Open Work Permits

If you are interested in working in Canada you are required to have authorization as is the case with other visas or permits. To be able to work in Canada, one is required to have work permit. As mentioned, this authorizes any foreign national to work in Canada with or without certain limitations. Open work permit gives a person a liberty to work for any employer throughout Canada. To explain more, this work permit allows you to work in any province of Canada and under any employer. This is one of the most sought after permits. Are you considering working in Canada? If so, you may have heard about the open work permit, which allows individuals to work for any Canadian employer without needing a specific job offer. This flexible work permit option has gained popularity among international workers seeking employment opportunities in Canada. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about open work permits in Canada and provide valuable insights to help you navigate the process successfully.


The most important advantage of open work permit is that it is not tied to a specific employer. You would be able to work for any employers in any province. Furthermore, this would help foreign nationals to gain Canadian work experience increasing their likelihood to qualify for other permanent residency programs .e.g.

  1. Express Entry (FSW)
  2. Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  3. Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)
  4. Federal Skilled Trades (FST)
  5. Federal Skilled Worker (FSW)
  6. Quebec Immigration Program

One of our core expertise is open work permits. We have helped many clients attaining open work permits and they are happily working in Canada.

  1. Understanding Open Work Permits:

An open work permit is a type of work permit that allows foreign nationals to work in Canada without being tied to a specific job or employer. Unlike closed work permits, which are job-specific and require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), open work permits provide greater flexibility and freedom to explore various employment options in Canada.

  1. Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for an open work permit, you must fall under one of the following categories:

a. Spousal or Common-Law Partner Work Permit: If your spouse or common-law partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible for an open work permit through the Spousal or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.

b. International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit: The IEC program offers work permits to young adults (usually aged 18-35) from participating countries, providing them with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in Canada.

c. Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP): If you have recently graduated from a designated Canadian educational institution, you may be eligible for a PGWP, which allows you to work in Canada for up to three years after completing your studies.

d. Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) Grounds: In exceptional cases, individuals who have applied for permanent residence on humanitarian and compassionate grounds may be eligible for an open work permit while their application is being processed.

  1. Application Process:

To apply for an open work permit, you will generally need to complete the following steps:

a. Determine your eligibility: Identify the category under which you qualify for an open work permit.

b. Gather required documents: Collect all the necessary documents, which may include a valid passport, application forms, proof of eligibility, and supporting documents specific to your category.

c. Submit your application: Follow the instructions provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to submit your application either online or by mail.

d. Pay the required fees: Ensure you pay the applicable processing fees, which may vary depending on your category and country of residence.

e. Wait for processing: The processing time for open work permits can vary, so it’s important to check the IRCC website for current estimates. During this time, you may be asked to provide additional documents or attend an interview.

  1. Benefits of an Open Work Permit:

Opting for an open work permit offers several advantages, including:

a. Flexibility: You are not tied to a specific job or employer, allowing you to explore various employment opportunities and industries.

b. Job market competitiveness: Employers may perceive you as a stronger candidate, as they do not need to obtain an LMIA or go through the usual work permit application process.

c. Spouse’s employment: If your spouse or common-law partner holds an open work permit, they can also work in Canada, increasing your family’s earning potential.

d. Skill development: An open work permit enables you to gain valuable work experience in Canada, enhancing your professional skills and expanding your network.

  1. Important Considerations:

While open work permits offer numerous advantages, there are a few key points to consider:

a. Duration: The duration of an open work permit can vary depending on the category and specific circumstances. It’s essential to be aware of the validity period to plan your employment and immigration goals accordingly.

b. Provincial restrictions: Some provinces may impose restrictions on open work permit holders regarding certain occupations or industries. Research the specific regulations of the province you plan to work in.

c. Immigration status: An open work permit does not grant permanent residence status. If your long-term goal is to become a permanent resident of Canada, you may need to explore other immigration programs.


Obtaining an open work permit in Canada opens up a world of opportunities for international workers. With its flexibility, ease of application, and numerous benefits, this work permit option has become increasingly popular. By understanding the eligibility criteria, application process, and important considerations, you can embark on your journey towards working in Canada with confidence. Remember to stay informed about the latest updates and requirements from IRCC for a smooth and successful application experience. Good luck on your Canadian work adventure.