Open Work permit in Canada – Work in Canada

An open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer he/she wants over a specified period of time. Some open work permits may restrict the kind of job or place in which the foreign national may work. A worker may apply for an open work permit from outside of Canada, within Canada or at a Canadian port of entry.

Canadian Open work permits are only issued to certain individuals who are also exempt from the LMIA requirement.

The following individuals are eligible to be issued an open work permit:

  • Applicants with no other means of support. (Foreign Nationals with No Other Means of Support)
  • Certain kinds of permanent resident applicants living in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)
  • Foreign nationals living in Canada for humanitarian reasons. (Humanitarian-Based Open Work Permits)
  • Canada World Youth Program participants
  • Participants in certain international student and young worker exchange programs
  • The family members of military personnel and foreign representatives who are exempt from the LMIA requirement
  • Professional athletes entering Canada who require other work to support themselves while playing for a Canadian team
  • Spouses of skilled worker residents
  • Spouses of foreign students
  • Foreign nationals currently in Canada whose work permit will soon expire and who have submitted an application for permanent residence under:
    • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
    • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
    • A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
    • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
    • Note: These workers are only eligible for an open work permit if they meet the requirements for the program to which they are applying.
    • Foreign nationals who have submitted an application for permanent residence under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC). Applicants under this class will be able to get an open work permit if:
      • They have submitted a Permanent Residence Application under the SCLPC class
      • The applicant’s spouse/partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
      • The applicant’s spouse/partner has submitted a sponsorship application on the applicant’s behalf
      • The SCLPC applicant resides at the same address as the sponsor/spouse/partner
      • The SCLPC applicant has valid temporary resident status as a visitor, student or worker

There are two kinds of open work permits: unrestricted open work permits and occupation-restricted open work permits.

Under an unrestricted open work permit, a foreign national can work in any job, in any place and for any employer. An unrestricted open work permit will be given to eligible workers who have passed the medical exam. Unrestricted open work permits can also be given to eligible workers mentioned who:

  • Have failed the medical exam AND
  • Either have no other means of support (Applicant with No Other Means of Support) or belong to certain groups of permanent resident applicants living in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)

Under an occupation-restricted open permit, an eligible person may work for any employer but the job in which the person must work will be specified. The job restriction is due to the fact that occupation restricted open permits are given to eligible workers who have not completed a medical exam. Thus, holders of occupation-restricted open permits are usually not allowed to work in jobs related to health care.

If an eligible worker receives an occupation-restricted open permit and is from a country that does not require a medical exam when entering Canada, he/she will not be allowed to work in:

  • Childcare
  • Primary or secondary school teaching
  • Health services

If an eligible worker acquires an occupation-restricted open permit and is from a country that does require a medical exam, he/she will not be allowed to work in:

  • Childcare
  • Primary or secondary school teaching
  • Health services
  • Farming

Kindly contact us here to receive further information.

Interested candidates: Find out whether you qualify to Canada by completing our free on-line evaluation. We will provide you with our evaluation within 1-2 business days.

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