Canada is one of the most popular destinations for migrants who are looking for a high quality of life together with excellent career opportunities; however it is important to be in possession of the correct work permit before arriving in the country. If you have not yet been offered a position with an employer in Canada, it would be beneficial for you to know how to get an open work permit for Canada as this type of visa will enable you to work for any employer in the country.
What Is An Open Work Permit?
An open work permit is a form of visa which is not specifically relating to a particular job. This means that certain criteria that are necessary for a standard work permit do not need to be met in this case. For example, there is no need to submit a Labor Market Impact Assessment as part of the application and there is no need to have proof that the employer has submitted an employment offer through the Employer Portal or paid an employer compliance fee. This type of work permit enables a foreign national to be employed by any Canadian employer for a specific period of time. There may be restrictions placed on the type of job or the place where the foreign national may be employed. An open work permit can be applied for either from within the country, at a Canadian port of entry or from outside Canada. A holder of an open work permit will not have to seek approval from the immigration authorities if they wish to take up a new or different position of employment.
Who Can Apply For An Open Work Permit?
There are several groups of people who may be eligible to apply for a Canadian open work permit. These include:
Foreign nationals who have no means of support other than to work in the country
Foreign nations who are living in Canada for a humanitarian reason
Participants in the Canada World Youth Program
Young people working in some young worker and international student exchange programs
Family members of foreign representatives and military personnel who have exemption from the LMIA requirements
Professional athletes who need to undertaken other employment to financially support themselves during the time they play for a Canadian team
Spouses or common law partners of a skilled resident worker
Spouses or common law partners of overseas students studying in Canada
Foreign nationals currently employed in Canada who have a work permit that is due to expire and who have already submitted their application to obtain permanent residence under one of the following programs:
The Canadian Experience Class
The Federal Skilled Worker Program
The Provincial Nominee Program,
The Federal Skilled Trades Program
Overseas nationals who have already submitted their application to obtain permanent residency under the SCLPC (spouse or common law partner in Canada) class These applicants will only be eligible if their partner is a permanent resident or Canadian citizen, if a sponsorship has already been submitted on the behalf of the applicant, if the applicant is living at the same address as their sponsor and if the applicant already has a valid status as a temporary resident as either a worker, student or visitor.
Types of Open Work Permits
There are both unrestricted open work permits and those who are considered to be occupation restricted open work permits.
Unrestricted Open Work Permits
Under the terms of this permit, an overseas national can undertake any role, for any Canadian employer and in any place. In order to be eligible for this type of visa, the applicant must either have passed the relevant medical exam or have failed the medical exam but have no other way of supporting themselves.
Occupation Restricted Open Work Permits
Under the terms of this type of permit, the applicant may be employed by any Canadian employer, however there will be specifications made over the kind of job that must be undertaken. Usually, applicants will be forbidden from working in the health care industry and may also be prohibited from working in childcare and education and also sometimes the farming sector.
Can The Standard Work Permit Be Changed To An Open Work Permit?
Usually, a standard work permit is unable to be converted into an open work permit unless there are exceptional circumstances such as eligibility through specific legislative provisions. A standard work permit will be linked to particular position, employer and location and therefore cannot be changed.