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1. What is Open-Work Permit?

An open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer he/she wants over a specified period of time. Some open work permits may restrict the kind of job or place in which the foreign national may work. A worker may apply for an open work permit from outside of Canada, within Canada or at a Canadian port of entry.


There are two kinds of open work permits:

Unrestricted open work permit

  • Under an unrestricted open work permit, a foreign national can work in any job, in any place, and for any employer.

Occupation restricted open permit

  • The foreign national can work for any employer but its restricted to an occupation.

The following types of work permits are considered open work permits:

  • Regular Work Permit
  • Post-Graduation Work Permits
  • Temporary Work Permits for Spouses/Common-Law Partners
  • Youth Program Permit
  • Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit
  • Bridging Open Work Permit

Visa Programs that require Open Work Permits:

The following visa programs use the open work permit:

2. Eligibility requirements for all applicants

There are specific requirements you need to meet depending on where you are when you apply for your work permit.

But regardless of where you apply or which type of work permit you apply for, you must

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;
  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;
  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (we may ask you to give us a police clearance certificate);
  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;
  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and
  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

3. Eligibility requirements if you apply from outside Canada 

Anyone can apply before they enter Canada. However, there may be visa office requirements that you need to meet depending on what country or territory you’re applying from.

4. Eligibility requirements if you apply from inside Canada

You can only apply for a work permit from inside Canada if

  • you have a valid study or work permit;
  • your spouse, common-law partner or parents have a valid study or work permit;
  • you’re eligible for a post-graduation work permit and your study permit is still valid;
  • you have a temporary resident permit that is valid for six months or more;
  • you’re waiting on a decision on an application for permanent residence from inside Canada;
  • you made a claim for refugee protection;
  • you’ve been recognized as a convention refugee or protected person by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada;
  • you’re allowed to work in Canada without a work permit but you need a work permit to work in a different job (this does not apply to business visitors); or
  • you’re a trader, investor, intra-company transferee or professional under the Canada – United States – Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).

5. Eligibility requirements if you apply when you enter Canada at a port of entry

 You should only apply at the POE if you meet all of these conditions:

  • You’re entering Canada from the United States.
  • You have a plan to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Canada.
    • Even if you travel from inside Canada (in other words, if you “flagpole”), you must quarantine for 14 days upon re-entry to Canada
  • You have a valid job offer.
  • You meet all other requirements to apply at the POE.

We recommend that you apply for your work permit before you travel to Canada. However, you can apply for a work permit when you enter Canada if


  • you’re applying for an open work permit
    • you must also have a valid job offer while travel restrictions are in place,


  • your employer has completed all of the required steps for your employer-specific work permit

You may need to take a medical exam before you come to Canada.

Our team at VISA HUB is here to assist you and your employer with the process. Our immigration experts have years of experience in dealing with such applications and can assist you to prepare error-free work permit application