The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada recently updated instructions on the open work permit for vulnerable workers in Canada.

The migrant workers in Canada on employer-specific work permits who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, in the context of their employment in Canada may be eligible to receive an open work permit that is exempt from the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) process, per section 207.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

The objective of the provisions is:

  • to provide migrant workers who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, with a distinct means to leave their employer;
    • This is done by opening the possibility of obtaining a work authorization for other employers.
  • to mitigate the risk of migrant workers in Canada who are leaving their job and working irregularly (that is, without authorization) as a result of abusive situations;
  • to facilitate the participation of migrant workers who are experiencing abuse, or who are at risk of abuse, in any relevant inspection of their former employer, recruiter or both; and
  • to help migrant workers to assist authorities, if required (noting that this is not required for the issuance of the open work permit), by reducing the perceived risk and fear of work permit revocation and removal from Canada.

The revised measures will benefit migrant workers in Canada who currently hold a valid LMIA-required work permit or a valid LMIA-exempt work permit; employer-specific work or migrant workers who have applied for a renewal of their employer-specific work permit and are currently authorized to work in Canada. Such workers cannot apply for an open work permit at the port of entry.

At NPZ, our U.S. and Canadian Immigration Law Specialists seek to assist clients with regard to employment and family immigration issues. If you or your friends or family should have any questions about any aspect of the Canadian Immigration Laws, please feel free to contact us at or you can call our offices at 201-670-0006 (ext. 107). We look forward to being able to assist you.