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There are 2 types of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits.

Open Work Permit: It is not linked to a specific job, employer, or location. A foreign national with an open work permit may work in most jobs and may change employers without having to apply to IRCC for approval. Some open work permits, however, may have restrictions.

Employer-Specific Work Permits: It allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which includes the name of the employer you can work for, how long you can work, the location where you can work (if applicable). Most employers need an LMIA before they can hire a temporary foreign worker.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA): It is a document that an employer in Canada may need to get before hiring a foreign worker. It is issued by the Federal department of Economic and Social Development Canada (ESDC). It is an opinion that allows an officer to assess the effect that a permanent job offer to a foreign worker will have on Canada’s economy (Positive, Neutral or Negative). A positive LMIA means that the hiring of a foreign worker would have a beneficial impact on Canada’s labour market. It will also show that no Canadian worker or permanent resident is available to do the job.

An LMIA is typically issued for a specific period of time, and any work permit issued will coincide with that period. Renewal of a work permit beyond the specified period is likely to require a new LMIA.