Canada Immigration

The Different Kinds of Work Permits in Canada

When it comes to a place like Canada, at present, there are approximately 70 different immigration options that can be utilized by talented immigrants to immigrate to the country for employment. Usually, the first step in the immigration process pertaining to Canada is applying for the work permit.

One must be aware of the different options of work permits for Canada. There are a variety of permits that are based on the occupation as well as the reason for moving to the country. For instance, in case you are entering Canada with the job role of a TV host for a fixed amount of time with a job which is not just unionized but also well paid, then you would be applying for the Employer Specific Work Permit.

work permit in canada
The Different Kinds of Work Permits in Canada

What is shown on the Canadian Work Permit?

A Canadian work permit comes with four conditions. The permit shows:

– The employer you are working for;

– The kind of work that you will be doing;

– The location where you will be working and can work; and

– The duration for which you can work in the country legally

What are the Type of Work Permits in Canada?

In Canada, there are two different types of work permits. Based on your occupation and qualifications your job might fall under any of the two distinct work permit categories. The two main kinds of work permits are

  1. Open Work Permit 
  2. Employer Specific Work Permit.

What is the meaning of an Open Work Permit?

The immigration office issues an open work permit to immigrants who want to work for an employer in Canada for a specific period of time. An open work permit has two subcategories – Unrestricted Permit and Restricted Permit. The primary difference between these two permits is that the Unrestricted Permit permits the individual to work in any location and occupation whereas the Restricted Permit stays true to its name – it permits the individual to work in a certain job, however, very less freedom is provided regarding the location. 

Which Visa Programs make use of Open Work Permits?

There are a few work permits in Canada that considered to be OWP. They are:

  1. Temporary Work Permits for either Spouses or Partners;
  2. A Temporary Resident Permit;
  3. A Post Graduation Work Permit;
  4. A World Youth Program Permit;
  5. A Regular Open Work Permit;
  6. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program Spousal Permit; and
  7. The Birding Open Work Permit

In case you are keen to know more, you will get most of your information on an application for a Canadian WORK Permit in this article.

Canada also offers many visa programs that make use of Open Work Permits. They are:

  1. The Working Holiday Visa;
  2. International Experience Canada;
  3. Young Professionals Visa;
  4. Federal Skilled Worker Program;

5.Federal Skilled Trades Program;

  1. Canadian Experience Class;
  2. International Co-Op Program; and 
  3. Provincial Nominee Program

What exactly does a Bridging Open Work Permit mean?

A Bridging Open Work Permit is a unique work permit that allows you to work in Canada when you are awaiting the results of your permanent resident application. Usually, in case you have applied for any of the below mentioned permanent residency programs, you can get qualified for this work permit.

Programs That Allow You To Apply for the Bridging Open Work Permit:

  1. Provincial Nomination Programs (PNPs);
  2. Canadian Experience Class;
  3. Federal Skilled Trades Class;
  4. Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class
  5. Caring for Children Class

There are a few specific requirements that one must meet in order to apply. You must apply for it if you already reside in Canada if the expiry of your work permit is within four months or even if your work permit is valid. You must note that in case your work permit has any kind of employment restrictions, then you will be unable to apply under the PNPs. Quebec has its own specific standards and does not provide applicants with a Bridging Open Work Permit.

 Jobs that are exempt from Work Permits in Canada:

work permits in Canada
The Different Kinds of Work Permits in Canada

There are a few jobs that do not need a work permit. People can perform these kinds of jobs for a short duration, provided they enter the country legally. The jobs are:

  1. athletes and coaches who work for international teams
  2. aviation investigators
  3. expert witnesses
  4. clergy members
  5. health care students

Labour Market Opinions

Many people, however, must file for a work permit before they begin work and get wages in Canada. In order to obtain the permit, you must have an employer who is functioning in Canada. This employer will have a Labor Market Opinion (LMO) hire you. This provides your employer with a document indicating that the employer is permitted to recruit a foreign employee. To get an LMO, the employer must demonstrate to the government that for the specific employment role, no Canadians are available to fill the position. For this purpose, the employer must advertise the position nationally before applying for the LMO.

Student Work Permit

Foreign students who are studying in Canada can apply for the student work permit. A student will not require a work permit if they work on campus. In order to be eligible for the Off-Campus Work Permit, a student must be enrolled in a full-time course and must complete a minimum of six months of studies. This is a part-time work permit which lets the student work for about 20 hours a week while they study. Once the student completes the course, they can apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), which provides the student an open and full-time work permit. These work permits are attached to the period of the student’s prior term of study and might be valid for about three years. Once a student works in a skilled occupation for a minimum of one year, those who have a PGWP can apply for permanent residency under the CEC or Canadian Experience Class.

Spousal Work Permit

Spouses/common-law partners of a student or a worker in Canada can apply for the open work permit to permit them to get employed in Canada for a period similar to the study permit or the work permit of their partner or spouse.


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