Learn about services and programs to help you visit, study or work temporarily in Alberta, including visas for tourism and business, post-secondary programs and Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
Opportunity Alberta guide
Available in 15 languages, the guide will help you learn about moving to Alberta for a short time and about ways of making the province your home.
Coming to Alberta temporarily may be for a variety of reasons such as visiting family, studying or working. Each reason requires a different permit, such as a visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA).
Work in Alberta
Work permits are under the jurisdiction of the federal government. To find out who needs a work permit, which permit is needed, and special instructions for some workers, visit Canada.ca – Find out if you need a work permit.
More information on work permits can be found at Canada.ca – Work in Canada.
Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program
The TFW Program is operated by the Government of Canada and allows citizens of other countries to apply to work in Canada for a set period of time. This program is one of the commonly used programs for working temporarily. An employer may need to get a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before a work permit can be issued.
The program covers all occupations and skill levels. It is used by Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available. Once a work permit is issued, it includes certain conditions, such as:
- where you can work
- who you can work for
- what type of work you can do
- how long you can work in Canada
To learn more about how an employer can hire a temporary foreign worker with an LMIA visit Canada.ca – Hire a temporary foreign worker with an LMIA.
To find jobs that employers have already obtained or applied for an LMIA visit Canada.ca – Job Bank.
Visit the IRCC Help Centre for more information.
International Mobility Program (IMP)
The IMP program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers without an LMIA. The IMP is operated by the Government of Canada.
To find out how employers hire through the program visit Canada.ca – Hire a worker without an LMIA.
IMP eligible applicants can apply for one of the following LMIA exempt work permits:
Employer-specific work permit
This work permit means that you can only work for one specific employer. It is for people who can work temporarily in Canada under international trade agreements.
Open work permit
This type of work permit lets you work for any employer for a specific timeframe. It is open to:
- international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college
- spouses or common-law partners of skilled foreign workers and full-time international students
- eligible foreign nationals who are already in Canada awaiting finalization of their permanent residence application
- young people who want to travel and work (Working Holiday) in Canada through the International Experience Canada program
Study in Alberta
Alberta's higher education system is internationally recognized for exceptional universities, colleges, technical institutes and innovative research facilities.
If you plan to study in Alberta for more than 6 months at a designated learning institution, you will need a Canadian study permit. Study permits are issued by the Government of Canada.
Learn more about studying in Alberta.
You may need a Canadian visitor visa or eTA to visit Alberta or other places within Canada for a short time as a tourist, on business or to see family. The Government of Canada is responsible for issuing visas and eTAs.
For a tourist
To visit Alberta as a tourist, you may need a Canadian visitor visa or an eTA.
Visitor visas can be single entry or multiple entry and have a wide range of validity dates. Most visitors can stay up to 6 months. The Canadian Border Services Agency representative will inform you of the timeframe you can stay. The visa must be valid when you arrive in Canada.
If you are from a country that does not require a visa to visit Canada, you will need an eTA. All other visitors need a visa.
For a parent or grandparent visiting family
If you are a parent or a grandparent of a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident, the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is a multi-entry visa that can be issued for up to 10 years. It lets eligible parents and grandparents visit family in Canada. With this visa, you can visit as often as you want and stay in Canada for up to 5 years on each visit.
For business visits
You must apply as a business visitor if you plan to visit Canada to look for ways to grow your business, invest or advance your business relationships.
Business visitors can stay for up to 6 months. If you plan to stay longer or want to work in Canada, you may need to apply for a work permit.
Extend your stay
When you arrive in Canada, the border officer will determine how long you can stay (usually 6 months). If you want to say longer, you can apply to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor.
Find information and resources for immigrants wanting to come to Alberta temporarily to visit, work or study.
- temporary resident support services
- temporary foreign worker guide for employees
- contact information for the Temporary Foreign Worker Advisory Office
Connect with us if you have questions about living and working in Alberta: