Difference between Canada Work Permit & Permanent Residence


Why a Permanent Resident Visa is better than a Work Visa

When one is confronted with a decision of leaving a decent occupation in his home country to live permanently live in Canada, the decision should be centred on an all-inclusive and detailed information gotten from approved sources. To this end, this article provides an all-inclusive information on the advantages, procedures and processing times of a work visa and a permanent resident visa.

While a work visa apportioned some rights to the holder, the permanent resident visa offers several benefits which a work permit holder does not have. Such benefits include; free education up to grade 12, unrestricted universal health care, absolute Canada pension plan, unemployment insurance and social security.



The holder of a Work permit can only be allowed to temporarily stay in Canada for a period of 2 to 4 year. On the other hand, a permanent resident visa holder can stay in Canada permanently.


While a permanent visa holder is not restricted to a particular job (can do any job), work permit restricts the holder to the job which he/she received a work permit.


A work permit visa allows the holder and his family to pay 2.5 times more school and college fees as international students. On the other hand, a permanent visa holder and his family have access to free education until grade 12 and afterwards the domestic college or university fee is 2.5 times less than the international fee.


While a permanent resident visa allows the holder and his family free access to medical care on a permanent basis irrespective of the cost related to the treatment of the medical condition, the work permit visa holder have no such privilege.


Regardless of whether a permanent resident has worked in government division or in a private sector, whether he has worked or not worked in his whole life, he is qualified for Canada pension after the age of 65 notwithstanding his pension from work. This pension ranges between $1000 and $1500 for an individual. This advantage is not accessible to work permit holder.


The Canadian government provides Unemployment Insurance (UI) for 6 months which is equivalent to 60% of the last paycheck of individuals who not employed.

On exhaustion of the UI benefits, individuals are qualified to seek social security which is equivalent to generally $800 per individual which proceeds until that individual finds a job. These benefits are not accessible to work permit holders.



To be considered qualified for a work permit, a candidate must be given a job offer from a Canadian employer with same being endorsed by the Canadian Government’s Human Resource department. It is quite difficult to land a job offer from Canada while based in India. Furthermore, it is unrealistic to land a job offer affirmed by the government of Canada, if your employer cannot exhibit that there is a deficiency of skilled workers in that area.

To be qualified for the permanent resident visa, job offer is not a requisite if the applicant’s skill category falls on the list of “occupations in demand”. The Canadian Immigration Department consistently issues the list of occupations in demand under Federal Skilled Worker program and under Federal Skilled Trade Program on annual basis. The jobs under Federal skilled trades program needs a job offer but the occupations under Federal Skilled Worker Program needs no job offer. The list of these occupations can be found on the Canadian website.

This therefore implies means that the procedure of getting a work permit is more costly and more difficult than the procedure of obtaining a Permanent resident status and the benefits associated with permanent residence far outweighs the associated benefit of work permit.

Processing time for work permit is usually 6 months while for Permanent residence, the processing time takes up to a year.

 Analysis: PROS AND CONS

There are several reasons why you should immigrate to Canada even if you have no job there:

  • Even if you don’t have a job in Canada, PR status does not prevent you from coming back to India.
  • Latest statistics shows Canada’s per capita income level is greatly higher than India’s: $39,000 to $3700. This translates to better living.
  • The lowest pay permitted by law is so high in Canada that an applicant is far better off in any area as a short term alternative opposed to remaining in India with a sound however modest paid employment. The lowest pay permitted by law for any work in Canada is $10/hour. A person can work in any field for $10/hour while searching for an occupation in his own
  • The unemployment rate in Canada is lower than India. This implies it will dependably be less demanding to find an occupation in Canada compared to India. However the question is this: is it considered wise and insightful to leave a sound employment and profession in India to obtain permanent residence in Canada? The answer to this question is explored in another article: why move to Canada. This article explains the benefits of living in one of the top 10 nations on planet earth.
  • Should a work permit holder gets an employment endorsed by the Canadian government, the permit itself is temporary. Permanent resident status is permanent.



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