Types of work permits


Most people need a work permit to work in Canada.


There are 2 types of work permits: Open work permits and employer-specific work permits.

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer:

-who is listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with the conditions or

-who regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages

You can only get an open work permit in specific situations.


You may be eligible for an open work permit if you:

-are an international student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program

-are a student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student)

-have an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada

-applied for permanent residence in Canada

-are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence

-are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student

-are the spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

-are a refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member

-are under an unenforceable removal order

-are a temporary resident permit holder

-are a young worker participating in special programs

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible.


An employer-specific work permit allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which include:

-the name of the employer you can work for

-how long you can work

-the location where you can work (if applicable)


Ask us to find out what kind of work permit you can apply for and what the next steps are.

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