In this post we are going to talk about how to apply for a Canadian open work permit. Open work permits allow foreign workers the flexibility to choose where they work in Canada. Oftentimes foreign nationals who want to work in Canada need a work permit. These permits may be tied to a specific employer or occupation.
By contrast, Open Work Permits allow for freedom of movement, whether it is between workplaces occupations, or locations in Canada. Canadian employers do not need to do a labor market impact assessment LMIA in order to hire a foreign worker on an open work permit. There are numerous ways to be eligible for an open work permit. Here are some of the more prominent ways:
International Student Graduates
In 2021 most labor market impact assessment LMIA exempt work permits went to international student graduates who were eligible for a post-graduation work permit PGWP. After graduation, international students can be eligible to work in Canada for up to three years if they completed a full-time study program of at least two years in duration.
Study programs that are longer than eight months but shorter than two years may be eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) that matches the length of their program to be eligible. To qualify under the PGWP, international students have to be enrolled in a designated learning institution in Canada.
IRCC has allowed for some flexibility within the eligibility criteria as a result of the pandemic. For example, IRCC is now allowing international students to have completed hundred percent of their study program online between march 2020 and august 2022.
Citizens of Foreign Countries with Reciprocal Agreements
International experience Canada (IEC) is designed to allow foreign youth from over 30 different countries to work in Canada. Youth between the ages of 18 and 35 may be eligible for a working holiday. In this program, the applicants do not need a job offer but will need to meet the criteria to be eligible for the IEC. The IEC generally requires candidates to have the equivalent of two thousand five hundred Canadian dollars to cover expenses, not be accompanied by dependents be admissible to Canada among other criteria.
Spouses and Common-Law Partners of Canadians and Temporary Residents
Canada offers open work permit options to the spouse of Canadians. With this permit they can work and live in Canada legally.
Temporary Foreign Workers and International Students
Spouses of Canadian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible for a spousal open work permit if they are applying under inland sponsorship and living in Canada with their partner. Spouses of temporary foreign workers may also be able to get an open work permit.
The temporary foreign worker has to meet certain eligibility criteria such as having a work permit that will be valid for six months after the open spousal work permit is received among others. The foreign worker also has to meet one of four conditions working in a National Occupational Classification NOC, the Skill level of zero, A, or B.
Working in any Occupation when Accepted to an Atlantic Immigration Program AIP Stream
Working in any occupation holding a provincial or territorial nomination from the provincial nominee program PNP or working in any occupation and holding a Quebec Selection Certificate.
There are also further programs specific criteria that must be met depending on the temporary foreign worker situation. Finally, spouses of international students may be able to get an open work permit if they can demonstrate to the government that they are in a genuine relationship and that the international student is enrolled in an eligible program.
Permanent Residency Applicants, Bridging Open Work Permits
BOWPs allow people who have applied for permanent residence to remain in Canada while waiting for a decision on their application. The following immigration programs are eligible for a bridging open work permit.
- Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP)
- Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)
- Canadian Experience Class (CEC)
- Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
- Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)
- Quebec Skilled Workers
- Agri-Food Pilot Program
The bridging open work permit BOWP makes it so foreign nationals do not have to leave their jobs or the country if their temporary status expires before their permanent residence application is processed. It also means employers do not have to get an LMIA based work permit in order to keep their foreign employees.
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