Open Work Permit

An open work permit allows a foreign national to work for any Canadian employer without the need of Labor market impact assessment (LMIA)

Open work permit can be categorized into 2 types:

Unrestricted: A foreign national who has unrestricted work permit can work in any occupation, for any employer at any location

Restricted: A foreign national who has restricted work permit can work for any Canadian employer, but the occupation is restricted owing to the applicant’s medical condition.



  • Persons who are already working in Canada and have applied for PR under the FSW, CEC, PNP, FST, humanitarian and compassionate grounds.
  • Spouse/ common law partners of workers whose work fall under NOC 0, NOC A, NOC B, spouse/ common law partners of foreign students
  • Persons who have a temporary resident permit.
  • Refugees who are awaiting the decision on their claim, persons with rejected refugee claims who cannot be removed from Canada.

Co-op Work Pemit

Any international student who is enrolled in a program that requires the student to complete a co-op or internship is eligible for a co-op work permit. Co-op or internship component must be an essential part of the program, but it should not form more than 50% of the total program of study. It will be issued for the same length of time as your study permit and allow you to work full time.


  • Work must be related to a research program
  • Students must have a valid study permit
  • Employment must be certified as part of the academic, vocational, or professional program by a responsible academic official of the institution.
  • Student must not be a medical intern or extern or a resident physician (except in Veterinary medicine)

Spousal Open Work Permit

This program allows your spouse to apply for and obtain an open work permit which enables them to work for any Canadian employer.


  • Spouses or common law partners of foreign workers whose work fall under NOC 0 (manager occupation), NOC A (professional occupation) or NOC B (technical occupation or skill trade)
  • Spouse or common law partner of foreign student at public post-secondary school.
  • Spouses or common law partners of work permit holders who have been nominated for permanent residency by province or territory, irrespective of the skill level of the principal applicant’s occupation.

Post Graduate Work Permit

This program allows international students to work for any employer for a specified period who are about to graduate from a post-secondary institution. It paves the way for permanent residency for all those students.


  1. The student must have a valid study permit.
  2. The student must graduate from a program of at least 8 months duration in any DLI (distance learning institution   ).
  3. The student must be eligible to obtain a degree, diploma or certificate.
  4. The student must apply within 90 days of successfully completing the program.
  5. The student must be at least 18 years old.
  6. In case a student is transferred from one college to another which is not DLI, only the total months of studying within DLI will be calculated.


LMIA stands for Labor market impact assessment. LMIA certified that there is a need for a foreign worker to fill the job. It also shows that no Canadian worker or permanent resident can do the job.

LMIA Process

Step 1: Employer must submit an application through service Canada for registration by providing CRA payroll account number and utility bill issued under company’s name.

Step 2: Employer must show that it made reasonable efforts to hire Canadian or Permanent resident before offering it to foreign worker

what lmia stands for

Step 3: It includes advertisements on recruitment sites and trade general newsletters, newspapers for at least 31 days (about 1 month).

Employers must submit LMIA applications with certain documents. The employer may be asked to provide:

  • Payroll records
  • Time sheets
  • A job description
  • Temporary foreign worker’s permit
  • Proof of registration with provincial/ territorial workplace safety organizations
  • Proof that the workplace is free of physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse.

LMIA exempt work permit

A work permit may be issued without an LMIA pursuant to international agreements, such as:

  • North American Free Trade Agreement — CUSMA
  • Canada–Chile Free Trade Agreement — CCFTA
  • Canada–Peru Free Trade Agreement — CPFTA
  • Canada–Colombia Free Trade Agreement — CCFTA
  • Canada–Korea Free Trade Agreement — CKFTA
  • General Agreement on Trade in Services— GATS
Ms Arpleen Kaur - RCICs Immigration Consultant
Member of RCIC Canadian Immigration

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