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Can visitors in Canada apply for an open work permit?

Did you know that it is possible for certain people to apply for a work permit while visiting Canada? Most people think that it is difficult or even impossible to work while visiting Canada. However, this is not the case. Open work permit policies have not changed in Canada despite COVID-19 restrictions. People who can apply for an open work permit include:

  • International students who have graduated
  • Those with an employer-specific work permit

What Is An Open Work Permit?

An open work-permit refers to a work permit that is not job-specific. When applying for other types of work permits, you may need to provide information such as a Labor 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.

However, due to the nature of this specific permit not being job-specific, you do not need either of these pieces of information. However, you will have to pay the open work permit holder fee, so check what this is going to be before you apply. 

There are three types of open work permits that you need to be aware of. The Canadian Consulate is able to add restrictions onto your open work permit as they see fit. The three types are as follows:

  • Unrestricted work permits allow you to change employers, occupation and location of work
  • Restricted work permits allow you to change employers but you must remain in the same occupation
  • Restricted work permits that allow you to change employer but not the location of work

It is up to the Canadian Consulate which open work permit they are willing to provide you with.

Who Can Apply For An Open Work Permit?

There are a number of ways to become eligible for an open work permit. However, even if you do meet the initial criteria, you are still going to have to meet additional requirements where needed. Some of the eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • You are a student who is no longer able to meet the cost of studies
  • Are a dependent of a family member of someone who has permanent residence
  • Are a spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
  • Are a refugee, refugee claimant or protected person
  • Are a temporary resident permit holder

These are not the only conditions by which you will be accepted for an open-work permit, but they are some of the common situations in which people apply for this kind of permit.

How Long Does It Take To Get An Open Work Permit?

Once you have applied for the open work permit, the processing time can be anywhere from 3-27 weeks. This is going to depend on a number of factors such as your country of citizenship, and the Canadian Consulate will provide you with their decision as soon as they have one.  Before you apply for the permit and the process can begin, you need to meet all of the requirements of the work permit and have an offer of employment.

Can Visitors In Canada Apply For An Open Work Permit?

An open work permit can be issued to a foreign national but must be done under one of the Labor Market Impact Assessment exemptions. The foreign nationals may apply for an open work permit outside Canada, at the point of entry, or after their arrival to Canada. 

You are able to apply for an open work permit from inside Canada, however, the application must be submitted through the Canadian Consulate in your home country. You can also create an account and apply online through the Government of Canada website if you do not wish to submit a paper application.

Paying Open Work Permit Fees

An open work permit is slightly more expensive than an employer-specific work permit. You are required to pay the initial work permit application fee, as well as the open work permit fee. To complete this process, you will be looking at a total of $225 Canadian dollars.

Are you interested in learning more about how visitors in Canada can apply for a work permit? If so, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Our expert team at Namdev Immigration can help you navigate this process and ensure that you make the right decisions. 

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