Canada Open Work Permit: Who can apply and Application Process July 2024

An Canada Open Work Permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, offering flexibility and freedom. This guide explains the benefits, eligibility criteria, and application process, helping you take the first steps toward working and living in Canada.

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Written by Anjali Tamta

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Canada Open Work Permit: An open work permit is a special authorization that allows foreign nationals to work for any employer in Canada, with some exceptions. This type of permit is not tied to a specific job or employer, giving the holder significant flexibility in their employment choices. Here’s a detailed guide to help you understand the benefits, Canada Open Work Permit eligibility criteria, and the application process for an open work permit in Canada.

Canada Open Work Permit

Canada Open Work Permit

An open work permit offers several advantages:

  1. Flexibility: You can work for any employer in Canada.
  2. No Employer Restrictions: Except for employers who are non-compliant or offer specific services such as striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.
  3. No Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Required: Most work permits require an LMIA, but an open work permit does not.
  4. Freedom to Move: You can change employers and locations without a new permit.

Who Can Apply for a Canada Open Work Permit?

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • International students who have graduated from a designated learning institution.
  • Students are unable to continue their studies due to financial hardship.
  • Dependent family members of someone who has applied for permanent residence.
  • Spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers, international students, or applicants of the Atlantic Immigration Program.
  • Refugees, refugee claimants, protected persons, and their family members.
  • Temporary resident permit holders.
  • Individuals under an unenforceable removal order.
  • Temporary workers who are being abused or at risk of being abused in their jobs.

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How to Apply for an Canada Open Work Permit?

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Create or Sign into Your IRCC Account: Start by creating or signing into your account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
  2. Choose the Application Type: Select “Work Permit” as your application type.
  3. Complete the Application Form: Fill out the application form and upload all necessary documents.
  4. Pay the Application Fee: The current fee for an open work permit is CAN$100, plus the work permit fee.
  5. Submit Your Application: Once you’ve completed the form and paid the fee, submit your application.

Processing Time

The processing time for an open work permit can vary, but it typically takes about 21 days if you apply from India. This is an estimate based on past application processing times.

Restrictions on an Open Work Permit

While an open work permit offers flexibility, there are still some restrictions:

  • Job Types: Some jobs may require a medical exam.
  • Locations: If you have a restricted open work permit, you may be limited to working in a specific province.

Canada Spouse Open Work Permit

A special type of open work permit is available for the spouse or common-law partner of certain individuals, such as skilled workers, international students, or applicants of the Atlantic Immigration Program. This permit allows them to work for any employer while their partner’s application for permanent residency is being processed.

Comparing Open Work Permit and Employer-Specific Work Permit

Open Work Permit:

  • Allows work for any employer.
  • No need for an LMIA, unless the job is LMIA-exempt.
  • Family members can accompany you.

Employer-Specific Work Permit:

  • Tied to a specific employer.
  • Requires an LMIA.
  • Family members cannot accompany you under this permit alone.

Practical Advice for Applicants

  • Ensure Eligibility: Check the detailed eligibility criteria on the IRCC website.
  • Prepare Documents: Gather all necessary documents before starting your application.
  • Consult Experts: If unsure, consult with licensed immigration consultants or lawyers.


An open work permit is an excellent option for those looking to work in Canada, as it allows them the flexibility to choose their employer and location. It particularly benefits international students, skilled workers, and their families. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can navigate the application process smoothly and begin your new life in Canada.

For more information on the Canadian open work permit, contact immigration consultants or visit the IRCC website for detailed guidelines and updates.

Anjali Tamta
Hey there! I'm Anjali Tamta, hailing from the beautiful city of Dehradun. Writing and sharing knowledge are my passions. Through my contributions, I aim to provide valuable insights and information to our audience. Stay tuned as I continue to bring my expertise to our platform, enriching our content with my love for writing and sharing knowledge. I invite you to delve deeper into my articles. Follow me on Instagram for more insights and updates. Looking forward to sharing more with you!

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