Canada Open Work Permit (OWP)
An Open Work Permit under the International Mobility Program of Canada is a type of work permit that is not tied to a specific job. In addition, it doesn’t require a specific job offer. All other work permits, in general, allow the holder to work for one employer. However, with the unrestricted OWP, you can change occupations and employers as long as the permit is valid. In addition, this permit does not require you to submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) document that your employer would need to provide.
To get an Open Work Permit you have to meet certain requirements. As mentioned before, it may be completely unrestricted or have some restrictions. In general, there are three types of OWPs:
- Unrestricted work permits, which enable you to change employers, occupation, and the location of work;
- Restricted work permits, which don’t allow you to change the occupation and employer;
- Partially restricted work permits, which restrict the occupation or location of work.
The decision on the type of the work permit to issue you is at the discretion of the officer at the Canadian Consulate depending on the documents that you submit.
The IRCC can consider you eligible if you are in one of the following groups:
- A temporary resident permit holder;
- An international student who has graduated from a Canadian educational institution and can apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit;
- A student who is unable to cover the cost of their studies;
- A person who has applied for permanent residence in Canada;
- A family member of a person who has applied for permanent residence in Canada;
- A spouse or common-law partner of an international student or skilled worker;
- A refugee, protected person, refugee claimant, or a family member;
- A young worker in special programs.
Сanada OWP Requirements
As a temporary worker, you must meet the eligibility requirements of the Temporary Visa in order to apply for the Open Work Permit. In addition, you must also complete the following requirements:
- Prove that you will leave Canada after your work permit expires;
- Demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and your family stay in Canada and that you have enough funds to go back to your home country;
- Have a clean criminal record;
- Prove that you do not impose a threat to the national security of Canada;
- Comply with the conditions of your open work permit even if the officer issues a restricted one;
- Prove that you are not intending to work for an employer that offers striptease, erotic dance, erotic massage, or escort services;
- You must be in good health;
You can also apply for an extension of the Open Work Permit or for your first Open Work Permit from inside Canada if you meet these requirements:
- Your Canadian study permit or an OWP will expire soon;
- You have obtained a degree from a Canadian educational institution;
- You hold a temporary resident status;
- The IRCC is processing your application for refugee status;
- You already have refugee or protected person status;
- Your application to get refugee status was turned down, but you cannot leave Canada for reasons beyond your control
What You Must Know About the Open Work Permit
Depending on your circumstances, you can consider different options for an Open Work Permit.
The first option assumes that your permanent residence is almost to expire and you may qualify for the Bridging Open Work Permit. Another word, you don’t need to leave the country to extend your permit. Instead, you can get this type of permit while waiting for a renewed PR. The second option works for young professionals whose country has a bilateral agreement with the Canadian government. In this case, they can try an OWP as well as a Working Holiday Visa.