Open work permits

Am I eligible to work in Canada?

To work in Canada you must have a valid work permit. A work permit can be employer specific or an open work permit.

What is an open work permit?

An open work permit allows you to work with any employer in Canada.

Who can obtain an open work permit?

There are different programs available to obtain an open work permit:

  • IEC: Working Holiday Visa
  • PGWP: Post-Graduate Work Permit
  • Spouse of study permit holder
  • Spouse of work permit holder
  • Co-op program
  • Some permanent resident applicants

What is an LMIA?

It is a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This is an application that the Canadian Employer has to submit. Through an LMIA, the employer must demonstrate that it has not succeeded in recruiting Canadian Citizens or Canadian Permanent Residents. 

What is a PGWP?

A Post-Graduate Work Permit, is an open work permit available to students who have successfully completed their full-time studies (of 8 months or more) in Canada. Not all Designated Learning Institutions are approved to award PGWP. The institutions and degree/certificate/Diploma must be approved by the Canadian Government to provide PGWP. Check with us if you have questions regarding your institution.

How can I get a work permit to work in Canada?

Because there are many different options to obtain a work permit. The best thing is to book a consultation with us and we will advice on the type of work permit that suits you and your job offer. 

Work Permits and Free-Trade Agreements

Which countries have free-trade agreements with Canada?

The following countries have free-trade agreements with Canada that have provisions for work permits: United States, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Korea and citizens of the European Union.

What are the benefits to apply for a work permit based on a free-trade agreement?

The most important one, is that if you are eligible for a work permit under a free-trade agreement and you have a job offer from a Canadian company, then your employer does not need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

Is any job offer sufficient, if I am from a country with a free-trade agreement?

No. The job offer must also be in an occupation that is covered by your country's free-trade agreement with Canada to apply under this category and benefit from the LMIA exemption. Each agreement has its own list of the specific occupations that are eligible for work permit, and only work in one of those occupations will be eligible for a work permit.


Do I need to provide Biometrics to get a foreign work permit?

Generally work permit applicants need to provide their biometrics, with these exemptions:

  • U.S. nationals;
  • Children under the age of 14;
  • Applicants over the age of 79;
  • Temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress.

If you're in Canada and you apply for an initial work permit, you need to give biometrics. To do this, you may need to leave Canada.