Open Work Permits

Get the Canadian Work Experience You Need to
Achieve Your Goals

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?

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Permanent Residency Applicant

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.

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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

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International Students

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.

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

Post-graduate work permits are only given to those who you apply within 180 days of receiving your final grades.

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 over
stated. 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 at 416-477-2570 to schedule a consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an open work permit?

An open work permit is a document that gives foreign nationals permission to work in Canada that is not job or employer specific. Because this work permit is not employer or job specific, you do not need to go through the process of an LMIA from Employment and Social development Canada.

Immigration Canada will not need an employer to submit an officer letter.

Who can apply for open work permit?

An open work permit is not available for everyone you have to meet certain criteria in order for Immigration Canada to issue this:

  • You are an international student and looking to apply for a post graduate work permit
  • Destitute students
  • Has an employer specific work permit but has reported abuse and high risk in relation to your job
  • Applied for permanent residency in Canada
  • You are a dependent family member that applied for permanent residency
  • You are a spouse or common law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • spouse or common law partner Atlantic Immigration pilot program
  • you are refugee, or refugee claimant
  • a young worker going through a specialized program from Immigration Canada
What types of open work permit are there?

A few of the open work permit available are:

  • Open spousal work permit
  • Open work permit for refugee claimants,
  • Bridging open work permit
  • Post graduate open work permit
  • International mobility program (working holiday visa)
  • Live in caregiver work permit (occupation specific)