Open Work Permits

Open work permits allow eligible foreign nationals to work for any employer in Canada. The biggest advantage of holding an open work permit is the freedom to work in any occupation, or for any employer.

Most foreign nationals who want to come to Canada to work must have legal authorization via a work permit. Open work permits are one of many types of work permits that allow foreign workers to legally work in Canada.  

The biggest advantage of open work permits is that they allow for freedom of movement, whether it is between workplaces, employers, occupations or locations in Canada. Open work permits are exempt from some of the requirements associated with obtaining a permit to work in Canada. You do not need to have a job offer or a positive LMIA to be eligible for an open work permit.

Who Can Apply?

You can apply for an Open Work Permit if:

  • You are an international student who has graduated from a designated educational institution and is eligible for the Post Graduate Work Permit Program,
  • You have applied for permanent residence in Canada under one of Canada’s Immigration programs,
  • You are a dependent family member (e.g., spouse or common-law partner) of a person who has applied for PR,
  • You are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student,
  • You are a temporary resident permit holder,
  • You are a refugee, asylum seeker, protected person or their family member,
  • You are under an unenforceable removal order,
  • You are a young worker participating in the Working Holiday program,
  • You are a student who is unable to meet the costs of studies,
  • You have a work permit specific to your employer and are being abused or are at risk of being abused in the course of your employment in Canada.