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
- Work permit issuance in the Global Case Management System (GCMS): Unrestricted
- Work permit issuance in GCMS: Occupation or location restricted
- Open work permit LMIA exemption categories
- Open work permit holder fee
Types of open work permits
There are 2 types of open work permits:
- 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.|
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:
|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
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|
|Field||Mandatory||Selection or input|
|NOC||Yes, when program occupation restriction||NOC code as per the program restriction|
|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.
Open work permit holder fee
- 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.