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Open Work Permits

Open work permits do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and have no conditions for a specific location or employer.

It is important to note that you will still be subject to the general conditions which are imposed on temporary residents by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.  The open work permit option is only available to foreign workers that meet the eligibility criteria. Depending on your current situation, you can apply for an open work permit while you are outside of Canada, at one of the ports of entry, or after arrival.

photo of architects working on an Alberta job site, thanks to the open work permit acquired for working in Canada with the help of Canadian Immigration Group

Even with the broader spectrum of employment freedoms that an open work permit offers, it’s important to research how this may impact a potential permanent resident application.  Canadian Immigration Group can answer any questions you may have.  Contact us online, or by phone at (780) 444-2844 or toll-free at (855) 944-2844.

Different Types of Open Work Permits Explained

An open work permit is classified in two ways:

  • Unrestricted – this allows foreign nationals to seek work in any occupation or location throughout Canada
  • Restricted – this dictates which type of occupation or location work can be sought.

You can allow for one of these types of work permits for one of the following purposes:

  • Occupational restrictions – these restrictions are based on the medical status of the applicant
  • Location restrictions – these are dependent on the category in which the job position falls, such as a Bridging Open Work Permit

LMIA-Exemption Categories Available for an Open Work Permit

As stated earlier, an open work permit can only be granted for jobs that are LMIA-exempt. The exemption categories that are offered for these purposes include the following:

  • Refugee claimants and eligible foreign workers that are covered under an unenforceable removal order
  • Individuals that have applied for Canadian permanent residency
  • Humanitarian reasons
  • Temporary international workers that are authorized to enter Canada on a reciprocal basis through the Canada World Youth Program, International Experience Canada Working Holiday participants, family members of foreign representatives, family members of military personnel that are covered by an LMIA-exempt code, and professional athletes
  • Spouses or common-law partners of skilled temporary workers that are eligible for LMIA-exemption under paragraph R205(c) exemption code C41
  • Spouses or common-law partners of international students eligible under paragraph R205(c) exemption code C42
  • Bridging open work permit
  • Open work permit pilot program that is offered to permanent resident applicants that are classified as being the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class
  • Postgraduate work permits
  • Post-secondary co-op and secondary co-op

The process to obtain an open work permit can be perplexing. To keep your goals of working in Canada on track, and ensuring that all the paperwork and forms are processed properly, contact Canadian Immigration Group today.


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