New Open Work Permits are Being Introduced for Essential Workers and International Student Graduates in Canada

Are you an essential worker or a graduate? If so, you may be eligible to apply for the new pathway to permanent residence in Canada to get a work permit while you await the results of your application.

Canada Immigration Minister, Marco Mendicino, made the announcement that starting July 26, temporary residents hoping to become permanent residents may be eligible for an open work permit while their applications are being processed. 

What does this entail? Essentially, those who applied for the new pathway to permanent residence do not have to worry about the expiration of their Temporary Residence Permit. Also, should their current permit expire before their application for permanent residence is approved or denied, they can apply for this new work permit. 

Prior to this change in procedure, immigration applications were unable to apply for an Open Work Permit, which Express Entry applicants were able to do. Without this possibility, applicants would be at risk of having to depart Canada while they awaited the results of an application to a program that is intended to assist them in staying in Canada. Should the applicant’s work permit be approved, it will remain valid until December 31, 2022. 

This new policy comes at a time during which ensuring that those who have been playing critical roles throughout the pandemic are important to recognize so that they can continue their service. 

While there are currently options in place to help keep people in Canada, this new policy bridges some gaps. Namely, international students were able to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit up until July 27. However, with this new option, they have until November 5 to apply. 

Am I Eligible? 

Applicants must show that they:

  • Have applied under one of the new permanent residence pathways;
  • Were authorized to work at the time of their application;
  • Hold a valid work permit that is set to expire within the next four months
  • Have temporary residence status, maintained status, or are eligible to restore their status at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • Are in Canada at the time their open work permit application is submitted;
  • Were employed in any occupation at the time their permanent residence application was submitted; and 
  • Meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied at the time their application was submitted.

This new open work permit program is also open to the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner, as well as any dependent children over the age of 18, as long as they are also in Canada.

Additionally, if your current work permit is set to expire soon and you have applied to extend it before it’s expiration, you may be able to maintain your status. This benefit would give you authorization to work without having a permit under the same conditions as your previous permit. 

If you are interested in more information about how to obtain a Work Permit in Canada, please visit our website here. Further, if you require more information about Study Permits in Canada, please visit our website here.