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Open Work Permit

Open Work Permit: Benefits, Requirements, and How to Obtain

A work permit is a legal document that lets a person who is not a Canadian citizen work in Canada. About half a million work permits are given to temporary foreign workers from all over the world every year.

The process of acquiring a work permit in Canada can be done in a variety of different ways. Work permits can be broken down into three categories: those that require a job offer from a Canadian employer; those that require an employer to submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); and those that require the applicant to have some kind of connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.).

quick facts

  • Processing time: 6 months++

  • Fee: Processing fee $155-$255. 

  • LMIA/Job offer required: Yes (mostly)

  • Language test required for: Yes if English/French is not your 1st language.

  • Minimum work experience required: 1 year full-time of equivalent part time.

What is an open work permit?

 

The vast majority of people from other countries who want to find work in Canada are required to obtain legal authorization in the form of a work permit.

In Canada, there are two different kinds of work permits: closed work permits, which are only valid with a specific employer, and open work permits, which enable foreign people to work in Canada for any number of businesses and in a variety of places. Open work permits are one of the many different kinds of work permits that are available to allow foreign nationals to lawfully find employment in Canada.

Open Work Permits are not employer specific. This means the foreign national holding an open work permit is free to work for any employer of their choosing provided they meet the conditions or requirements mentioned on their work permit document. Also, you do not need an Labour Market Impact Assessment(LMIA)

Some open work permits may have extra restrictions that foreign nationals need to fulfil in order to qualify for the permit. In the event that they apply to you, each of these restrictions will be denoted explicitly on your open work permit.

What are the different types of Open Work Permits in Canada?

 

Work permits can be broken down into three categories: those that require a job offer from a Canadian employer; those that require an employer to submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA); and those that require the applicant to have some kind of connection to Canada (previous education, spousal sponsorship, etc.).

Open Work Permits (no job offer or LMIA required)

  1. Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)

  2. Spousal Sponsorship from Inside of Canada

  3. International Experience Canada (IEC) (working holiday visa)

  4. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

  5. Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker

 

Let's understand a few key terms better:

Post-Graduate Work Permit(PGWP): Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) is for international students who have graduated from a designated learning institution (DLI). Post-graduate work permits allow students to gain Canadian experience after completing their study program. A post-graduate work permit is valid for up to 3 years, and the duration is based on the length of your study program.

The Intra-Company Transfer Program(ICT) allows an international business with a parent, subsidiary, branch or an affiliate of that enterprise in Canada to bring an executive, senior manager or an employee with specialized knowledge to Canada on a temporary work permit.

Inland Spousal Sponsorship Open Work Permit(SOWP): Allows spouses or partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to apply for unrestricted work permits while the outcome of their application is still pending. You must have a valid temporary residence permit and an application for permanent residency under process to be eligible to apply. 

Bridging Open Work Permit(BOWP): You may be eligible to apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit(BOWP) if you have already applied for permanent residency under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class Program, Provincial Nominee Program, Agri-Food Pilot, Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot Programs. It is an open work permit, which allows you to continue to work while your permanent residency application is processing.

Who can apply for an work permit in Canada?

You can apply for an open work permit if you:

  • Are an international student who (recently) graduated from a designated educational institution and is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program;

  • Are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student;

  • Have applied for PR as the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident under the family sponsorship category;

  • Have submitted an application for permanent residency in Canada under one of Canada's immigration programs;

  • Are a dependent family member (e.g., spouse or common-law partner) of a person who has already applied for permanent residence;

  • You are a temporary resident permit holder (you will need a valid job offer for this option);

  • You are a refugee, asylum seeker, protected person or their family member;

  • You are a skilled worker applying under Working Holiday program of the International Experience Canada Class;

  • You are a student who is unable to cover the expenses associated with your education;

  • You have a work visa that is only valid for your current employer in Canada, but you are being mistreated or are in danger of being mistreated in the course of your job there.

How to apply for an Open Work Permit for Canada​?

 

You can submit an application for an open work permit from inside or outside Canada. Depending on where you are applying from, the application process and forms you must submit will differ. In both instances, the procedure will involve submitting a required form and simultaneously paying both the open work permit holder charge and the work permit processing fee.

Based on the type of open work permit application you are submitting, you can check the application process by clicking the relevant link from the below list:

  1. Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP)

  2. Spousal Open Work Permit

  3. International Experience Canada (IEC) (working holiday visa)

  4. Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)

  5. Spouse Accompanying International Student or Worker

What is the processing time for Work Permit applications?

 

The processing time for an Open Work Permit Canada application can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the completeness of the application and how busy the visa office is. However, applicants can expect to receive a decision on their application within a few weeks.

What documents are required to apply for a Canadian open work permit?

 

The documents required for a Canadian work permit will depend on the type of work permit you are applying for. Applicants may need to provide the following documents as part of their work permit application:

  • Completed application forms

  • Labor Market Impact Assessment (if applicable)

  • Valid job offer (if applicable)

  • CV/ Resume

  • Civil status documents

  • Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (if applicable)

  • Proof that you meet the job requirements

  • Valid passport

  • Education credential Assessment

  • Medical examination report

  • Receipt of payment for IRCC fee.

  • Photographs for application purpose.

  • Legal status in Canada (if already inside Canada).

  • Family member’s proof of status (if applicable).

Need help in applying for an open work permit? Hire an authorized paid representative.

IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant are very experienced with the application process and can help you navigate the system. We will also provide valuable insights and tips on how to increase your chances of success. Get in touch now.

If you're thinking of hiring a representative, be sure to check that they're authorized by IRCC. You can verify our credentials by clicking here.

Hiring a representative is not required, but it can be helpful, especially if you're not familiar with the application process. If you decide to hire a representative, be sure to choose someone who you trust and who you feel comfortable working with.

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