Many foreign nationals would love the opportunity to work in Canada. In many circumstances, this is only possible if you have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. However, it is also possible for a foreign national to obtain a work permit that is open. This is called the open-work permit. In these circumstances, the foreign national would have much more freedom than in a closed-work permit. Therefore, in this article, I will address what an open-work permit is, how it works and how to apply for an open-work permit.
An open-work permit is a type of work permit in Canada that is not job-specific. Due to this work permit not being job-specific, the foreign national applying for this kind of work permit will not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada or any evidence that a Canadian employer has submitted an employment offer through the Employer portal. In other words, these work permits are one of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions. Therefore, an open-work permit allows the foreign national to work for any Canadian employer, anywhere in Canada.
Open-work permits are issued in specific circumstances and not all foreign nationals will be eligible to apply for them. Therefore, it is very important to understand and recognized whether you can apply for an open-work permit or not.
Therefore, as a foreign national, you may be able to apply for an open-work permit if you fall under one of the following scenarios:
As previously mentioned, specific individuals may only apply for an open-work permit in Canada. As a result, there are also very specific eligibility requirements that must be met prior to applying for the open-work permit. Therefore, in order to be eligible for an open work permit, the foreign national must satisfy all of the following criteria:
This is one of the most popular and most submitted applications for an open-work permit. When spouses of Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada apply for their spousal sponsorship application inside Canada, they have the option to also apply for an open-spousal work permit. They can only do this if they have received a letter that states their application is approved in principle. What approved in principle means is that the sponsor in Canada has been examined and assessed and was found eligible to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner in Canada. However, one can also apply for the open-spousal work permit at the initial submission of their spousal sponsorship application. Immigration Canada will them advise them on whether or not they are accepted for the open-spousal work permit once they have received the application. It is important to recognize that not all applications are approved in principle. Only those that are will receive the notification from Immigration Canada.
These types of applications are meant for foreign nationals who are qualified and whose work permits are on the verge of expiring. These applications help these individuals to continue working in Canada while they await for their permanent residence application’s decision. This can be extremely beneficial for foreign nationals in the following circumstances:
Additionally, only the following permanent resident programs will qualify:
The application for an open-work permit is very simple. This would be located in the Application to Change Conditions form and the foreign national would specifically fill out the “Details of intended work in Canada.” In this section, Immigration usually looks for the specific employer that the foreign national would be working for but because it’s an open-work permit application, there would be no employer. As a result, most of it will be left blank and you would indicate that you applying for an open-work permit. In addition to filling out this form, you must also pay the required government fees.
It is essential that you have assessed whether you are eligible and qualified to apply for an open-work permit prior to applying. A lot of people get confused as to how to apply and how exactly to fill out the form; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients apply for an open-work permit and successfully work in Canada for any Canadian employer. If you believe that you might be eligible and qualified to apply, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advice.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!