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  • Writer's pictureImmergity Immigration Consultant

Closed Work Permit to Open Work Permit


Closed Work Permit to Open Work Permit

Losing a job can be a stressful experience for anyone, but it can be particularly concerning for individuals in Canada with a closed work permit. This article will discuss the implications of losing your job while on a closed work permit and the steps you should take to protect your immigration status in Canada.


Understanding Closed Work Permits


A closed work permit, also known as an employer-specific work permit, is a type of work permit that allows a foreign worker to work in Canada for a specific employer. The work permit is linked to the employer and cannot be used to work for another company without obtaining a new permit.


Implications of Losing Your Job with a Closed Work Permit


If you lose your job while on a closed work permit, your work permit becomes invalid, and you are no longer authorized to work in Canada. It is crucial to understand that losing your job does not automatically revoke your temporary resident status in Canada. However, you must take immediate action to either find a new job, change your immigration status, or prepare to leave the country.


Steps to Take After Losing Your Job


  1. Inform Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC): Notify IRCC about the change in your employment status. This can be done by updating your information on the IRCC online portal.

  2. Look for a new job: Start searching for a new job as soon as possible. Keep in mind that once you find a new employer, you will need to apply for a new closed work permit.

  3. Apply for a new work permit: If you find a new employer, you must apply for a new closed work permit. Your new employer will need to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to demonstrate the need for a foreign worker. Once the LMIA is approved, you can submit your new work permit application. Be prepared for processing times, which can vary depending on the type of work and your country of origin.

  4. Consider applying for an open work permit: If you are eligible, you may consider applying for an open work permit. An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, giving you more flexibility and making it easier to find a new job. Eligibility for an open work permit depends on various factors, such as your spouse's immigration status, participation in specific programs, or being an applicant for permanent residency.

  5. Change your status: If you are unable to find a new job or secure a new work permit, consider changing your status in Canada. You may be eligible to apply for a study permit, visitor visa, or permanent residency through various immigration programs.

  6. Prepare to leave the country: If you cannot find a new job or change your immigration status, you must prepare to leave Canada before your temporary resident status expires. Be sure to follow all departure requirements and maintain your legal status while in the country.

  7. Seek professional advice: Navigating the complexities of Canadian immigration laws can be challenging. It is a good idea to consult with a qualified immigration consultant or lawyer to explore your options and ensure you take the appropriate steps to protect your immigration status in Canada.


How can i switch to an open work permit if i am on a closed work permit?


To switch from a closed work permit to an open work permit in Canada, you may need to meet certain eligibility requirements. You can apply for an open work permit either from outside or inside Canada.


If you are already in Canada on a closed work permit, you can apply for an open work permit by submitting an application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The application process may vary depending on the type of work permit you currently hold and the reason for your request to switch to an open work permit.


To be eligible for an open work permit, you may need to meet certain criteria such as:


  • Having a valid job offer from an employer in Canada

  • Being a dependent family member of someone who holds a valid work or study permit

  • Being a spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident

  • Being a refugee claimant or a protected person


You may also be required to pay a processing fee and provide certain documents such as a copy of your current work permit, passport, and proof of eligibility.


It's important to note that switching from a closed work permit to an open work permit may affect your status in Canada, so it's recommended to seek advice from a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer before making any changes to your work permit status. Click here to Book an appointment to speak to a professional.


Here are some other options to switch from a closed work permit to an open work permit if the following applies to you:


  1. Spouse or common-law partner: If your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or holder of an open work permit, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit.

  2. Post-graduation work permit: If you have recently graduated from a designated Canadian institution and have a valid post-graduation work permit, you may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

  3. Bridging open work permit: If your current work permit is about to expire and you have applied for permanent residence but are still waiting for a decision, you may be eligible for a bridging open work permit.

  4. Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds: You may also be able to apply for an open work permit if you are in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.


It's important to note that the eligibility criteria for each of these options may vary and you will need to meet specific requirements. It is recommended that you consult with a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer for more information on how to switch from a closed work permit to an open work permit.


I was abused/exploited at my job. What are my options?


If you have been abused or exploited at your job, there are several options available to you:


  1. Report the abuse to your employer: You can report the abuse to your employer and give them the opportunity to address the issue. They may take steps to stop the abuse or exploitation and prevent it from happening in the future.

  2. File a complaint with the labor board: You can file a complaint with the labor board or employment standards agency in your jurisdiction. They can investigate the situation and take action against your employer if they find that they have violated labor laws.

  3. Seek legal advice: You can seek legal advice from an employment lawyer who can advise you on your rights and options. They can help you understand the legal process and represent you in court if necessary.

  4. Seek support: It's important to seek support from family, friends, or a professional counselor. They can provide emotional support and help you cope with the impact of the abuse or exploitation.

  5. Contact law enforcement: If the abuse or exploitation involves criminal activity, such as sexual assault or theft, you can contact law enforcement to file a report and pursue criminal charges.


It's important to take action if you have been abused or exploited at your job. You have the right to a safe and healthy workplace, and there are resources available to help you.


What is an open work permit for vulnerable workers?


In Canada, an open work permit for vulnerable workers is a type of work permit that is issued to individuals who are at risk of being abused or exploited in the workplace. This type of permit allows workers to work for any employer in Canada, rather than being tied to a specific employer or job.


To be eligible for an open work permit for vulnerable workers, an individual must meet certain criteria, including:


  1. Having an employer who has been found non-compliant with labor laws or who is being investigated for non-compliance

  2. Being in a situation where they are experiencing abuse, or risk of abuse, in the workplace, such as sexual harassment, physical or psychological abuse, or human trafficking

  3. Being in a situation where they have been or are at risk of being exploited in the workplace, such as not receiving proper wages or working in dangerous conditions.


Applicants for an open work permit for vulnerable workers may be required to provide evidence of their situation, such as documentation of abuse or exploitation, or evidence of non-compliance by their employer.


The open work permit for vulnerable workers is designed to provide individuals with greater flexibility and protection in the workplace, and to help them avoid further exploitation or abuse. It is important to note that this type of permit is not intended to be a long-term solution, and individuals are encouraged to seek assistance in finding safe and appropriate employment.


How do i apply for an open work permit if i was abused/exploited at my job?


If you have been abused or exploited at your job in Canada and want to apply for an open work permit, you can do so by following these steps:


  1. Contact the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Call Centre: You can contact the IRCC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 to ask for information on how to apply for an open work permit for vulnerable workers.

  2. Gather your documentation: You will need to provide documentation to support your claim of being abused or exploited in the workplace. This could include police reports, medical records, or any other evidence of abuse or exploitation.

  3. Complete the application form: You can complete the Application for Work Permit (IMM 1295) form, which is available on the IRCC website. Make sure to select the correct option for the open work permit for vulnerable workers.

  4. Pay the application fee: You will need to pay a fee to apply for the open work permit. The fee amount may vary depending on the type of work permit you are applying for and where you are applying from.

  5. Submit your application: You can submit your application online through the IRCC website or by mail. Make sure to include all the required documents and fees with your application.

  6. Wait for a decision: The processing time for an open work permit for vulnerable workers may vary depending on the case, but it typically takes several months. You may be contacted by an IRCC officer for further information or an interview.


It's important to note that applying for an open work permit for vulnerable workers can be a complex process, and you may benefit from seeking assistance from a licensed immigration consultant or lawyer. They can help you understand the application process, gather the necessary documentation, and represent you in communicating with IRCC.


Preparing for the Future


Losing a job while on a closed work permit can be a stressful experience, but it is essential to act quickly and proactively. By taking the steps outlined above and seeking professional advice, you can minimize the impact on your immigration status and explore other opportunities in Canada.


In the long term, consider pursuing permanent residency in Canada to provide greater stability and flexibility in your employment situation. Permanent residents are not tied to a specific employer and can work for any company in Canada. They also have access to many of the same benefits as Canadian citizens, including health care and social services.


Losing a job is never easy, but understanding your options and being proactive can help ensure your immigration status remains secure and your future in Canada is protected. Stay informed about the various immigration programs available to temporary foreign workers and be prepared to adapt to changes in your employment situation. By doing so, you can successfully navigate the challenges of working in Canada on a closed work permit and ultimately achieve your goals of building a life and career in this diverse and welcoming country.





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