Who is Eligible, How to Apply Canada Open Work Permit Under New Policy

Foreign nationals interested in working in Canada must obtain a work permit. There are two primary types of work permits: open work permits and closed work permits. In this article, we will focus on open work permits, which offer greater flexibility to foreign nationals.

What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit allows a foreign national to work in Canada for almost any employer and in any province. Unlike closed work permits, which are employer-specific, an open work permit does not require a job offer from a specific employer or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Who is Eligible for an Open Work Permit in Canada?

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there are specific conditions under which individuals may be eligible for an open work permit:

  1. International Students: Those who have completed their studies at an approved institution of higher learning are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program, with the exception of students starting curriculum licensing agreement programs as of September 1, 2024.
  2. Financially Struggling Students: International students who are financially struggling and can no longer afford their education.
  3. Victims of Mistreatment: Individuals on an employer-specific work permit who are being mistreated or facing mistreatment because of their employment.
  4. Applicants for Permanent Residency: Individuals who have already submitted a Canadian permanent residency application can apply for a bridging open work permit.
  5. Family Members: Family members dependent on an applicant for permanent residency.
  6. Spouses or Partners of Skilled Workers: Spouses, common-law partners, or dependent children of low- or high-skilled workers as per the new criteria announced in 2023.
  7. Spouses or Partners of International Students: Spouses or common-law partners of international students enrolled in professional degree programs at universities or specific programs at polytechnic institutions.
  8. Spouses or Partners of Candidates for Atlantic Immigration Program: Common-law spouses or spouses of candidates for the Atlantic Immigration Program.
  9. Protected Persons: Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons, or members of their family.
  10. Subject to an Unenforceable Order of Removal: Individuals who are subject to an unenforceable order of removal.
  11. Possessors of Temporary Residency Permits: Individuals with temporary residency permits.
  12. Young Employees in Designated Programs: Young employees taking part in designated programs.

It is important to note that open work permit holders are prohibited from working for certain employers providing services such as sensual massages, escort services, striptease, or erotic dance.

Canada Open Work Permit

General Work Permit Eligibility Requirements

Regardless of the type of work permit you are applying for, there are general requirements you must fulfill:

  1. Intent to Leave Canada: You must prove to an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires.
  2. Financial Stability: You must demonstrate that you have enough money to support yourself and your family while in Canada and upon your return home.
  3. Compliance with Laws: You must abide by Canadian laws and maintain a clean record. You may be required to provide a police clearance.
  4. Security: You must not jeopardize Canada’s security.
  5. Health: You must be in good health and, if necessary, undergo a medical examination.
  6. Employment Restrictions: You must not have the intention to work for establishments that offer services such as sensual massages, exotic dancing, striptease, or escort services.
  7. Additional Documentation: Be prepared to provide additional documents if requested by the officer to verify your eligibility.

How to Apply for a Work Permit

The process for applying for a work permit varies depending on your location. You can choose to apply at a port of entry (POE) or from outside of Canada. The most common method is to apply online using the GCKey login. For detailed instructions on how to apply for a work permit based on your situation.

An open work permit in Canada provides foreign nationals with greater flexibility and opportunities for employment. By meeting the eligibility criteria and fulfilling the necessary requirements, individuals can pursue their career goals and contribute to the Canadian economy.

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