An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. Because it is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your work permit:

  • A Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada; or
  • proof that an employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee

Foreign students going to Canada on a study permit will be able to get an Open Work permit in Canada with virtually no restriction on type of employment and no requirement of a job offer. This visa is also applicable to Spouses and Common-law partners of temporary foreign workers and foreign students who themselves want to work in Canada for a Canadian Employer without a confirmed Offer of Employment.

According to the guidelines set by the Citizenship and Immigration, Canada (CIC) below mentioned category of foreign students, Spouses or Common Law partners are eligible for an Open Work Permit Visa in Canada:

In case of Foreign Student

  • International students graduated from Post – secondary Institution in Canada are eligible for a 3 year work permit under the Open Work permit Category and they need not have a valid Offer of employment at the time of application
  • The foreign students must be graduated from a public Post – secondary educational Institution or a private Post-secondary educational Institution, provided the latter is 50% funded by the government
  • The foreign students must apply for the Open work permit within 90 days of receiving the written confirmation from the respective academic Institution from where they have met the requirement of the program
  • The foreign student must have completed his study and the program should be a minimum of 2 years or more than 8 months
  • Lastly the foreign student must have a valid Study permit for Canada

In case of Spouse / Common Law partner

  • Dependent spouse’s partner in Canada must be studying full time diploma/degree or post graduation course with a valid study permit
  • Dependent spouse’s partner in Canada must be in a valid fellowship program or holder of valid work permit.
  • Dependent family members of some permanent residence applicants.

Accompanying spouse of Canada Open Work Permit holders may also be able to work without any other individual work permit. However family members need to check if they are eligible for an open work permit.

Open work permits allow spouse’s to work in any job with any employer. Accompanying spouse’s work permits will be valid for no longer than the duration of main applicant’s work permit.

The spouse’s eligibility for open work permit depends on the skill level of main applicant’s job profile and listing in National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B. Main applicant should be authorized to work in Canada for a period of at least 6 months.

Accompanying family members need to apply for their own work permits and they should submit their application before entering Canada.

Spouse of Post-Graduation Work Permit holders need to attach a copy of the main applicant’s work permit to get individual “Open Work Permit”

Other details pertaining to main applicant’s employment has to be attached which includes the following:

A letter from main applicant’s current employer confirming his/her employment Or A copy of main applicant’s employment offer or contract Or Copy of pay slips of main applicant from the Canadian employer.

The following individuals are eligible to be issued an open work permit:

  • Applicants with no other means of support. (Foreign Nationals with No Other Means of Support)
  • Certain kinds of permanent resident applicants living in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)
  • Foreign nationals living in Canada for humanitarian reasons. (Humanitarian-Based Open Work Permits)
  • Canada World Youth Program participants
  • Participants in certain international student and young worker exchange programs
  • The family members of military personnel and foreign representatives who are exempt from the LMIA requirement
  • Professional athletes entering Canada who require other work to support themselves while playing for a Canadian team
  • Spouses of skilled worker residents
  • Foreign nationals currently in Canada whose work permit will soon expire and who have submitted an application for permanent residence under:
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
  • The Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
  • A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Note: These workers are only eligible for an open work permit if they meet the requirements for the program to which they are applying.
  • Foreign nationals who have submitted an application for permanent residence under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC). Applicants under this class will be able to get an open work permit if:
  • They have submitted a Permanent Residence Application under the SCLPC class
  • The applicant’s spouse/partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • The applicant’s spouse/partner has submitted a sponsorship application on the applicant’s behalf
  • The SCLPC applicant resides at the same address as the sponsor/spouse/partner
  • The SCLPC applicant has valid temporary resident status as a visitor, student or worker
There are two kinds of open work permits: unrestricted open work permits and occupation restricted open work permits.

Under an unrestricted open work permit, a foreign national can work in any job, in any place and for any employer. An unrestricted open work permit will be given to eligible workers who have passed the medical exam (Medical Exams for Temporary Foreign Worker Applicants).

Unrestricted open work permits can also be given to eligible workers mentioned who:

  • Have failed the medical exam AND
  • Either have no other means of support (Applicant with No Other Means of Support) or belong to certain groups of permanent resident applicants living in Canada. (Permanent Residence Applicants in Canada)

Under an occupation restricted open permit, an eligible person may work for any employer but the job in which the person must work will be specified. The job restriction is due to the fact that occupation restricted open permits are given to eligible workers who have not completed a medical exam. Thus, holders of occupation restricted open permits are usually not allowed to work in jobs related to health.

If an eligible worker receives an occupation restricted open permit and is from a country that does not require a medical exam when entering Canada, he/she will not be allowed to work in:

  • Childcare
  • Health services

If an eligible worker acquires an occupation restricted open permit and is from a country that does require a medical exam, he/she will not be allowed to work in:

  • Childcare
  • Health services
  • Farming

Our Canada open work permit experts have expertise to deal with all Canada Work Visa matters. So if you have any queries regarding Canada Visas you can contact our experts Canada Immigration experts on +91 9819127002 or email us at info@smartmove4visas.com

You can also connect with us on

Stay Informed

Receive regular updates about your Canada Visa News, Guidelines, New Canada Visa Law and more.