Open Work Permits

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 the occupation, or for the employer, of your choice. 

Foreigners that are eligible for an Open Work permit:

  • Spouse/common-law partner being sponsored for Permanent Residence through an Inland Spousal Application
  • Spouse/common-law partner of a Temporary Foreign Worker
  • ​Spouse/common-law partners of International Students studying in Canada
  • International Students who recently graduated from a Canadian post-secondary institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program can apply for a Post-Graduation Open Work Permit
  • International Experience Canada (IEC) Candidates (Working Holiday)

Inland Sponsorship 

Spouses and common-law partners being sponsored through the Inland Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship Category of the Family Class can be granted an open work permit while the application for permanent residence is being processed.  This allows the Spouse/Common-law partner to work in any job while waiting for permanent residence application to be processed.

Spouse/Common-law of Temporary Foreign Worker

Spouse or common-law partner of a foreign temporary worker must demonstrate that:

  • the principal temporary foreign worker has employment in Canada that is at a management level, or a job in a professional occupation, or as a technical or skilled tradesperson. In other words, the skill level of the principal temporary foreign worker’s job must be level 0, A or B, according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). This skill level requirement does not apply to principal temporary foreign workers who have been nominated for permanent residence by a province (provincial nominees).
  • the principal temporary foreign worker is permitted to work in Canada for a period of at least six months.

Spouse/Common-law partner of Foreign Student

To be eligible for an Open Work Permit, the spouse or common-law partner of a foreign student cannot themselves be full-time students and must demonstrate that:

  • the foreign student is studying full-time at a diploma/degree-granting, publicly-funded post-secondary educational facility; or
  • the foreign student has graduated and is the holder of a valid work permit for a job related to his or her studies.

For spouses and common-law partners, open work permits are generally issued with a validity date that coincides with the period of time that their spouse is permitted to work or study in Canada, as the case may be.

International Graduates

To be eligible for an open work permit, graduating international students must meet the requirements under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

International Experience Canada

Open work permits are also available to candidates for the International Experience Canada (IEC) Candidates under the Working Holiday category.