Canada: New Work Permit for Pending Permanent Residence Applications

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points 

  • On July 15, 2021 Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Minister Marco E.L. Mendecino announced that foreign nationals awaiting adjudication on recent permanent residence applications may apply for a new interim work permit. The interim work permit will be available starting July 26, 2021. 
  • This permit falls under the new permanent residence program that launched May 6, 2021. Eligible foreign nationals must work in an essential occupation or have graduated from a Canadian institution. 
  • To qualify for the permit, foreign nationals must possess legal Canadian employment at the time of applying and maintain their temporary resident status until adjudication. 


If foreign nationals’ statuses expire soon, most will be able to extend their work permit under existing programs. Alternatively, most will be able to receive a new permit under one of the pandemic-related temporary measures. IRCC recognizes potential uncertainly and/or disruption in this instance and is working to ensure that those who don’t qualify for existing measures can retain work authorization and legal status. 

Eligible applicants for this one-time interim work permit must: 

  • Have submitted a permanent residence application under one of the new pathway’s streams; 
  • Have possessed a valid work permit (or obtained work authorization) at the time they submitted the permanent residence application; 
  • Possess a valid work permit expiring within the next 4 months; 
  • Hold temporary resident status, maintained status or are eligible to restore their status when they submit their open work permit application; 
  • Live in Canada when they submit their open work permit application; 
  • Have been employed in any occupation at the time they submitted their permanent residence application; and, 
  • Meet the language requirements of the stream under which they applied for permanent residence. 

Additional Information: 

  • Applicants’ dependents (spouse, common-law partner and/or dependent children 18 years or older) may be eligible to apply for this open work permit. They must also live in Canada.  
  • Applications for this open work permit will be submitted online. Further information and instructions will be posted to IRCC’s website on July 26, 2021. 
  • Open work permits issued under this program will be valid until December 31, 2022. 

What are the Changes?  

This open work permit follows the updated permanent residence program announcements in May 2021.  

Looking Ahead 

IRCC continues to prioritize work and residence opportunities for foreign nationals, reflecting the continuous push for economic recovery. Employers with Canada-bound employees (especially those applying for permanent residence under the new streams(s)) should consider if this permit is an appropriate option.  


Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.