Work Permits

Open Work Permit – is a work permit that is not job-specific and does not need  Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) or proof that an employer has submitted an offer of employment through the Employer Portal at IRCC. In other words, on the open work permit you can work for anyone and anywhere. You qualify for it when you are one of the following:

  • International student who graduated from a designated learning institution and are eligible for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program;
  • Student who’s no longer able to meet the costs of your studies (destitute student);
  • Worker who has problems with an employer-specific work permit and are being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada;
  • Applicant in waiting for permanent residence in Canada;
  • Dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence;
  • Spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student;
  • Spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program;
  • Spouses of foreign workers whose work fall under NOC skills type 0 or skill level A or B;
  • Refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member;
  • Former refugee under an unenforceable removal order, who cannot be removed for security reasons, etc.;
  • TRP holder;
  • Young worker participating in special programs;
  • In-Canada permanent resident applicants and their family members who are members of the following classes, determined eligible for permanent resident (PR) status: live-in-caregiver, interim pathway for caregivers, spouse or common-law partner, protected persons, and humanitarian and compassionate considerations (H&C);
  • Persons whose work permits were authorized by a migration office abroad, where the permit was not issued at a port of entry;

In each of these situations, you must meet additional criteria to be eligible. Arcadia will help you compile the necessary documents, prepare letters and represent your application for the open work permit firmly, persuasively and within the limits of the law. Contact Arcadia today.

Bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP) – is a special permit that lets you keep working while waiting for the results of your permanent residence application. If you applied for the permanent residence under one of these programs, then you qualify for the BOWP:

  • Express Entry;
  • Provincial Nominee Program (PNP);
  • Home Child-Care Provider Pilot or Home Support Worker Pilot;
  • Caring for children class or caring for people with high medical needs class;
  • Agri-Food Pilot.

All these programs have one common condition of eligibility for the BOWP. The applicant must be in Canada on a valid work permit that expires in 4 months or less.

Restricted Work Permit – issued as part of Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP). This permit requires Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to be submitted on behalf of the employer who is looking to hire a foreign worker. In turn, the worker needs to submit a separate application for the temporary foreign work permit overseas. Once issued, the permit will be restricted to that specific employer.

Extend Work Permit – if your original or previous work permit expired and you need new work permit to continue working in Canada, then, Arcadia can file the application on your behalf. Arcadia guides its clients through the whole process of extending their work permits.

Work Permit under International Mobility Program (IMP) – a permit does not require LMIA, but the work permit still needs to be issued based on employer’s applications to IRCC and its “A-file number.” It could be an open or restricted work permit that is built on 2 columns of the IMP: 1) Intranational agreements and 2) Canadian Interests.

Canada is a signatory to such agreements as Canada-US-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA) and Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). They let the following applicants obtain work permits under IMP:


  • Professionals (in 60+ pre-approved occupations);
  • Intra-company transferees (ICT):
    1. Executive/Senior Level Manager and Specialized Knowledge employees;
  • Business visitors (no work permit required).


  • Key Personal:
    1. Intra-company Transferees (Senior Personnel, Specialists, Graduate trainees);
    2. Investors;
    3. Business visitors for investment purposes;
  • Contractual Service Supplier and independent Professionals:
    1. Contractual Service Supplier;
    2. Independent Professional;
    3. Sort Term Business Visitors.

It is in the interests of Canada to grant work permits to the individuals who pose significant benefit to Canada. The significant experience is considered as 10 years of experience, with various accolades, recognitions, publications, etc. The following individuals are sought after by Canada:

  • Entrepreneurs:
    1. Self-employed Program: must demonstrate that starting a business in Canada would be a significant benefit to the country;
    2. Racing jockeys;
    3. Outfitters (fishing/hunting) camp owners/operators;
  • Intra-Company Transferees:
    1. Executive/managerial and specialised knowledge positions;
    2. Opened to any executive from any country;
  • Emergency Repair Personnel:
    1. Emergency repair (of regular) personnel – to prevent halt in manufacturing;
    2. Work permits are issued up to 30 days;
  • Reciprocal Work Permit Category: Formal programs like International Experience Canada;
  • Religious or Charitable Work Permit: Religious workers require work permits even if their positions are unpaid, but volunteers at religious events do not need work permits.

*CETA allows spouses of CETA Intra-Corporate Transferees are eligible for Open Work Permit for the same duration as main applicants. Such provision does not exist in CUSMA.

Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) – is an open work permit for recent graduate students. The permit is Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exempt and is issued for 8 months or 3 years, depending on a student’s length of study program.

If a PGWP application is filed improperly, then, a student is running the risk of getting the PGWP for 8 months, when he/she should really qualify for the PGWP for 3 years. Retain Arcadia today to make sure that you get the right representation and your PGWP application is approved.


Public Policy Immigration Stream

Study in Canada

Study English Online

Навчайся в Канаді