What is an open work permit?

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. Because it is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your work permit:

  • a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada; or
  • proof that an employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Portal and paid the employer compliance fee.

An Open Work Permit allows a foreign national to work in any job, without restriction.  An LMIA or confirmed offer of employment is not needed to apply for an Open Work Permit.Foreign spouses/common-law partners of temporary foreign workers, foreign students and Spouses/common-law partners being sponsored through the Inland Spousal/Common-law Sponsorship category are eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit .Graduating international students are also eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

​International Experience class  candidates under the Working Holiday category are also eligible for an Open Work Permit.

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

  • are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program
  • are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies
  • have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada
  • applied for permanent residence in Canada
  • are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program
  • are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member
  • are under an unenforceable removal order
  • are a temporary resident permit holder
  • are a young worker participating in special programs
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