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New open work permit for essential workers and international graduates

Mohanad Moetaz - 15 July, 2021

New open work permit for essential workers and international graduates
New open work permit for essential workers and international graduates

Essential workers and international student graduates who applied for the new pathway to permanent residence are now able to get an open work permit while they wait for their application to be processed.

The announcement was made by Canada's immigration minister Marco Mendicino on July 15. However, these temporary residents will not be able to apply for the open work permit until July 26.

Earlier this year, Canada launched new a new pathway to permanent residence for healthcare workers, other essential workers as well as international students who graduated from a Canadian institution. Canada is on course to welcome up to 90,000 of these temporary residents, plus an unlimited number of French-speaking temporary residents.

The new announcement means that these temporary residents will no longer have to worry about their temporary status expiring while they wait for a decision on their permanent residence application. If their work or study permit expires while they are waiting, they would be able to apply for an open work permit.

An open work permit allows holders to work for any employer in Canada. Other types of work permits are employer-specific. 

This new policy is similar to how Express Entry applicants with documents that are expiring can apply for a Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP).

The open work permits issued under this new policy will be valid until December 31, 2022.

“Our new path to permanent residence for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates is a major step forward—the size, speed and scope of which is unprecedented,” said Marco Mendicino in a news release. “This new open work permit ensures that those who have been playing critical roles throughout the pandemic can continue their extraordinary service.”

The new pathways are open until November 5, or until quotas are met. Currently, only the International Graduates pathway is full. However, French-speaking international graduates can still apply.

Get assistance with your open work permit application

Who is eligible for the new open work permit?

If you are interested in applying for the new open work permit, you must show that you:

The open work permit is not only available to the applicant, but also to their spouse or common-law partner, as well as their dependent children who are over 18, as long as they are residing in Canada.

If you have already applied to extend your work permit, you may be able to maintain your status. This means that you would be allowed to work without a work permit until Canada processes your application.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will release more details on how to apply for the new open work permit on July 26, 2021.

Get assistance with your open work permit application

Permanent Residence Pr Temporary Resident International Students International Graduates Immigrate Settle Work