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An open work permit is a type of work permit that is not job-specific. Since it is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your open work permit (OWP):

  • An LMIA, Labour Market Impact Assessment from the Employer and the Social Development Canada, or any
  • evidence of the offer letter been submitted through Employer Portal and has employer compliance fee already paid.


In most the cases, you will need to pay the open work permit holder’s fee when you are paying the fee of the Work Permit. Check the fee list for the most up-to-date application fees.


An Open Work Permit can be used to work for any employer in Canada, except for:

  • Those that have been listed as ineligible on the Employer’s list, those who have failed to comply with the conditions or
  • Those who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages

If your situation is characterized by the following, you might be eligible for an open work permit:

  • -International students who are graduated from any Designated Learning Institution, DLIs and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • -A student who is no longer in a position to meet the costs of your studies ( sometimes referred to as a destitute student)
  • – A holder of an employer-specific work permit, but  you are subject to  abuse or at risk of being abused about your job in Canada
  • – You have already applied for permanent residency in Canada
  • – You are a dependent family member of someone who has already  applied for permanent residency in Canada
  • – You are the spouse or the common-law partner of a skilled worker or an International student who is already residing in Canada
  • – You are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the AIPP or the Canadian Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • – You are a refugee, a refugee claimant, a protected person, or their family member
  • – You are under an unenforceable removal order
  • – You are a holder of a temporary resident permit 
  • – You are a young worker participating in any of the special programs

In each of the above situations, you have, and you must meet additional criteria to be eligible for Open Work Permits.

You can apply for an Open Work Permit from inside Canada only if:

  • You got a valid work permit or a study permit;
  • Your spouse, common-law partner, or parents have a legitimate study or work permit;
  • You’re eligible for post-graduation working papers, and your study permit remains valid;
  • You have claimed to be protected as a refugee.
  • You’ve got a short-lived resident permit that’s valid for six months or more;
  • You’re a trader, investor, intra­company transferee, or professional under the Canada United States Mexico.
  • The agreement, but you need a work permit to work in a different job (this does not apply to business visitors); Or 
  • You’re a trader, investor, intra­company transferee, or professional under the Canada United States Mexico Agreement, but you need to have a work permit to work in a different job (CUSMA).

If you apply at a port of entry, you must meet specific eligibility requirements.

It would help if you used it for your working papers, your work permit before you visit Canada.

However, if you’re eligible, you’ll apply for an open work permit once you enter Canada

To apply for a WP work permit at a port of entry (POE), you must be;

-Eligible to travel without a visitor visa or eligible for an electronic travel authorization or

-Entering Canada directly from the United States

Open work permit applicants

should also have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer.

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You may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you graduated from a designated learning institution and you want to stay in Canada temporarily to work.

You are not automatically eligible for a Post Graduate Work Permit after graduating from a DLI

, a Designated Learning Institution.

 To be able to work, international students will need a co-op study permit and a work permit. If the international students are eligible to apply and OWP, Open Work Permits could be issued with the Employer listed institutions. 

You have 180 days after you get your final marks to use for a PGWP.

If you’ve got a piece permit that’s close to expiring or that you got to change, you want to apply to increase it or change the conditions thereon.

You should apply to increase your work permit a minimum of 30 days before your current permit expires.

Steps to follow when applying for a PGWP

Step 1. Gather documents

You need to use the document checklist IMM 5583 to gather the supporting documents to submit along with your application. 

If you submit a complete application, it could be rejected, and this will delay the processing of your application.

Step 2. Complete the Application

 Fill in and submit all the required documents 

Venezuelan passport holders may need to complete extra steps when they fill out their applications.

It is a serious offense to give misleading and false information on these forms. All the information you give on your application may be subject to verification.

Be accurate and complete.

All sections must be completed, and if a question or a section does not apply to you, put  “Not Applicable” or “NA”, except for your last name and given name. Make sure that the application is signed and dated.

Residents of Hong Kong

Hong Kong residents may qualify for special measures to migrate to Canada, including an open work permit for recent graduates from Hong Kong current and given priority processing.

If you’re applying under the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, your spouse or partner may be able to apply for an Open Work Permit (OWP).

Your common-law partner or spouse can apply for an open work permit if your occupation is listed as Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A, B, or C in the National Occupation Classification of 2016 (NOC). 

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