What is an Open Work Permit?
An open work permit is a type of work permit that allows foreign nationals to legally work in Canada for any employer and in any location. Unlike closed work permits, open work permits do not require a job offer or a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to be eligible. This means that available work permit holders can move between employers, occupations, and locations in Canada.
Who can Apply for an Open Work Permit?
Several categories of foreign nationals may be eligible for an open work permit. These include:
- International graduates who have completed a program of study at a designated learning institution in Canada are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP).
- Spouses or common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are being sponsored for permanent residence through Inland Sponsorship.
- Spouses or common-law partners of temporary foreign workers who work in Canada in a job corresponding to Skill Level 0, A, or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for at least six months and who reside or intend to reside in Canada.
- Temporary resident permit holders.
- Refugee claimants, asylum seekers, and protected persons and their family members.
- Young workers participating in the Working Holiday program.
- Students who are unable to meet the costs of studies.
- Individuals with a work permit specific to their employer are being abused or at risk of being abused during their employment in Canada.
What are the Eligibility Requirements for Open Work Permits?
The eligibility requirements for open work permits vary depending on the applicant's specific situation. Some standard eligibility criteria include the following:
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.
Applicants must have completed a program of study at a designated learning institution in Canada or hold a foreign equivalent.
Some open work permits require that the applicant have a certain amount of work experience in a specific occupation.
Some open work permits require that the applicant demonstrate proficiency in English or French.
Applicants may be deemed inadmissible to Canada if they have a criminal record.
How do I Apply for an Open Work Permit?
You can apply for an open work permit from inside or outside Canada. The application process and the forms you must submit will vary depending on where you are applying from. In both cases, the procedure will simultaneously include submitting a specified format and payment of the open work permit holder fee and the work permit processing fee.
If you are applying from within Canada, you must meet certain conditions, such as holding a valid temporary resident status, being eligible to apply for restoration of status, or having a valid study or work permit.
Applying for an open work permit can be a complex and time-consuming process. To ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements and that your application is complete and accurate, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer.
In conclusion, an open work permit can be a great option for foreign nationals who want to work in Canada but do not have a specific job offer or LMIA. Several categories of individuals may be eligible for an open work permit, and the eligibility requirements and application process will depend on the applicant's specific situation. If you are considering applying for an open work permit, it is essential to seek the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer to ensure that your application is complete.