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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Open Work Permit Eligibility

Open Work Permit Eligibility

What is an Open Work Permit?

Are you interested in applying for an Open Work Permit? If you are eligible, you would be able to work in Canada in any position you would like. Most foreign workers would need to apply for an Open Work Permit; however, only certain individuals are eligible. Before applying, you would want to ensure that you qualify for an Open Work Permit.

Before applying, make sure you are applying for the right permit. An Open Work Permit means that you would be able to work for any employer in Canada. A general Work Permit would allow an individual to work for a specific employer only. Open Work Permits grants any employer to hire you; however, this is not something that you can apply for individually. Generally speaking, it should be attached to another application that is already submitted. Note that if applying for an Open Work Permit, your employer would likely not be required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

How to qualify for Open Work Permit?

There are specific situations in which you would be eligible for an Open Work Permit. Mostly, you would apply for an Open Work Permit in association with another application. Generally, these applications are those that involve obtaining a Permanent Residency. Furthermore, you would likely need to be already working in Canada. This could involve applications for programs such as: Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds, Federal Skilled Trades Programs, Provincial Nominee Programs, Canada Experience Class, Live-in Caregiver Program, Spouse or Common-law partner in Canada class, or the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Eligible Applications for Open Work Permit

You would be able to apply for an Open Work Permit along with your Express Entry application if you are already working in Canada and your work permit has an expiry date coming within the next four months. However, you are only eligible to apply if you have applied for a Permanent Residency under programs such as: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Trades Program, or the Provincial Nominee Program.

In other cases, if you are already working in Canada and also have an expiring work permit with a four month deadline, you may be able to apply for an Open Work Permit if you have completed or received a positive eligibility assessment (which must be done through a paper application) in programs such as: Provincial Nominee Program, Caring for Children Class, an application based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds, Live-In Caregiver Program (for which you must also have the necessary previous experience), Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class or the Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class.

Can my Family members apply for Open Work Permit?

If you are a family member of an individual applying for specific permanent-resident based programs in Canada, you are also eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit. Note that your name must have been included on the application in question. Generally, in these such applications, there are spaces in which the applicant is asked about their family members. This will involve providing personal details such as full name, birthday, relationship, etc. If you have been clearly outlined as a family member in this application, you will also be able to apply for an Open Work Permit. This includes family members who have been included in an application for permanent residence that are based on Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds, and you have also received a document from Canadian Immigration stating that the application has been approved. This may also include spouses or common law-partners of applicants that either work in an occupation with the NOC code corresponding to the skill type of 0, A, or B or is an international student at a post-secondary school that is legally recognized and is a public school (this includes colleges, universities, or CEGEP schools in Quebec). Other family members that may apply for an Open Work Permit include: those of someone that is a foreign representative, those of a foreign military member that serves Canada, those of an applicant for the Spouse or Common-law partner in Canada, Protected Persons, or Live-in Caregiver programs.

Can I apply for Open Work Permit as a Refugees?

Refugees, refugee claimants, and temporary resident permit holders may also apply for an Open Work Permit. This is based on the notion that you cannot pay for your basic needs in Canada while working; thus, you need an Open Work Permit to work and provide for yourself. In order to meet this requirement, you would have to be:

  • Someone who has or whose family member has applied for and is waiting for refugee status in Canada from the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee board of Canada

  • Someone who has been officially recognized as a convention refugee or protected person by the RPD

  • Some who has had their refugee claim declined by the RPD but cannot be removed from Canada for extenuating reasons, or someone that is the family member of an individual in that situation

  • Someone who has a Temporary Resident Permit that is valid for another six months or more

Who else qualifies for Open Work Permit?

Other individuals who qualify for an Open Work Permit include professional athletes, provided they are allowed to enter Canada and will be playing for a Canadian team long enough to need to be able to provide for themselves. This is only applicable if they need to work in other careers in order to support themselves. This also includes international students who have a study permit and do not have adequate funds to provide for their basic needs without working (for extenuating reasons) as well as young workers. These young workers must be participating in certain programs, such as the Canada World Youth Program, International Experience Canada with a Recognized Organization, or the Working Holiday Category of International Experience Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you have any questions about the Open Work Permit or are looking to apply, feel free to call Akrami and Associates. Our team of dedicated professionals will be able to assess your situation and assist with your immigration needs.

With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way!

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