribution to the province of Quebec and establish themselves successfully as permanent residents in Canada. For more information, and to see if you qualify, visit the Citizenship and Immigration web page Quebec-selected skilled workers.

Third-party Agents

There are different types of third-party agents, such as recruitment agencies, that match Canadian employers with foreign-trained workers. These organizations often perform two kinds of work: they provide information and guidance to employers and/or workers; and they help recruit suitable workers for available jobs in Canada.

Visit our webpage on third-party agents for basic information to help you understand the different types of organizations that offer these types of services. This is valuable information to consider before you ask (and pay) someone to help you find a tourism job in Canada.