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Canada Work Permit

Canada Open Work Permit Vs. Closed Work Permit

Canada is an attractive destination for expats who wish to lead a better life in a developed country. However, finding a work in this country legally requires a Canada work permit. This allows foreign nationals to make use of job opportunities in the country for a specified time frame.

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the top occupations for work permit holders in Canada include retail salespersons, software engineers, and food service supervisors among others. In a Canada Skilled Migration channel an immigrant can either choose for a flexible work permit that allows them to work for any of these industries or a rigid work permit with fixed industries and employers to work with. These options known as open work permits and closed work permits respectively have their advantages and disadvantages. Weighing both sides is essential to pursue the right work permits that fit one’s requirements.

Open Work Permit

It is a work permit that facilitates arriving in Canada without any job offers. With this permit, a candidate can search for jobs across industries and choose one that suits them perfectly. The Canadian authorities will check your eligibility before offering work permits under this scheme. The following are some categories usually considered eligible for this scheme:

  • An international student eligible for Post-Graduation Work Permit Programme in Canada.
  • The dependent of a permanent residency applicant or the spouse of a skilled worker or a master’s or doctoral degree student. 
  • A refugee or their family members. 
  • A temporary residence permit holder
  • Students who are unable to meet their cost of studies.

The Context

According to a European Union announcement these rules come in the context of an EU-India Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility which demands comprehensive cooperation on migration policies between EU and India.

The advantages of Open Work Permit

  • Flexibility: As mentioned earlier this permit doesn’t restrict workers with a particular employer. 
  • No Job Offer Required: The immigrant doesn’t have to submit a job offer for permit processing.
  • No LMIA Required: A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) is not required as a requisite for this permit. 
  • Career Development: Flexible work permits allow immigrants to shift careers and follow the most ideal path for their career development. 
  • Permanent Residency Channel: The experience acquired through open work permit channels can be used to support the application for permanent residency.

Disadvantages of Open Work Permit

  • Limited Duration: An open Canada work permit is issued for a limited duration like 1 to 2 years. It has to be renewed after this period to continue work. 
  • No Job Guarantee: It is the applicant’s responsibility to find a job once they land in the country. There is no guarantee to find a job.

Closed Work Permit

In this scheme, an employee who has attained a job offer from an employer is given a permit to come and work in Canada.

Advantages of Closed Work Permit

  • Job Security: Since you have already got a job offer there is no need to worry about finding a job post arrival. 
  • Faster Processing Time: Since the job has been secured already the Canadian authorities will not have to spend much time on the candidate’s eligibility to reside and work in the country. So faster processing of permits in the range of 1 to 2 months can be ensured.

Disadvantages of Closed Work Permit

  • Limited Job Mobility: The employee is restricted to one industry and a particular employer. 
  • LMI Assessment: An employer needs to prove the unavailability of Canadian citizens and residents to fill this role with a Labour Market Impact Assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC). This makes it tougher to obtain permits through closed work permit schemes. 
  • Dependency on Employer: The employment conditions and job security depend on the employer. Even though there is an option to look for Canada skilled migration in open work permit schemes in case of abuse or chances for abuse it could be a troublesome affair for novice immigrants.


By now you must have become capable of selecting the right work permit scheme for your immigration into Canada. However, there could be complex paperwork and compliance requirements that any applicant finds a headache. In such scenarios, it is better to get assistance from an immigration consultant who can help process your Canada work permit without any hiccups. Such professional assistance like the one provided by Trenity Consultants will save you much trouble while you prepare mentally for a new life in Canada. 


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