Open Work Permit (OWP)

Rameh Law > Open Work Permit (OWP)

Open Work Permit (OWP)

The OWP program can be your best option to enter Canada and work in any Province or territory with little or no restrictions. You do not need to confirm that you have secured a job with a Canadian employer before applying for an OWP. Moreover, holders of Open Work Permits don’t need to have a positive Labor Market Impact Assessment as a precondition for applying for any work in Canada.

Who is eligible for OWP?​

Inland Sponsorship

​If you are a common-law partner or spouse of a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, and you are under the inland sponsorship category of the Family sponsorship class, you may qualify for an OWP while your permanent residency application is being processed. This allows you to work in any job anywhere in Canada while you wait for your PR application outcome.

Spouses or common-law partners or of Temporary Foreign Workers

Common-law partners or spouses of foreign temporary workers must show that:

  • Their Canadian partner has a job:
  • that’s at a management level
  • in a professional occupation
  • as a skilled or technical tradesperson
  • The work must be according to the NOC level A, B, or 0.

The skill level requirement (according to NOC guidelines) doesn’t apply to a principal temporary foreign worker who has already landed a provincial nomination for permanent residence.

  • The principal temporary foreign worker’s job contract in Canada is for not less than 180 days.

Common-law partners or spouses of Foreign Students

If common-law partners or spouses of foreign students in Canada are themselves, students, they may not qualify for a Canadian OWP.

To be eligible for OWP, the common-law partner or spouse of an international student in Canada must prove that the foreign student is either:

  • taking a full-time course at a Canadian degree or diploma-granting post-secondary academic institution and is pursuing a course that is publicly funded
  • Is a post-secondary graduate and holds a valid work permit for an occupation related to their training

​For a common-law partner or spouse, Canada grants an open work permit whose end period generally coincides with the end of their spouse’s temporary work permit termination date.

International Graduates

To qualify for an OWP, a graduating international student should fulfill the eligibility criteria under the PGWP (Post-Graduation Work Permit) Program.

IEC (International Experience Canada)

Canada also grants Open work permits to eligible applicants for the IEC program under the category of Working Holiday.