Open Work Permit Requirements, Fees, & Processing Time in Canada

Canada is a fascinating place to live. Its vast, breathtaking landscape attracts many daring travelers, but it also has a lot to offer those looking to relocate and work abroad. This guide is intended for ex-pats who want to relocate and work in Canada, with a focus on the open work permit Canada. Other advantages of living in Canada include its multicultural, welcoming society, high standard of living, and low crime rate. Because of cultural similarities, UK ex-pats find it relatively easy to adjust to life in Canada. English One of the two most widely spoken languages is English. We’ll explain what it is and walk you through the requirements, application process, fees to expect, and how to extend your permit. This should give you a good idea of whether this permit is right for you and how to apply for it. We’ll also include a helpful tip for managing your finances with Wise’s multi-currency account in preparation for your big move. You’ll see how this could significantly reduce the costs of relocation.  

In Canada, what types of work permits are available?

You must first obtain a work permit in order to work in Canada. There are two kinds of work permits: open work permits and employer-specific work permits. ยน The employer-specific work permit allows the holder to work for the employer listed on the permit for a specified period of time. The employer will typically be required to have completed certain steps to assist the application, as well as provide a copy of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and a confirmed job offer. The open work permit, on the other hand, is not job-specific, so if you have one, you can work for any compliant employer. More information on which employers you can work for can be found here. What about the limitations on these work permits? For example, you might wonder if you can travel outside of Canada while holding an open work permit. Can I study in Canada if I have an open work permit? With a work permit, you can travel outside of Canada as long as you have your travel documentation, such as a Canadian temporary resident visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Unfortunately, you cannot study if you have an open work permit3. However, there are options for both work and study. International students with a study permit, for example, are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week while studying and 40 hours (full time) during summer or other regular breaks. You should be aware that you must meet certain criteria in order to be eligible for an open work permit.  

Requirements for obtaining an open work permit in Canada

The open work permit eligibility criteria are quite stringent. You must be one of the following:
  • As an international graduate of a designated learning institution, you can apply for a post-graduate work permit in Canada.
  • A Canadian citizen seeking permanent residency
  • A dependent family member of a Canadian permanent resident applicant
  • Skilled workers or international student’s spouses or common-law partner
  • A spouse or common-law partner of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program applicant
  • A temporary resident permit holder
  • A young worker who takes part in special programs
  • A refugee, refugee claimant, protected person, or a family member of a refugee
  • A student who is unable to cover the remaining costs of your studies
  • You have an employer-specific work permit, but you are being abused or are at risk of being abused because of your job in Canada.
  • As a result of an unenforceable removal order.
Be aware that there are additional conditions in addition to the ones listed. To see if you’re eligible, take a quick survey on the Government of Canada’s website.  

Acquiring a Canadian open work permit

If you’re ready to start applying, you can usually do so online6, as you can with all Canadian work permits. And this is true whether you apply from within or outside of Canada. This means you save money on courier fees for paper applications and can quickly make changes to or receive updates on your application online.  

Time required for application processing

Processing times vary depending on your application and where you apply from – the most recent information can be found here. At the time of writing, applications from the United Kingdom take approximately 4 weeks and applications from within Canada take approximately 59 days12. If you need to provide biometrics, this may also lengthen the processing time because this may need to be done in person. Make sure to account for these. Also, read about visa Canada work permit.  

How to Extend a Work Permit’s Validity

The validity of your open work permit in Canada is determined by your individual circumstances. Such as the eligibility criteria you met and the amount of time remaining on your passport13. The validity period of the permit will be determined by immigration officers. You can apply to extend your open work permit when it is about to expire, but you must do so at least 30 days before it expires14. You are then legally permitted to remain in Canada until your application is decided.


We hope that this guide has provided you with the necessary information about the open work permit in Canada. If you meet the specific eligibility criteria, the process of obtaining your permit should be relatively simple. Make sure you have all of your documents and funds ready for a smooth application process and find out if you need to arrange for biometrics. Remember that you can renew your permit if you want to continue living and working in Canada after it expires. Good luck with your relocation!
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