Whether you are looking to gain Canadian experience to further your career aspiration in your home country, or helping provide for your family, VisaPath can help you achieve your goals.
Work permits are often the first step in immigrating to Canada and getting them right the first time will open the door to many opportunities later. Canadian work experience is highly desirable for those with the goal of becoming permanent residents.
Who Can Apply for a Work Permit?
There are 2 types of work permits:
- Closed Work Permits
- Open Work Permits
Closed Work Permits
Closed work permits only allow you to work for a specific employer. For many, applicants require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Without a positive LMIA, the employer will not be able to offer you a job, even if you are fully qualified.
Can You Perform the Job Duties?
If you have been given a job offer by a Canadian employer, you will also need to include convincing evidence in your application that you can actually perform the duties. Just because the employer believes you can do the work does not mean Immigration Canada will.
The job offer is central to work permit applications. It should have a detailed list of duties you will perform, your compensation, and the length of time you will be working (both hours and total period).
Open Work Permits
Unlike a closed (or employer-specific) work permit, which strictly limits you to a particular employer, an open work permit allows you the freedom to work almost anywhere in Canada.
You do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and you do not need a job offer.
Who Qualifies for an Open Work Permit?
Permanent Residency Applicants
If you have submitted your permanent residency application and are waiting for the results, you may apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit. Your spouse also qualifies for an Open Spousal Work Permit
Spouse of Worker or Student
If your spouse is currently on a study permit or work permit, you may automatically qualify for an open spousal work permit. This open work permit would be connected to your spouse’s visa.
If you recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution, you may be eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit, which is also an open work permit.
Refugees, Refugee Claimants, and their family members
Vulnerable workers experiencing abuse form their employer
Workers in an international agreement (ex. Working Holiday Visa)
The working holiday visa program allows young persons aged 18 – 35 years old to apply for a 1-year open work permit. This specific program applies only to certain countries who have made an international agreement with Canada.
How to Apply for an Open Work Permit
How to apply for an Open Work Permit depends on your situation.
Permanent Residency and Work Permits
Work permits are generally processed much faster than permanent residency applications. For example, if you are sponsoring your spouse from inside Canada, your spouse can also apply for an open work permit at the same time.
The work permit decision is made halfway through the overall processing time, allowing the applicant your sponsored spouse to begin working sooner, rather than waiting for the permanent residency decision.
Keep in mind that other requirements must also be met. In this case, if a spousal sponsorship application includes an open work permit application, your spouse must also be residing with you at the same address.
Post-Graduate Work Permits
The validity of your post-graduate work permit and depends on the length of your study program. The maximum length is 3 years.
Work Permit Extensions
As with all work permits, there is an expiration date. You must either stop working on that date or apply for an extension before expiration.
Once you have applied for an extension, you have implied status, and can continue working until a decision is made.
NOTE: Some open work permits cannot be renewed, such as a Post-Graduate Work Permit. The validity of your passport may also limit the length of your work permit.
Have a Question?
How We Can Help
At VisaPath, our representatives understand all the ins and outs of work permit applications.
We guide you through each step of the process, ensuring that you compile a strong and convicting application. For many of our clients, the ability to work and generate an income cannot be overstated. We ensure you understand and take advantage of the opportunity to work in Canada.
To get started or find out more about open work permits, contact us to schedule a consultation!
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a work permit in Canada?
A work permit is a government document that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada. Foreign nationals may be able to obtain a work permit if they have a valid job offer from an employer in Canada willing to hire them. A work permit is a type of temporary resident visa that will allow you to fulfill your employment and work with a valid status in Canada.
What types of work permits are available in Canada?
– Employer specific work permit (closed work permit)
– Open spousal work permit
– Open work permit (alongside refugee claim)
– Post graduate work permit
– Work holiday work permit
– NAFTA Work permit
– Caregiver work permit
– Bridging open work permit
Is it a requisite to have a job offer from an employer in Canada?
Many people ask us how a foreign national can find a job in Canada. There are many resources available that can help someone find a job in Canada. One useful resource is different job sites online. Research an online job site where they offer position within Canada. Canadian employers are looking for skilled workers that can contribute to the business and are willing to offer a job position to foreign workers that portray the experience and qualifications. Unless an applicant falls under the eligibility for an open work permit, this work permit allows you to find a job with any employer within Canada without a job offer.