The process of obtaining a work permit in Canada is not easy. One must be sure they meet all requirements for this kind of authorization, and there are some exceptions to what type or level one will need depending on their profession.
Open work permits are legal documents permitting foreign nationals inside Canada to engage in employment. They refer to open-ended permission that can be nonexclusive, meaning an individual may have multiple employers and locations simultaneously with their current permit validity without negatively affecting future statuses or renewals.
It is not tied down by one employer or location. Instead, it gives foreigners access to many sectors in various regions within this country.
What is an open work permit?
An open work permit is a type of work permit issued by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that allows foreign nationals to work for any Canadian employer of their choice, without the need for a specific job offer. This flexibility is a key factor that makes open work permits highly sought after.
Who is eligible for an open work permit in Canada?
To be eligible for open work permit in Canada, you must be one of the following:
- Spousal/Common-law Partner Open Work Permit: Married or common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents can apply for this type of open work permit. It allows them to work in Canada while their partner sponsors them for permanent residence.
- Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): Graduates from eligible Canadian institutions may obtain an open work permit, known as a PGWP, after completing their studies. The length of the PGWP varies depending on the duration of the program.
- Refugee Claimants: Individuals who have filed a refugee claim in Canada may also be eligible for an open work permit, allowing them to support themselves financially while their claim is being processed.
- Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) Holders: Those with a TRP due to their inadmissibility to Canada on medical or criminal grounds may be issued open work permits to help them support themselves during their stay in Canada.
- Dependent Children of Foreign Diplomats: Children of foreign diplomats posted in Canada may be eligible for open work permits, which allow them to work and gain valuable experience.
- The young workers that are participating in the IEC program.
Find out if you are eligible to get in Canada →
Benefits of open work permit in Canada
These are the benefits of open work permits in Canada:
- Flexibility: Open work permits allow you to work for any employer in Canada, giving you the freedom to explore various job opportunities.
- No Job Offer Required: Unlike other work permits, you don’t need a job offer to apply for an open work permit, making it accessible to a wide range of individuals.
- Canadian Experience: For international graduates, open work permits provide an opportunity to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can be beneficial when applying for permanent residency.
- Family Reunification: Spousal/common-law partner open work permits promote family reunification by allowing partners to work and live together in Canada while the sponsorship application is in process.
- Support for Asylum Seekers: Open work permits for refugee claimants help them support themselves during the often lengthy process of having their claims assessed.
How to Apply for an Open Work Permit
The application process for an open work permit varies depending on the category you fall under. Here’s a general overview:
- Gather Required Documents: Common documents include a valid passport, proof of relationship (if applicable), and proof of eligibility, such as a study permit for PGWP applicants or a sponsorship application for spousal/common-law partner open work permits.
- Complete the Application Form: You will need to fill out the appropriate application form, which can be found on the IRCC website. Pay attention to the specific instructions for your category.
- Pay the Processing Fee: Most open work permit applications require a processing fee, which can be paid online. Ensure you include the payment receipt with your application.
- Submit Your Application: You can submit your application online through the IRCC website or through a Visa Application Centre (VAC), depending on your location. Ensure that your application is complete and all required documents are included.
- Biometrics and Interview (if required): Some applicants may need to provide biometrics or attend an interview at the request of IRCC. Make sure to comply with these requests promptly.
- Wait for Processing: The processing time for open work permits can vary depending on the category and the volume of applications. Check the current processing times on the IRCC website for the most accurate information.