An open work permit (OWP) is a document that allows someone to temporarily enter and/or remain in Canada for the purpose of employment. They are issued by the Department of Immigration to spouses of international students, international graduates and their spouses, spouses of foreign workers, sponsored spouses and some other categories of foreigners. The OWP holders can work for several employers at the same time.

Open Work Permit for Spouses of International Students

Spouses of International students are among the group of foreign nationals that can apply for an open work permit within Canada. This also applies to common-law partners of the students. They may obtain an OWP if the main applicant is already holding or applying for a study permit in the academic program that is eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

The duration of the OWP for spouses of international students is determined by the duration of the study permit. Spouses of International students may work full time while their work permit is valid.

Post-Graduate Work Permit for International Graduates

International graduates of a Canadian university or college may apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), which will enable them to work full time immediately after their graduation. They can work in any job in any field and their work can be not related to their academic field.

The maximum duration for PGWP is three years and it fully depends on the length of their study. International students must apply for PGWP within 180 days after they finish their program. The date of the completion of their school is usually a graduation date or date when the college or university issues an official transcript and diploma.

Open Work Permit for Spouses of International Graduates

Spouses and common-law partners of international graduates are another categories of foreign nationals that can apply for an open work permit in Canada. Nevertheless, they may obtain an OWP only if the main applicant is either currently applying or has applied for a Post-Graduation Work Permit and possesses employment in the skilled work for a full-time (at least 30 hours a week).

The duration of the Open Work Permit for spouses of international graduates is determined by the length of their partner’s Post-Graduation Work Permit. Spouses of International graduates may work full time for any employer.

Open Work Permit for Spouses of Foreign Workers

Spouses and common-law partners of foreign workers may obtain an open work permit if the main applicant is already holding or has applied for a work permit that has been supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) or any LMIA-exempt type of work permit.

The Immigration Department issues an OWP for spouses of foreign workers for the same duration as their partner’s work permit. They also may work full-time for any employer in any location.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class

Sponsored spouses, who have submitted the application for permanent residence in Canada under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class, are eligible to apply for an OWP. The main requirement for sponsored spouses is to receive the Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR), which is the formal confirmation from Immigration Canada that their application has been received.

The Open Work Permit for In-Canada sponsored spouses is usually valid until the final decision on the PR application. Sponsored spouses can work full time in any field and for any employer.

Bridging Open Work Permit

Bridging Open Work Permits (BOWP) is an additional program that allows temporary residents to extend their stay in Canada, while they wait for a decision on their permanent residence application. An open work permit under this program may be issued until the end of the processing of the PR application.

To be eligible for BOWP, a foreign national should be in Canada and hold a valid work permit and get the Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) of their PR application under the Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Program, or any other economic immigration program.

International Experience Canada Working Holiday

Foreign youth may also apply for an open work permit to work in Canada during their stay, which is regulated by the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. An IEC working holiday open work permit will allow them to take part in cultural exchange and gain practical experience in Canada. To work in Canada under the IEC, your country must have a signed Youth Mobility Agreement with Canada. Currently, there are 33 participating countries under the Working Holiday category.

To be eligible for an IEC work permit under the Working Holiday category, foreign nationals should be in the age group of 18-30 (18-35 for some countries) at the time of applying. They also must possess a valid passport and possess enough money to support themselves in Canada. Depending on the nationality, the duration of the IEC OWP can be from 12 to 24 months.

Canada offers plenty of ways of obtaining an Open Work Permit. Schindler Visa Services will help you to find out the eligibility requirements in your case and assist with application preparation and submission!

Book a consultation about Open Work Permit with Oleg Schindler, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant!

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