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The open work permit: what is it and who can benefit from it?

work permit permis de travail

work permit permis de travailTo work in Canada you need a “work permit“. There are two types of work permits: (1) the open work permit and (2) the employer-specific work permit called a “closed work permit”.

Find out which one best suits your needs.

1) The open permit

The open work permit allows foreigners to work for any employer for a pre-determined period of time. It is therefore the ideal option for international students after a qualifying degree. Young people between the ages of 18-35 are also eligible under the Working-Holiday program. This open permit is also given to spouses in Canada who have submitted a sponsorship application. It is also issued to specific temporary residents and refugee claimants. The open permit allows you to work, regardless of where or for whom you work in Canada. It does not allow work related to nude or erotic dance activities, escort services, or erotic massages.

2) The closed permit

The employer-specific work permit, known as a “closed permit”, is tied to a job specified in advance. This permit provides the opportunity to work under the conditions specified on the permit. The following must be identified: the name of the employer, the specific job title, the location (place, city, and region), and the length of the authorized work period.

For example, foreigners working in jobs related to health or education hold closed permits.

If you live in Canada and are applying for permanent residence directly to the federal government or through a provincial program, you may be eligible for a bridging work permit with a specific employer.

How do I apply for a work permit?

Such a permit is obtained by applying from outside or inside Canada. All paid and unpaid employment requires a permit. Exceptions exist and many jobs do not require a permit. However, in order to hold other jobs, a complex formality, the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), must first be completed. Thus, will escape this formality to obtain a permit:

  • executives of multinational companies,
  • transferred skilled workers,
  • young professionals between 18 and 35 years old,
  • students in Canada, for mandatory internships or after graduation,
  • Spouses in Canada in visitor status with a sponsored residency application in process,
  • persons selected or nominated by a province, awaiting permanent residence,
  • Vulnerable persons or persons without financial means, or under temporary residence permits,

However, for many jobs, it is necessary to apply for an LMIA before applying for a closed permit. This application for an LMIA demonstrates that the job offered to the foreign worker is in short supply and that no Canadian applicant can fill it.

Of course, there are several nuances and in addition, Quebec has its own criteria for the LMIA. The approval of the application for an LMIA is a prerequisite to the application for a permit.

Consulting an immigration lawyer will allow you to simply find out what type of work permit you are eligible for and the requirements specific to it. He will help you through the preliminary steps to apply for one.

For more information, click here.

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