Open work permit – General processing and issuance – International Mobility Program

Mercan Canada Employment Philippines. Inc.

Open work permit – General processing and issuance – International Mobility Program

An open work permit can only be issued to a foreign national under one of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemptions.

The instructions on this page should be reviewed in conjunction with the following information:

An open work permit enables a person to work for any employer for a specified period of time. An open restricted permit may restrict the occupation or location but not the employer.

Note: Although there are no restrictions on the open work permit concerning the employer name, the foreign national is still subject to the general conditions imposed on all temporary residents under subsection 183(1) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), including paragraph R183(1)(b.2), which states that the foreign national cannot work for an employer who is ineligible (see Public list of employers who have been non-compliant.

Open work permit holders also cannot enter into or extend an employment agreement with an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massage.

A foreign national may apply for an open work permit outside Canada, at a port of entry or after arrival to Canada, as per program requirements.

On this page

Types of open work permits

There are 2 types of open work permits:

  • unrestricted
  • restricted, which can mean
    • occupational restrictions, for example, depending on the applicant’s medical status [R185(b)] or work permit category
    • location restrictions, for example, depending on the category (such as a bridging open work permit under the provincial nominee class)

Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS): Unrestricted

Under the Application screen, enter the following:

Field Selection or input
Province of destination Unknown
City of destination Unknown
Exemption code Enter the LMIA exemption code of the program requested.
NOC 9999

  • No other code should be used.
Intended occupation Open
Employer Open

Medical conditions to be imposed for an unrestricted open work permit

The unrestricted work permit can be issued to any eligible applicant who has passed an immigration medical examination with a result of M1, M2 or M3 (medical examination passed), or who has failed the medical examination due to excessive demand concerns (M5) but satisfies the criteria of section R206 or paragraph R207(c) or (d).

Note: Medical surveillance must be imposed for persons whose surveillance code is S.2.02 or S2.02U. Remarks on the permit should indicate “medical surveillance required”.

Work permit issuance in GCMS: Occupation or location restricted

On the Application screen, enter the following:

Location restriction
Field Mandatory Selection or input
Province of destination Yes Enter the province employment is restricted to as per the requirements of the LMIA exemption category.

For example, bridging work permits issued to provincial nominees are restricted to the province of nomination.

Exemption code Yes Enter the LMIA exemption code of the program requested.
NOC Yes 9999 if not occupationally restricted

or

if there is an occupation restriction, enter the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for the occupation

Conditions Yes Not authorized to work at any other location
Occupation restriction
Field Mandatory Selection or input
NOC Yes, when program occupation restriction NOC code as per the program restriction

For example, FMIOA interns or caregivers

Conditions Yes, when program occupation restriction Not authorized to work in any other occupation
NOC Yes, when medical result is M3 or M5 and there is an occupation restriction 9999
User remarks Yes, when medical result is M3 or M5 and there is an occupation restriction The occupational restriction stated in the medical narrative should be imposed under section R185.

For example, if the panel physician noted that the person should not be a pilot or work at heights or near open machinery, the officer should impose the condition “Not authorized to work in occupations involving heights or open machinery or as a pilot” in the User remarks field.

NOC Yes, when no medical examination completed 9999
Conditions Yes, when no medical examination completed Where a foreign national has not completed an immigration medical examination, conditions must be imposed restricting specific occupational sectors, as per Medical conditions to be imposed for occupation-restricted work permits.

Important: Persons assessed as M4 or M6 (risk to public health or safety) are not allowed to work. If the condition is controlled, a new medical examination is required before a work permit may be issued.

Medical conditions to be imposed for occupation-restricted work permits

If a medical examination was not completed, one of the conditions below must be imposed. The specific occupational sector restriction will depend on whether the person has resided in a designated or non-designated country.

For persons from non-designated countries, the following condition should appear on the work permit:

“Not authorized to work in 1) child care, 2) primary or secondary school teaching, 3) health services field occupations.”

For persons from designated countries, the following condition should appear on the work permit:

“Not authorized to work in 1) child care, 2) primary or secondary school teaching, 3) health services field occupations, 4) agricultural occupations.”

Note: For clarity, “occupations” in the medical condition as written in GCMS means “settings” as per the If the duration of the visit is six months or less instructions. For example, all occupations in a hospital from janitor to doctor require a medical exam, not just those who are in health service occupations, and all employees in a day care require a medical exam, not just the teachers.

Open work permit LMIA exemption categories

In addition to having to meet the requirements of who can apply at the port of entry [R198] and who can apply after entry [R199], some LMIA exemption categories have restrictions on where the person can submit their application for a work permit.

Category Before entry On entry After entry
Refugee claimants and those under an unenforceable removal order [R206(a) or (b) – code S61 or S62]
Applicants for permanent residence from within Canada [R207 – code A70]
Open work permit for vulnerable workers [R207.1 – code A72]
Humanitarian reasons [R208(a) or (b) – code H81 or H82]
Canada World Youth Program participants [R205(b) – code C20]
International Experience Canada (IEC): Working Holiday participants [R205(b) – code C21] (there are also specific recognized organizations whose participants receive open work permits) Footnote * Footnote **
Family members of foreign representatives and of military personnel who are LMIA exempt [R205(b) – code C20], where a reciprocal arrangement exists
Professional athletes who are authorized to enter Canada on the basis of paragraph R205(b) – code C20 and who require other work to support themselves while playing for a Canadian team (for instance, as part of the Canadian Football League)
Spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers [R205(c) – code C41]
Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students [R205(c) – code C42]
Bridging open work permits [R205(a) – code A75]
Open work permit pilot program for permanent residence applicants in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class [R207 – code A70]
Post-graduation work permits [R205(c) – C43]
Post-secondary co-op [R205(c) – code C32] and secondary co-op [R205(c) – code C33]
Occupation-restricted open work permit for caregivers[principal applicant: R205(a) – code C90]
[dependants: R205(a) – code C91]

Open work permit holder fee

Subsection R303.2(1) requires that a fee be payable by a person for the rights and privileges conferred by means of an open work permit only if that person

  • is intending to perform work under section R204 or R205
  • is described in paragraph R207(b) and does not have an offer of employment
  • is a family member of a foreign national referred to in paragraph R207(b)

There are exceptions to the payment of the open work permit holder fee for specific persons. Subsection R303.2(2) provides the list of exceptions.

Important: If the person applying for an open work permit is not as described above, then they do not have to pay the fee. It is not that they are exempt but that the fee is not applicable at all.

Fee exemption codes

P01: Persons who do not pay a work permit processing fee under the IRPR, with the exception of International Experience Canada participants.

P02: Members of the live-in caregiver class in Canada who have applied for permanent residence under paragraph R207(a), and their family members.

P03: Persons not listed in subsection R303.2(1) as required to pay the fee. They are not “exempt” from the fee as they are not required to pay it at all.

  • Open work permits issued based on LMIA exemptions under section R206 (S61 or S62) or R208 (H81 or H82) are not subject to the open work permit holder fee. These sections are not included in the regulation applying the fee.
  • Open work permits issued under section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (public policy or special measure) are not subject to the open work permit holder fee.