Canada to introduce new open work permit for essential workers and international student graduates

Temporary residents who applied for the new pathway to permanent residence for essential workers and graduates can now get an open work permit while they wait for the results of their application.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has announced a new open work permit option for essential workers and international student graduates in Canada.

“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 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.”

How to qualify for the new open work permit

In order to be eligible for this one-time open work permit, applicants must show that they:

  • have applied under one of the new permanent residence pathways;
  • were authorized to work at the time of their application;
  • hold a valid work permit that is set to expire within the next four months;
  • have temporary residence status, maintained status, or are eligible to restore their status at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • are in Canada at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • were employed in any occupation at the time their permanent residence application was submitted; and
  • meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied at the time their application was submitted.

The open work permit is also available to the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner and dependent children over the age of 18, as long as they are also in Canada.

Also, if you have applied to extend your work permit before your current one has expired, you may be able to maintain your status. This would give you authorization to work without a permit under the same conditions as your original permit, while IRCC processes a new permit.

More details on how to apply for the new open work permit online will be added to IRCC’s website on July 26, 2021.