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How To Obtain An Open Work Permit In Canada

An Open Work Permit allows you to come work in Canada without first having a specific job offer. Because it is not job specific, you do not need to fulfill some of the same requirements as individuals with other work permits as well as the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or proving that you have an offer of employment from an employer who paid a compliance fee. Open work permit is not open to everyone.

Who Can Get an Open Work Permit?

There are a number of situations you may find yourself that will qualify you for an open work permit. This includes:

  • Permanent residence applicants who have already applied to an office in Canada
  • Dependent family members of said permanent residence applicants
  • Spouses/common-law partners of certain workers or international students
  • Those refugees whose cases have not yet been heard or decided upon, protected persons, and their relatives
  • Some temporary residents
  • Some youth workers who participated in special programs, such as working holiday

Part from the afformensioned, there are some other qualifications an individual must have to obtain an open work permit.

Types of Open Work Permits

There are two types of open work permits:

  • Unrestricted – this allows foreign nationals to work in any occupation and in any given location
  • Restricted – in this situation, there is restriction of occupation or the location

In open work permit cases, the individual may have occupational restrictions which can be based on medical status, or locational restrictions based on the category of applicant they are. For instance, an individual with a bridging open work permit who is a provincial nominee class applicant may be restricted to the provincial location.

How to obtain an Open Work Permit: Are You a Good Candidate?

There are various ways you can qualify for an open work permit

  • If you are a permanent resident candidate who has previously held a work position in Canada that is expected to end before your application is approved, you may get a Bridging Open Work Permit. This enables you to “bridge” the time in between the previous permit expiring and obtaining permanent resident status without having to leave the country. You must ensure you are qualified to do so.
  • Young workers who qualify for programs like working holiday may use the open work permit to gain experience by working and living in Canada. However, you must first ensure that your country of origin is included as an eligible participant in the program, and that you meet all criteria personally.

After qualifying for an open work permit, it is important to make sure you meet all the basic requirements for living in Canada. All information provided and documentation must be accurate and in order, and inadmissibility for any number of factors can still come into play.

You can also see how foreign workers are permitted to work in the U.S