Work Permit

Most foreign nationals need a work permit to work in Canada.

There are 2 types of work permits.

  • Employer-specific work permit (closed work permit)
  • Open work permit

Closed Work Permit: LMIA based Work Permit

An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:

  • The name of the employer you can work for
  • How long you can work
  • The location where you can work (if applicable)
  • An LMIA is a document from Employment and Social Development Canada/Service Canada that allows an employer to hire a foreign worker through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP).

Before you submit your work permit application, your employer must give you:

  • A copy of the positive LMIA, and
  • Your job offer letter or contract.

Open Work Permit

An open work permit can be issued to a foreign national only under one of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions.

A foreign national may apply for an open work permit outside Canada, at a port of entry or after arrival to Canada, as per program requirements.

Types of open Work Permits

There are two types of open work permits:

  • Unrestricted (allowing foreign nationals to work in any occupation and location)
  • Restricted (restricting the occupation or the location)

Open work permits may be issued with the following:

  • Pccupational restrictions, depending on the applicant’s medical status [R185(b)]
  • Location restrictions, depending on the category (such as a bridging open work permit under the provincial nominee class)

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 (destitute student)
  • 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

Post Graduate Work Permit

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer. There are two different Categories that Candidate can Apply under Post Graduate Work permit and Spousal open Work Permit.

Post Graduate Work permit – In order to file a post graduate Work Permit, Applicant must also have

  • Completed a study program
    • At a designated learning institution
    • That was at least 8 months long and
    • That led to a degree, diploma or certificate
  • Maintained full-time status as a student in Canada during each semester of your study program
    • This doesn’t include your final semester, which can be part-time, or if you took an approved leave from your studies
  • Graduated from 1 of the following:
    • A public post-secondary school, such as a college, trade/technical school, university or CEGEP (in Quebec)
    • A private post-secondary school (in Quebec) that operates under the same rules as public schools in Quebec
    • A private secondary or post-secondary school (in Quebec) that offers qualifying programs of 900 hours or longer, that leads to a diplôme d’études professionnelles (DEP) or an attestation de spécialisation professionnelle (ASP)
    • A Canadian private school that can award degrees under provincial law (for example, Associate, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree), but only if you’re enrolled in a study program that leads to a degree as authorized by the province.

Extension of Work Permit

Overview of Extension of Work Permit – In order to work for longer period of Time in Canada, Work Permit Extensions can be filed. Applicants can apply this extension if

  • Want to extend your work permit
  • Need to make changes to the conditions on your work permit, such as:
    • The type of work you can do
    • The employer you can work for
    • Where you can work

Extension of Spousal open Work Permit – In order to file an extension of a Spousal open Work Permit, your spouse or common-law partner should have

  • Have a valid study permit or a work permit and
  • Are should be a full-time student or should be employed in a firm at NOC O, A or B Category job.

Employer-specific work permits –You need to apply to extend or change the conditions of your work permit if:

  • Your job is extended
  • There are changes to your current job, such as:
    • A change in your pay
    • New responsibilities
  • You’re offered a different job
  • You want to work for a new employer

You can’t start working at a different job or for a new employer until you get your work permit with the new conditions.

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