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How to Apply for Open Work Permit in Canada

March 15, 2023BY Faisal Mustafa

Are you looking for a job opportunity to broaden your professional career abroad? Then you can apply for an open work permit in Canada. You can work for any Canadian employer in any industry and earn job experience with an open work permit.

Canada is a popular choice to live and work because of its kind people, exciting cities, and breathtaking natural scenery. With many requirements and procedures, the application process can be quite complex.

We will walk you through every step of the application procedure for an open work permit in Canada, from evaluating your eligibility to submitting your application. 

What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit is a type of work where the person can work for an employer in any location within Canada for a specific period. It is issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to work for any Canadian employer.

Open work permits are not job-specific and do not require a job offer from a Canadian employer at the time of application. As a result, individuals with open work permits can switch jobs in any location in Canada. They also have the freedom to work for several employers.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for an Open Work Permit in Canada?

Candidates must fulfill certain requirements to apply for a Canada Work Permit to prove their eligibility.

The eligibility requirements are as follows –

  • Evidence showing that you’ll leave Canada after your work visa expires.
  • Evidence of the financial resources. It means how you can support your family’s stay in Canada throughout the work permit’s validity.
  • Proof showing that you have no criminal record.
  • Medical documents attest to your good health, and have a medical exam.
  • Willingness to follow the rules and regulations outlined in your work permit
  • Proof of language proficiency, biometric data, and insurance.

Who are Eligible to Apply for an Open Work Permit?

Those applying for an open work permit must be under the following criteria. There are 2 categories for an open work permit:

  • Unrestricted work permits
  • Restricted work permits.

Unrestricted Work Permits

The unrestricted work permits allow you to work under any employer in any location in Canada.

This applies to:

  • An international student who is eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program 
  • A student who can not bear the costs of the studies.
  • Applied for Canadian permanent residency.
  • Spouses or common-law partners of the Canadian citizen.

Restricted Work Permits

With a restricted work permit, one can only work for a specific employer.

It applies for:

  • Those who are dependent family members of a permanent resident applicant
  • A refugee claimant
  • Those who are temporary resident permit holders
  • Participating in a particular government program

How to Apply for an Open Work Permit?

Follow the below steps to apply for an open work permit in Canada.

Gather Documents

You should gather all the required documents before applying for an open work permit. Different documents may be required depending on your country of residency and the type of open work visa you are applying for. 

Some of the common documents are:

  • A valid passport
  • A copy of your national ID card and other legal documents of your country.
  • A certificate of police clearance (if applicable)
  • Evidence of financial resource
  • The application form
  • Other necessary paperwork required for particular work permit category

Complete Application Form

After gathering all the necessary documents, you must complete the application form carefully. Fill out the required fields in the form accurately. An incomplete application form will not be accepted and will lead to the refusal of your application.

Some of the common application forms for the category of open work permit are- 

  1. Application for Work Permit (IMM 1295)
  2. Family Information Form (IMM 5707)
  3. Document Checklist (IMM 5583)

Pay the Application Fee

You must pay a processing fee when you submit your application. Whether you submit your application online or by mail, the application fee will vary according to the open work permit you applied for. The IRCC website has the most recent fees listed. 

Generally, the open permit holder fee is $100, and the work permit fee is $155.

Submit the Application

When you have completed the application form and paid the processing fee, you can now submit your application form. Try to follow the submission instructions and include all the necessary documents. 

Here are some ways you can apply:

  • Apply through the IRCC website
  • Send a mail to the appropriate IRCC office in Canada
  • Apply in person at a visa application center in your country.

What Happens After I Apply?

The processing time depends on the category of open work permit and the volume of applications. Processing time will be longer during peak periods. Hence, it is always better to apply in advance.

After receiving the application, IRCC will examine all of the supporting documentation. You will receive a letter from the IRCC within a few weeks to a few months. Again, IRCC may contact you if extra paperwork is required. After that, IRCC will issue an open work visa if the application is accepted.

On the other hand, if the application is refused, IRCC will notify the reason you have been rejected for.


Those who desire to work in Canada and gain experience can apply for an open work permit. You can improve your chances of a successful application by following the above-mentioned processes, which include confirming your eligibility, collecting necessary papers, carefully filling out the application forms, paying the costs, and submitting your application.

Remember, it is always advised to speak with a professional immigration lawyer if you have any questions or concerns throughout the application process. Therefore, go ahead and apply for a work visa in Canada.


How do I get an open work permit in Canada?

You must stay in Canada when you apply for an open work permit. Apply for the specific date for the employer-specific work permit. Try to have a valid status when applying for a work permit in Canada.

What documents do I need for an open work permit in Canada?

The required documents for an open work permit are:

  • A valid passport for proof of identity
  • Verification of Canadian employment
  • Relationship documentation 
  • Other document papers

Can I apply for an open work permit without a job offer in Canada?

Canada does not require a job offer, LMIA, or employment confirmation letter. With an open work permit, the person can apply for any type of employment in Canada.

How much is the open work permit fee in Canada?

Applicants from within Canada should pay fees for the open permit holder charge of $100 and the work permit cost of $155.

Is IELTS required for a work permit in Canada?

You must pass a language test to demonstrate your English language ability. Suppose you want a work visa, professional registration, or permanent residency in Canada. In that case, the IELTS General Training test may be sufficient to meet the requirements of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

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    Frequently Asked Question

    To get permanent residency, you have to live for at least three years in Canada. You also need some other documents to apply for Citizenship.

    In generally takes six months to get the citizenship after taking the Citizenship Test and Interview.

    People aged between 18 to 54 have to take the citizenship test and Interview.

    Oath taking ceremony generally takes 45 to 60 mins to complete. However, the time may vary upon the number of applicants and citizens.

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    The total fees for applying for Citizenship in Canada is CAN $ 630. Among the prices, $530 is for processing fee, and $100 is for the right of  Citizenship fee. But for minors aged under 18, the processing fee is $100.