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Your Guide to Canada Open Work Permit

Posted on September 6, 2019
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Canada has a shortage of skilled workers. To get over this problem the country is encouraging people from other countries to come here for work.  Canada has come up with several work visa options to encourage migrants.

One of these options is the Canada Open Work Visa. This visa allows individuals to come to Canada without a prior job offer.

The visa is not job-specific, so applicants are required to meet similar requirements as applicants for other types of job visas. These include not needing the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or an offer letter from an employer who has paid the compliance fee.  However, not everyone is eligible for the open work permit visa.

Canada Open Work Permit

Who is eligible for the open-work visa?

Individuals including foreigners who need a job to support themselves

  • Applicants for PR visa
  • Dependent family members of these applicants
  • Spouses of skilled worker residents
  • Spouses of foreign students
  • Foreign nationals currently in Canada whose work permit will soon expire and have applied for permanent residence
  • Refugees, protected persons, and their relatives
  • Participants in working holiday programs
  • International students who completed their post-secondary education in Canada

Holders of the following visas can apply for an Open Work Permit:

  • Temporary Work Permits for spouses
  • Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • Temporary Resident Permit
  • World Youth Program Permit
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit
  • Regular Open Work Permit
  • Bridging Open Work Permit

Conditions for the work visa:

  • Proof of financial resources that can support yours and your family’s stay in Canada during the work permit validity
  • Proof that you have no history of a criminal record
  • Proof that you are in good health
  • Willingness to adhere to the conditions of your work permit even if you are given a restricted work permit
  • Meet eligibility conditions such as language skills, biometric data, and insurance

There are three kinds of open work permits:

1. Unrestricted open work permit

2. Occupation restricted open work permit

3. Restricted work permit

In the unrestricted open work permit, a foreigner can go to Canada and work there on any job for any employer and at any place. In the occupation restricted open work permit the person can work for any employer but the job is specified. A restricted work permit allows one to change the employer but not the location of work.

Application process for open work permit visa:

Required documents:

  1. Passport with validity for more than six months after your planned date of entry into Canada
  2. Proof of your educational qualifications
  3. Marriage certificate if applicable
  4. Birth certificates of children if applicable
  5. Medical examination certificate-you need to complete a medical exam to be eligible to work in childcare, health services, primary or secondary school teaching or in the agriculture field.

Applicants might need to attend a visa interview if immigration officials need to verify that you will return to your home country once the open work permit expires.

Applicants can bring their spouse or partner and minor children on an open work permit provided they include their documents in the application so that they can be evaluated as a family.

If an applicant meets the eligibility requirements there are other ways to qualify and obtain their open work permit.

Applicants who have applied for a PR status and are in a work position that will end before the application is approved will get a Bridging Open Work Permit. With this permit, they need not leave the country in the time between the expiry of their previous permit and obtaining the PR status.

Young people who are on a working holiday visa can make use of the open work permit to gain work experience in Canada.

Processing time:

After the applicant submits the application along with the documents and attends the visa interview, the processing time for the visa can be anywhere between 3 to 27 weeks depending on the country the applicant belongs to.

Duration of the visa:

It depends on the time agreed between the employer and the applicant, but the minimum duration is six months.

Benefits of open work permit visa:

The open work permit visa will help you work and stay in Canada on a temporary basis. However, if there is a shortage of people with your skills and you have the required experience and professional skills, there is no reason why you cannot Apply for a Canadian Permanent Residency in the country.

If you are planning to migrate to Canada, browse through latest Canada Immigration News & Visa Rules.

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