The Process of Applying for an Open-Work Permit
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.
What is 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.
Who Can Apply for an Open-Work Permit
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:
- Specific young workers that participate in special programs;
- Specific temporary resident permit holders;
- Protected persons, refugees, refugee claimants and their accompanying family members;
- Spouses and common-law partners of specific workers and international students;
- Dependent family members of specific permanent residence applicants; or,
- Permanent residence applicants that have applied to an office within Canada.
Eligibility Requirements to Apply for an Open-Work Permit
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:
- The foreign national must be in Canada
- The foreign national should have a valid work permit in Canada that will expire within at least 4 months
- The foreign national must receive an approved permanent resident application under the economic class, federal skilled worker class, Canadian experience class, or the deferral skilled trades program
- The foreign national must submit an application for an open-work permit in Canada
The Open Spousal Work Permit
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.
The Bridging Open-Work Permit
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:
- Who have applied for permanent residence
- Whose work permit will expire in less than 4 months
- Who currently have valid authorized status in Canada as a worker
- Who are currently inside Canada
Additionally, only the following permanent resident programs will qualify:
- Caring for Individuals with High Medical Needs Class;
- Caring for Children Class;
- Provincial Nominee Program;
- Federal Skilled Worker Program;
- Federal Skilled Trades Program;
- Canadian Experience Class.
How to Apply for an Open-Work Permit
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.
Contact Akrami & Associates
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!