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?
- A common-law partner or spouse of some (TFWs) Temporary Foreign Workers
- some international student’s common-law partner or spouse
- Specific international students who have graduated from selected Canadian programs
- A permanent residency applicant who has submitted their application via the inland spousal sponsorship route
- Some selected participants in the IEC (International Experience Canada) program.
- A refugee claimant, protected person, and refugee and members of their family
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.
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.