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Are you eligible for an Open Work Permit?

There are certain situations where individuals are eligible for an Open Work Permit. An Open Work Permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, with no restrictions on whether it is part-time or full-time work.

As Open Work Permits are not job-specific, you do not need:

-an authorization from Employment and Social Development Canada (a Labour Market Impact Assessment, “LMIA”) or

-proof that an employer has submitted the Offer of Employment form, and paid the employer compliance fee to CIC when you apply for your work permit


Situations where you may be eligible for an Open Work Permit include:

If you are already working in Canada and your permanent residence application has received positive eligibility assessment under any of the following programs:

-Spouse or Common Law Partner In Canada class

-Live-in Caregiver program

-Federal Skilled Worker program

-Canadian Experience Class program

-Provincial Nominee program

-Federal Skilled trades program

-Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds

You may also be eligible if you are a family member of someone whose application for permanent residence has been approved under one of the above.


You may also be eligible for an Open Work Permit if:

-your spouse is a skilled worker in Canada with a work permit in any occupation under any of the NOC 0, A or B categories

-your spouse is in Canada as a foreign student

-you have a temporary resident permit valid for at least 6 months

-you are participating in the Canada Youth Program or International Experience Class

-you have filed a claim for refugee protection and are awaiting the decision AND cannot pay for basic needs without working

-you have a refused refugee claim, but you cannot be removed from Canada for reasons beyond your control AND you cannot pay for your basic needs without working

-you are a family member of a foreign representative

-you are the family member of a foreign military member working in Canada

You are a professional athlete allowed to enter Canada and you need to do other work to support yourself while playing for a Canadian team

**There is also a new Open Work Permit Holder fee which was introduced on February 21, 2015. Applications for Open Work Permits now must include this new $100 fee. Submitting an application without this fee will result in a returned application.

If you need more information on whether you are eligible for an Open Work Permit, or need assistance with applying for an Open Work Permit, our lawyers can assist you. Contact us for a consultation!


Christopher Elgin has been a member of the British Columbia bar since January of 1988. He worked for the Immigration and Refugee Board as a legal advisor to the Board members for over three years and in 1993 he opened his own immigration law practice. In 1995, he joined forces with Douglas Cannon, another immigration…

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