In Canada, an Open Work Permit is a permit that is not specific to any job. This work permit allows temporary residents to work in Canada. Unlike the standard work permit, an open work permit is not related to any specific employer, location, or position. An open work permit holder can assume most positions even without seeking an approval for immigration, and may also change employers without further notice or approval.
Because this is not a job-specific category, you would not require the following documents to apply for this work permit:
- Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Employment and Social Development Canada; or
- Proof to show that an employer has submitted an employment offer through the Employer Portal and paid the compliance fee.
Who can apply for Open Work Permit in Canada?
There are very few restrictions with respect to an open work permit in Canada. Candidates can apply for open work permit in any one of the following circumstances:
- Candidates having permanent residence who have applied to a Canadian office,
- Dependent members of the family of some permanent residence applicants,
- Refugees and refugee claimants, and protected persons including their family members,
- Spouses and common-law partners of international students and workers,
- Temporary resident permit holders, or
- Young workers taking part in special programs
Can a Standard Work Permit be converted into an Open Work Permit?
In general, it is not possible. However, if you are eligible under a specific category that exists, or through legislative provision, it would not be possible to convert a standard work permit into an open work permit. Thus, most of the temporary work permits issued by the Canadian government are linked to a specific position, employer, or location.