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Apply for an Open Work Permit in Canada With Simple Steps



What is an open work permit? An Open Work Permit is a work permit that  allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer over a specified period of time, offering flexibility compared to job-specific permits. 


An Open Work Permit in Canada permits foreign nationals to work in Canada for any employer and in most occupations without needing a specific job offer at the time of application. This flexibility is beneficial for those seeking employment opportunities across different regions or sectors within Canada.

There are two types of open work permits in Canada and they include:

  1. Unrestricted Open Work Permit: This particular type of work permit  allows the holder to work in any job, in any place, and for any employer in Canada. It is  issued to applicants who have passed a medical exam or who have no other means of support.
  2. Occupation-Restricted Open Work Permit: With this type, the permit holder can work for any employer but is restricted to a specific job or type of job. This permit is often issued to applicants who have not completed a medical exam or are from countries that do not require a medical exam for entry into Canada.


The criteria for eligibility for an Open Work Permit include:

 – Spouses of Skilled Workers or Students: Spouses of skilled workers or students studying in Canada may apply for an open work permit if the main applicant fulfills certain conditions.


 – Permanent Residence Applicants: Individuals with ongoing applications for permanent residence under specific programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program or the Canadian Experience Class.

– Participants in International Agreements: Individuals engaged in international youth exchange programs, such as International Experience Canada (IEC).

– Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds: Foreign nationals residing in Canada on humanitarian grounds, including refugee claimants or those holding temporary resident permits.

– Protected Persons: Individuals who have been recognized as refugees or protected persons within Canada.


Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for an Open Work Permit in Canada:

  • Residency Status: Legally reside in Canada or have legal status in their home country.
  • Forms and Documents: Accurately complete the necessary application forms and provide supporting documents, including proof of identity and legal status.
  • Medical Exam: Undergo a medical exam if required, depending on the type of permit and country of origin.
  • Criminal Record: Have no criminal record and, if necessary, provide a police clearance certificate.
  • Financial Sufficiency: Prove the financial means to support themselves and any accompanying family members during their stay in Canada.
  • Intent to Leave: Plan to leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay, unless applying for an extension.


The application process for an Open Work Permit usually includes the following steps:

  1. Review Eligibility: Ensure that all eligibility criteria are met by carefully reviewing them.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, such as:
    • Passport or travel document
    • Proof of current immigration status
    • Marriage certificate or proof of relationship (if applicable)
    • Medical exam results (if applicable)
    • Police certificates (if required)
  3. Submit the Application: Follow the instructions provided to apply online through the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website or by paper application.
  4. Pay Application Fees: Pay the required fees for processing the work permit application. Check the IRCC website for the most up-to-date fee structure.
  5. Await Processing: Monitor the status of the application and wait for processing to be completed. Processing times may vary based on the type of application and the number of applications received.
  6. Receive Decision: After processing, applicants will receive a decision on their application. If successful, they may receive an approval letter or a new work permit.

How to Obtain an Open Work Permit in Canada:

  • Submit an application online or by paper, ensuring you provide the necessary documents and pay the required fees. Adhere to specific guidelines based on your eligibility category.

Application Fee:

  • As of [current year], the fee for an open work permit application is $255 CAD, covering processing fees and the open work permit holder fee.

Funds Requirement:

  • While there is no fixed amount of funds required for a spouse open work permit, immigration authorities typically expect the principal applicant (skilled worker or student) to demonstrate sufficient financial means to support themselves and their family during their stay in Canada.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • The criteria differ depending on the type of open work permit being sought, such as Post-Graduation Work Permits for recent graduates or spousal permits for partners of skilled workers.

Tips for a Successful Application:

  1. Thorough Preparation: Carefully review all eligibility criteria and ensure that all required forms and documents are complete and accurate.
  2. Early Application: Apply well in advance of your intended start date to allow for varying processing times.
  3. Adherence to Instructions: Follow the application instructions meticulously, whether applying online, by mail, or at a Canadian port of entry.
  4. Seek Professional Help if Necessary: Consider consulting an immigration advisor or lawyer for guidance on complex cases or specific questions.


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