Most temporary work permits allow the holder to work only for the employer named on the document. In general, work permits cannot be issued without a job offer and a Labour Market Impact Assessment. However, in some circumstances, the Canadian government will issue open work permits that that not contingent upon a job offer, and that allow the holder to work for any employer in Canada.
The circumstances in which you may be able to get an open work permit include the following:
- Accompanying partners of foreign temporary workers: If your spouse or common-law partner has a valid work permit, and is working in a managerial or skilled occupation listed at level 0, A or B on the National Occupation Classification (NOC), you may be eligible for an open work permit. Your spouse or partner must have a work permit that is valid for at least six months.
- Accompanying spouses or partners of international students: If your spouse of common-law partner is enrolled full-time in a designated learning institution, or if he or she has a valid post-graduation work permit, you may be eligible for an open work permit.
- Graduating international students: You can apply for an open work permit if you are graduating from a Canadian post-secondary educational institution and you meet the criteria for a post-graduation work permit.
- ⦁ Inland sponsorship program applicants: If you are applying for permanent residence under the inland spousal sponsorship program, you can apply for an open work permit that will allow you to work for any employer while your immigration application is being processed.