Keep reading if one of the following scenarios applies to you:
- You want to move to Canada permanently, but it does not seem you are meeting the immigration requirement at the moment, so you are thinking about working in Canada as your first step to make Canada your home.
- You are young and adventurous, you want to experience the summer cottage, wine-tasting, blue mountain skiing kind of lifestyle before you decided whether Canada is right for you.
- Your spouse is studying in Canada, you don’t want to be separated with him or her during the studies.
- You are being sponsored by a Canadian or Canadian permanent resident, and you want to be with your partner while waiting for your permanent residence.
Yes! If that is you, you need to apply for a work permit, specifically, open work permit. Generally speaking, there are two types of work permit that may be issued -open and closed work permit. The closed work permit will be discussed in another article.
Open work permit allows the foreign national to work for any employer within Canada. Below is an non-exhaustive list of circumstances under which the foreign national maybe qualified for an open work permit:
1. Working Holiday Visa
This type of work permit allows the applicant to fund the vacation with temporary work in Canada. The applicant can apply for this visa even before obtaining a job offer. However, the applicant’s country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows the applicant to apply for this type of work permit. Currently, countries such as Australia, Ireland, France, Belgium have an agreement with Canada.
2. Spouse Work Permit (The Other Spouse Is Studying In Canada)
The spouse or common-law partner of a foreign national may apply for an open work permit if the foreign national: is a full-time student at a: public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec private college-level school in Quebec or Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree) and has a valid study permit. The work permit is valid for the same period of time as the study permit.
3. Spouse Work Permit (In Family Sponsorship Application)
If you are being sponsored by a Canadian or permanent resident of Canada, you can apply for an open work permit while your permanent residence application is being processed. This usually takes 4- 5 months. And you must wait for your work permit application to be approved before embarking on any work in Canada.
4. Open Work Permit For Refugee Claimant
You and your family members may be eligible for an open work permit if you filed a claim for refugee protection in Canada and you’re waiting for the Refugee Protection Division (RPD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada to decide on your claim, and you cannot pay for your basic needs without working.
Even under the circumstance where your refugee claim has been rejected, if you cannot be removed from Canada for reasons beyond your control, and you cannot pay for your basic needs without working, you may still be eligible for an open work permit.
5. Bridging Open Work Permit
This type of work permit lets you keep working while you wait for the results of your permanent residence application. However, this type of work permit does not enable a foreign national to come to Canada, as it is only available to permanent residence applicants who are currently in Canada and have an existing working permit that is expiring in 4 months or less.
Generally, even if there are no specific conditions on your work permit, standard work permit conditions still apply, i.e., not work for an employer in a business where there are reasonable grounds to suspect a risk of sexual exploitation of some workers, specifically: strip clubs, massage parlours, and escort agencies.
There are multiple ways for a foreign national to come to Canada as a foreign worker. If you need a one-on-one consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer in Markham to find out which way best suits your situation, please contact us today.
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