Canada announces new open work permit for recent permanent residency applicants

Author: Swift Connect |

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Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino announced a new open work permit option for temporary residents in Canada.

Starting July 26, essential workers and international graduates who applied for the recent pathway to permanent residence will be eligible for an open work permit while waiting for a decision on their application.

Those who applied for the new programs do not need to worry about their temporary status expiring. If a candidate’s current work or study permit expires before the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approves or denies their application, the candidate may apply for this new work permit.

The new work permits issued under the new policy will be valid until December 31, 2022.

To be eligible for the new open work permit, applicants must show that they:

  • have applied under one of the TR to PR pathways;
  • were authorized to work at the time of their application;
  • hold a valid work permit that will expire within the next four (4) months;
  • have temporary residence status, maintained status, or are eligible to restore their status at the time their application is submitted;
  • are in Canada at the time of submission;
  • 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.

The new open work permit is also available to the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner and dependent children over the age of eighteen (18) if they are also in Canada.

As well, if a candidate has applied to extend their work permit before the current one expires, the applicant may be able to maintain their status. This gives them the authorization to work without a permit under the same conditions as the original permit, while IRCC process a new permit.

Before this announcement, these immigration applicants could not apply for a bridging Open Work Permit (BOWP), as Express Entry applicants with soon-to-expire documents can. This is due to technicalities in Canadian policies. Express Entry is a permanent program, while the temporary residence to permanent residence (TR to PR) pathway is not.

Without this new open work permit, applicants run the risk of having to leave Canada, even though they already applied for a program to keep them in Canada.

One existing option that international graduates have is to apply for a new Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP), as per the temporary measure launched in January. However, this opportunity will end on July 27, 2021.

More information on how to apply for the new work permit will be released on the IRCC website on July 26, 2021.