Open work permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer: who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions, or who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.  The Open work permit allow you to work at any job with any employer with a limited exception. An open work permit also means that they can be contracted without the employer obtaining a LMIA. Generally, the eligibility of their spouse for an open work permit depends on the level of skill of their work.

Types of open work permits

There are two types of open work permits:

  • unrestricted (allowing foreign nationals to work in any occupation and location)
  • restricted (restricting the occupation or the location)

Open work permits may be issued with the following:

  • occupational restrictions, depending on the applicant’s medical status
  • location restrictions, depending on the category (such as a bridging open work permit under the provincial nominee class)

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  • are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)
  • have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
  • applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
  • are under an unenforceable removal order
  • are a temporary resident permit holder
  • are a young worker participating in special programs

How do I apply for an open work permit?

To apply for an open work permit, use the application for a work permit from outside Canada or from inside Canada.

Are there any conditions on my work permit?

Some conditions will be written directly on your work permit.
These may include:

  • the type of work you can do,
  • the employer you can work for,
  • where you can work, or
  • how long you can work.

There are also standard conditions that apply to all work permit holders. Even if you have no specific conditions on your work permit, you still must:

  • not work for an employer in a business where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation of some workers, specifically:
    strip clubs,
    massage parlours, and
    escort agencies,
  • leave Canada at the end of your authorized stay.

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