Open Work Permit in Canada 2024: Types, Eligibility and Application Process

Today we will explore the exciting opportunity that Canada’s Open Work Permit program offers. I am Areeba, your visa guide expert. Let me walk you through everything you need to know about the different types of permits available, who is eligible, and how you can apply. Let’s get started!

Understanding the Open Work Permit

The Open Work Permit in Canada allows temporary foreign workers the flexibility to work for multiple employers and switch jobs while respecting the regulations set by the Canadian government. Unlike other work permits, this permit does not require:

  • A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from employers
  • Proof of a job offer via the Employer Portal
  • Confirmation of employer compliance with the associated fees

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Types of Open Work Permits

Open Work Permits come in various forms, each with specific conditions:

  • Free Permits: 

These permits allow you to change employers, job types, and locations without restriction.

  • Job-limited Permits: 

With these, you can switch employers but must stick to the same type of job.

  • Location-limited Permits: 

These permits let you change employers but restrict you to working within certain geographic areas.

The type of Open Work Permit you receive depends on the details provided in your application and the discretion of the Canadian Consulate.

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Eligibility for an Open Work Permit

To qualify for an Open Work Permit, applicants must fall into one of the following categories:

  • Temporary residents with valid reasons to stay in Canada
  • Recent graduates from Canadian educational institutions eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit
  • Students facing financial hardships
  • Applicants under permanent residence applications or their dependents
  • Spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers or students
  • Refugees, protected persons, and individuals under similar categories
  • Participants in special programs aimed at youth

Applicants must also demonstrate intent to leave Canada after the permit expires, financial self-sufficiency, a clean criminal record, good health, and adherence to any job restrictions.

Application and Extension Process

Here’s how to apply for or extend an Open Work Permit in Canada:

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Ensure you meet one of the conditions, such as nearing the expiry of your current permit or having recently graduated in Canada.

Application Submission: 

Choose between an online application via the Government of Canada website or a paper-based application. The online method requires digital copies of your documents and payment methods.

Required Documents: You will need to provide:

  • A valid passport
  • Completed application forms like IMM 1295 (outside Canada) and other relevant schedules
  • Supporting documents including job offers, academic qualifications, and financial proofs
  • A medical examination report, if applicable

Visa Interview and Biometrics: 

Attend the scheduled interview at the Canadian Consulate and provide biometric details.

Processing Time: 

Application processing can vary from 3 to 27 weeks, depending on various factors including nationality and the complexity of your application.

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Costs and Additional Information

The application fee for an Open Work Permit is CAD$155, with an additional CAD$100 for the permit itself, totaling CAD$255. It’s crucial to account for these costs when planning your application.

Bringing Family Members

If you are moving to Canada, your spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children under 18 may accompany you. Ensure their documents are also submitted for evaluation during your application process to avoid delays.

Settling in Canada

Once your permit is approved, organize your travel and accommodation in Canada. Upon arrival, you will go through a check by Port of Entry officers who will review your documents and entry purpose.


By understanding the types of permits available, meeting the eligibility criteria, and following the detailed application process, you can maximize your opportunities in Canada. This permit not only facilitates employment flexibility but also underscores Canada’s commitment to welcoming international talent.