Open Work Permits for Essential Workers and International Graduates

Last updated: 28 April 2022

Open Work Permits Canada V2

Canada offers an open work permit to those who have applied to IRCC's Essential Workers and International Graduate immigration programs in 2021.

Are you interested in applying? We can help. Cohen Immigration Law is a leading Canadian immigration law firm with over 45 years of experience.

Complete our contact form to receive a free consultation from a Cohen Immigration Law expert on how to obtain this open work permit.

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Individuals who have applied for permanent residence under Canada's pathway for essential workers and international graduates in 2021 may also apply for an open work permit.

Background Information

  • An applicant's spouse or common law partner as well as their dependent children 18 years or over can also be eligible to apply for an open work permit under this policy so long as they also live in Canada.
  • Applications will need to be submitted online.
  • Effective summer 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will offer work permits under this policy that will be valid until 2024.
  • If you have applied to extend your permit permit before your current one has expired, you can maintain your status and have authorization to work without a work permit under the same conditions as your original work permit while the new permit is undergoing processing. 

Eligibility Criteria 

To be eligible for this one-time temporary policy, you need to show IRCC that you:

  • have submitted an immigration application under one of the streams for essential workers and international graduates in 2021
  • have held a valid work permit or were authorized to work without a work permit or under any public policy when you submitted your immigration application
  • hold a valid work permit that will expire within the next 4 months
  • have temporary resident status or maintained status or are eligible to restore your status at the time you submit your open work permit application
  • are in Canada when you submit your open work permit application
  • were employed in any job when you submitted your immigration application
  • meet the language criteria of the immigration stream you applied under

How to Apply

Applications can only be submitted online. It is not possible to apply at a port of entry.

If you are unable to apply online, due to a disability or your Internet connection, IRCC allows you to submit a paper application.

Here are the steps you will need to follow as part of the application process:

Step 1: Make sure you have access to a scanner or camera so you can upload your documents electronically and have a debit or credit card to pay the processing fee.

Step 2
: Pay the processing fee before you begin your online application.

Step 3
: Create your account and sign in to receive a personalized document checklist and instruction guide from IRCC to help you complete the forms.

Step 4: Fill out the required forms.

Step 5: Upload the documents required to complete your application.

Some of the documents you will need include a copy of your fee receipt, proof that you were legally working at the time of your application (for example, a work permit), proof of your language test score, a copy of your passport, a digital photo, and a family information form.

About the Cohen Immigration Law Firm

Cohen Immigration Law is one of Canada's leading immigration law firms. We have over 45 years of experience and feature a team of over 60 Canadian immigration attorneys, paralegals, and other dedicated professionals. Cohen Immigration Law offers expertise assisting workers and employers in obtaining Canadian work permits. Our Work Permit Team is here to help:

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