The Government of Canada this week announced that beginning later this month, individuals who applied for the recently opened pathway to permanent residence will be eligible for an open work permit while they wait for the results of their application.

In May, the government opened an accelerated pathway to permanent residency for more than 90,000 essential workers and international students who have graduated from a Canadian institution. To qualify for the accelerated pathway individuals must be legally working in Canada at the time of their application and maintain their temporary resident status until a decision is made on their application for permanent residence.

Many whose status is set to expire can extend their work permit under an existing program or receive a new permit under one of the temporary measures put in place as a result of the pandemic, such as the public policy for post-graduation work permits holders.

However, the government has recognized the potential disruption and uncertainty for applicants who have an expiring work permit and has been working to ensure that anyone who does not qualify for any existing measures will not lose their temporary status and work authorization.

To qualify for this one-time open work permit, applicants must show that they:

  • Have successfully applied under one of the new permanent residency pathway streams.
  • Held a valid work permit or were authorized to work without a work permit, at the time their permanent residence application was submitted.
  • Hold a valid work permit that is set to expire within the next four months.
  • Have temporary resident 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 was submitted.
  • Were employed in any occupation at the time their permanent residence application was submitted.
  • Meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied at the time they applied for permanent residence.

“Our new pathway to permanent residence for 90,000 essential workers and international graduates is a major step forward – the size, speed and scope of which is unprecedented,” said Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. “This new open work permit ensures that those who have been playing critical roles throughout the pandemic can continue their extraordinary service.

“Our message to them is simple,” he said. “Your status may be temporary, but your contributions are lasting – and we want you to stay.”


Published on July 16, 2021.