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Canada H1B Open Work Permit Process, Documents, GUIDE

Last month at Collision 2023 conference, the Government of Canada announced a special program to attract H1B Visa holders currently living in the US and facing any issues related to immigration, or nearing their end of term, to come and work in Canada. This program opened to the public on July 16th, 2023, and is now accepting applications.

In this article, we will review the background, process, and documents required, how it would work, including the situation of H4 visa holders, and address some common FAQs. We will update this article with the latest news related to Canada’s H1B open work permit.

Background: Open Work Permit for H1B Visa holders from US

The Canadian Government on June 27th, 2023 announced the creation of open work permit for the H1B visa holders, who are working in the US in speciality occupations. Their main intent behind the program is to attract skilled workers who are ending their H1B Visa term in the US or having challenges with their visa situation due to Layoffs or other aspects.

Below are the key features of the Open work permit for H1B visa holders

  • H1B Visa holders living in the US can apply for the open work permit
  • The approved applicants will get an open work permit for up to 3 years.
  • The program will be available for one year or until the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reaches 10,000 applications
  • If approved, the dependents also can either work or study in Canada
  • Only the principal applicants are counted towards the 10,000 limit. Their dependents are not counted towards the cap.

What does Open Work Permit mean for H1B Holders?

An Open Work Permit in the context of Candadian work visa program means three key things:

  • Your work permit is not specific to a job or a type of job. You are free to work in any job. You could be flipping burgers or driving Uber; there is no restriction that you need to work in the area of your expertise or education.
  • You do not need the sponsorship of any employer to get the work permit. There is no need for a letter or confirmation that employment is available when you apply for an open work permit. It means you are not dependent on any employer or job to get an open work permit.
  • There is no need to do a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) that confirms that the job will not impact workers in Canada. This is similar to H1B Labor Condition Application(LCA).

As you can see from the above three, the open work permit is completely different from the typical H1B Visa program, where you need an employer to sponsor H1B and you need to work in the job related to your speciality occupation and you need an LCA.

Basically, the open work permit enables the H1B visa holders to enter Canada without any job offer and look for work of their choice and work in their preferred job.

Canada H1B Open Work Permit Eligibitliy

Below are the only two requirements to be eligible to apply for the H1B Visa holder’s Open work permit in Canda:

  • The applicant needs to have a valid H1B Visa based on speciality occupation.
  • The applicant needs to live in the US at the time of application.

Some of you may have H1B, but not living in the US. For those people, unfortunately, even though you have H1B Visa, you would not be eligible to apply for the H1B Open work permit. If you see, the main intent behind the program is to give an alternative for H1B Visa holders, if they have any issues with their job or visa status to stay in North America.

Documents Checklist for Canada H1B Open Work Permit

Below is the full list of required documents to apply for the H1B visa open work permit in Canada based:

  • Your valid passport or travel document. It must have one full free page.
  • Copy of your H1B Visa (if you have done US Visa stamping at a US Consulate)
  • H1B Approval Notice from USCIS. This is Form I-797A or I-797B that USCIS sends when they approve the H1B petition.
  • Proof of your stay in the US that includes documents such as those below:
    • Your US address proof, such as recent utility bills, rental agreement, etc.
    • Arrival/ Departure Record, which is nothing but Form I-94, that shows your status in the US.
    • Your Income Tax filing report
    • Any documents that prove that you are currently living in the US.
      • Your most recent US bank statements with deposits, withdrawals
      • US Driving License
      • US State ID

Fees for H1B Open work permit

The application fee for H1B Canada Open work permit is $155 Canadian Dollars(CAD). It is about 118 USD.

If you need to give biometrics, you will be charged another $85 CAD. This fee is for the fingerprinting and the photo. If you have a family of two or more, that maximum fee is $170 CAD.

If you have given any biometrics in the past 10 years, there is no need to give biometrics again. You can check for yourself, if your biometrics are valid at their website

Medical Exam Requriements

In general, for most of the general tech workers working on H1B visa, there may not be a need for medical exam when you apply for the H1B open work permit. If you work in a profession, where you interact in close contact with people like in health care settings or labs, you may not need a medical exam. You can check the requirements on Canada Immigration website, if you need it.

Now that we understand the requirements, let’s now look at how to apply for Canda open work permit for H1B visa holders.

Some users got approval for the H1B Open work permit. Check out the User Experience for H1B Canada Work Permit – Approval Letter

Step by Step Guide to apply for Canada H1B Open Work Permit

Below is the step by step guide to apply for the Canada H1B Open work permit.

Step 1: Create an Account on IRCC Portal

If you have never used or created an account with the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada(IRCC) portal system, you must create a new account.

Go to get an IRCC Portal Account page and enter your valid email id and click on get invitation code. You will get a code right away. Copy the code and click on the continue button below. It will indicate how long the code is valid for. You can use that code and signup for the account.

Below is the screenshot of the how the account creation screen and invitation code screen looks like in IRCC portal.

Create IRCC Account - Invitation Code Screen
Create IRCC Account – Invitation Code Screen

When you try to signup for the account, they will ask some basic information like Name, US Phone number and email again. You will get a code to the email and you need to use that to validate the account and activate the same. Once you activate your account, your email is verified and you will get confirmation for the same.

Step 2: Select H1B Open work Permit Options

You will be asked to accept terms and conditions, disclaimers and then eventually you will come on a page that would have 3 options. You would select the option “Apply to visit, study or work in Canada as a temporary resident” under “Start an application” section. The screenshot of it would look like below.

Select Apply for Study or Work Visa on IRCC Portal
Select Apply for Study or Work Visa on IRCC Portal

Once you select that option, you will get another screen, where you need to select “work permit” option to see the open H1B work permit option. You need to select the exact option “an open work permit for an H-1B visa holder”. It looks like in the below screenshot. You can select the province as unknown, if you don’t know the place where you would live or work.

Apply to Canada Work Permit Screen with H1B Open Work Permit Option
Apply to Canada Work Permit Screen with H1B Open Work Permit Option

Once you select the above and proceed to next step, the system will give you a list of required documents and what information you need to enter in the next steps.

You will need the below information to complete the application

  • Your personal information
  • Your passport information
  • Your finances info
  • Your education history
  • Security details and your criminal records details
  • Your medical background
  • Your family information.

Below is the exact screenshot on the IRCC portal that shows the requirements and documents that you need to apply and complete the application

Open Work Permit for H1B Holders Documents List on IRCC Portal Screen
Open Work Permit for H1B Holders Documents List on IRCC Portal Screen

Step 3: Complete the application, pay fees, submit

It is a pretty detailed form, make sure you have all the relevant information before you start filling out the information. You will need to have copies of your documents to upload and put in details in the form. You will also be asked about if you have given biometrics in the past or not and informed that you would need to pay additional fee.

You will need to enter your H1B Receipt Number details as well. You will also get an option to pay the fee as well towards the end. Once everything is complete, you will give your consent and declaration and submit the application.

Step 4: Giving Biometrics, Processing of your application

After you apply, it can take anywhere from a few days up to 6 weeks for the application to be processed. You will need to book an appointment to give biometrics and give biometrics as needed in the meantime.

Depending on your case, you maybe asked to attend an interview with an officer or asked to send more information or documents. You can check the status of your application online using the application number or your unique client identifier(UCI)

Below is the screenshot from the IRCC website that talks about the processing time stating it can take up to 6 weeks. ( it was showing 0 to 2 months before)

Processing time for H1B Visa Holder Open Work Permit - 6 weeks
Processing time for H1B Visa Holder Open Work Permit – 6 weeks

Step 5: Approval letter, Port of entry Proces

If your H1B visa holder open work permit application is approved, you will get an approval letter that says you are allowed to work in Canada in any profession or place. The approval letter is called as “Port of entry letter of Introduction“. This letter is not your actual work permit.

When you enter Canada at a port of entry(place where you enter Canada), you need to bring this letter and show it to the officer. The Officer at the port of entry would give you the actual “work permit” at the port of entry on the day you enter Canda.

The work permit that is issued to you would give you the details on how long that you can work in Canada and what are the conditions you can work under. If your passport is expiring under 3 years, your Open work Permit would be given for a shorter duration.

Canada H1B Open Work Permit – H4 Visa Holders Options

If you are a H1B Visa dependent living in the US on H4 Visa, you might wonder what are your options, when you go to Canada. Below are the options available to you to work or study.

  • You can either work or study in Canada as a dependent of H1B Open Work permit holder.
  • There are no work visa restrictions like on H4 visa in the US, you are free to work.
  • You can apply with your spouse on the IRCC portal during the initial process or apply for your dependent visa after your spouse’s Open work permit is approved.

Latest News on Canada H1B Open Work Permit

August 10th, 2023: Some users got approval for the H1B Open work permit. Check out the User Experience for H1B Canada Work Permit – Approval Letter

July 17th, 2023: The applications are closed and you cannot submit any application for H1B Open Work Permit. Below is the notice on the IRCC portal that shows the applications are closed and they reached the 10,000 cap.

H1B Public Policy for Open work permits closed
H1B Public Policy for Open work permits closed

July 16th, 2023: The applications are now open to submit an application for H1B Open Work Permit. You would see the option to select Work Permit and H1B Open work permit in the IRCC portal.

Apply to Canada Work Permit Screen with H1B Open Work Permit Option
Apply to Canada Work Permit Screen with H1B Open Work Permit Option

June 16th, 2023: Canada minister announces a new program at Collision 2023 conference to attract H1B holders currently living and working in the US. It is capped at 10,000 slots and does not include spouse and dependents for that cap. Check full details at Press Release on Tech Talent Strategy 2023.

Common FAQs

When is the last date to apply for Canada H1B Open Work Permit?

The program is available for one year or until they reach 10,000 applications. Depending on how many apply, this could be gone in no time. If the 10,000 cap is not reached, it is valid until July 15, 2024.

I have lost my job in the US, can I still apply for Open Work permit?

Yes. The whole idea behind the program is to encourage anyone in America planning to leave US to apply for this program and stay in North America.

Is there any preference given for anyone who have lost the job on H1B?

No, there is nothing that specifically tells in the guidance that H1B holders, who lost job would get preference.

What is the processing time for Canada H1B Open work permit?

It can take anywhere from few days to 8 weeks or 2 months for the process to be completed and have a decision on your applicant. It could be faster or slower depending on your

Will applying for H1B open work permit impact my Canada PR that is currently processing?

No, it will not have any impact on your Canadian PR application. The idea of the open work permit is for H1B holders to arrive in Canada, get a PR, and settle down.

I never got H1B Visa Stamping as I came to the US on F1 Visa and did a Change of Status(COS) to H1B, can I apply? What do I submit for H1B Visa?

There is no direct clarification about not having an H1B Visa stamp in the passport in the IRCC website. All they ask is anyone working on H1B Visa status in US can apply. If you do not have a valid H1B visa stamp, do not worry. Just apply with your I-797 approval notice and indicate your F1 Visa, and COS(change of status) relevant I-94 with the approval notice and put in notes, you should be good to go.

I did a mistake in my application, How do I fix it? Also, I missed some documents, can I submit later?

Yes, you can fill out the IRCC Webform to fix any errors or upload the documents that you missed submitting during the application submission process.

What do you think of the program by Canada? Would it attract more people? When do you think the quota would be done? Share your thoughts in comments section below.


Other Articles


  1. Hello All,

    If anyone of you didn’t apply for OWP for dependent spouse and study permits for kids during your H1B open work permit. IRCC has reopened the application for dependents and is allowing the filing for dependent until Sep 2024. I have applied for my dependents so taught of sharing as it will be helpful to you all.

    • Hello All,

      Just wanted to provide a quick update.
      My spouse and daughters visa application got approved today.
      IRCC took 14 days to approve work permit for my spouse and study/visitor visa approval as well. Just wanted to share so it can be helpful to someone looking for information,

  2. create a webform with newly attached passport copy they will update your application same situation to my wife we made updated and got the 3years permit.
    But unfortunately i missed to get it update in my application as dependent and I got as per her old passport which i got only for one day

  3. Hi can someone pls advice
    I got my passport renewed after I sumitted my application/biomatrics. I got a letter to send passport for stamping yesterday. Can I send my new passport or old (the one used while submitting the application)

    Pls advice if anyone in same situation thanks

    • Hi Vijay,

      I am also facing the same issue, raised an enquiry waiting for the reply.

      Let me know if you have any update


    • Hi Vijay,

      what are the options and how did you proceed , I have renewed my passport and confused if I need to send old or new passport .

      My work permit expires in 3 months , based on old passport expiry date , is what I see , Do I need to re-apply to get my work permit extended ?

  4. Hello All,

    I have received passport with W1 Visa for Primary applicant.

    1. How to apply Open work permit for dependent? what is the process?
    2. What Visa we need to apply for kids? and its related process?
    3. The duration they have provided till 2026 means even if we travel after 1 year they will give Work permit for 3 years from the day we entered Canada?

    Please clarify.

  5. July 16th: Applied
    August 4th : Biometrics
    Sept 1st : Approval and request for passport
    Sept 15th: Mailed the passport to VFS
    Sept 22nd : POE Introduction letter
    Sept 25th: Received passport with Visa

    Visa validity : 09/01/2023 to 09/02/2026

    Hope this helps.

    • Hi Satya

      Could you pls advice on below point:
      1. In vfs consent form, in page 4 it says ” Applicant wishing to provide biomatrics” and “Applicant Not wishing to provide biomatrics”

      which one you choose as we all already provided biomatrics after submitting the application and in which VAC office you sent your passport for stamping NY or LA

      2. I recently got my passport renewed, can I send new passport.
      pls advice thanks

  6. Hello Everyone,
    My application is Approved and they are asking me to send the Passport, which I am planning to do.

    1. How long will it take to complete the process and get the passport back to our hand? If any one has already completed this process please share the timeline.
    2. Are they stamping anything on the passport or will they send the letter for an Approved work permit?

    Please let me know

    • Aashika, you should receive your passport back in a week timeframe. My spouse got his passport back in a week time frame. They will have a visa stamp on your passport. By the way when did you apply and after how many days you got the approval?

      • Thanks for your reply.

        This is my timelines
        Applied: July 16, 2023
        Biometric: Aug 18, 2023
        Approved and request for the passport: Aug 30, 2023

        Passport sent on : Sep 20 2023

        Waiting till today for latest status and passport 🙁

        • RajK & Others,

          I have received my passport today with stamped W1 Visa. Total to an FRO time line is 14days.

          What we need to do next?
          Also How to apply for Dependents Open work permit?

          Please advise

  7. Has anyone applied for an Open Work Permit for a dependent spouse and a Study Permit for children after the primary applicant’s Open Work Permit has been approved? Please provide step-by-step details.

    • Shanthi, I attempted for applying for schools but my applications have been denied since i don’t have a mailing address in Canada. It looks like we need to be in Canada to apply for schools and use the acceptance letters to request study permit for kids.

      For now, i have applied for visitors visa for both my daughters and work permit for my spouse. The applications are still pending and i will update my feedback if approvals are received from IRCC.

      • Hi rajk,

        Did you include your spouse in the original application or did you apply recently after your open work permit was approved. If you did the latter option, can you explain how did you apply for her open work permit?

        • Shakir, i wasn’t able to apply along with my application as i received quota reached error. I have applied it individually for my spouse and for kids(visitor visa). You need to create a IRCC secure account and once you login. Use “Apply to come to canada” it will ask for personal reference code and if you don’t have one then under “I do not have a personal reference code” section visitor visa or work or study permit link. Click on it and it will ask you to enter some basic details in page 4. you will find this question. I selected Yes for this question and submitted my details. it will give you detailed instruction on forms to be filled and fee payment.

          I really don’t know if we can apply for a work permit directly if we miss them during our initial application. since i got mixed answers when enquired i wanted to give it atry. I will provide an update if my application gets approved. please do some follow-up from your end as well .

          Are you a spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a person who has or is applying for:

          a work permit;

  8. Updating everyone without an H1B stamp.

    I had a COS done in 2019 and never got an H1B stamp. However, I received the OWP approval.

    Applied: July 16, 2023
    Biometric: July 31, 2023
    Approved and request for the passport: Aug 29, 2023

    Hope it helps for many people without/expired H1B stamp.

  9. Is anyone here in the same situation…?

    1. Application submitted on July 16th
    2. Biomatric done – August 08
    3. Application status is still in progress….

    I’m in the US with a valid stamped H1B visa on my passport. Does anyone know how to contact IRCC regarding the application progress..?

    • I did my Biometrics on 3rd Aug, still in processing status.

      I have a question, I made a mistake while uploading the documents, I attached wrong bank statement, it doesn’t have much balance. Can I re-upload another statement? How much balance should we show for a family of three?

      • You can’t upload documents anymore, unless you are asked to. But IMO it should be OK. I didn’t include any proof to confirm my presence in US (I-94).
        I inlcuded H1B approval copy and H1B Visa stamp on passport, but technically they don’t prove my presence. But still it is approved.
        So just relax, it’ll be all good.

      • There is no set amount. Normally showing an average of 2000 to 3000 per person is best. if you don’t have enough finance you can also attach statement of pension plans like 401k for this requirement.

  10. I am applied on July 17th for me (USA) and my wife (India). I had biometrics on Aug 16th but online shows Biometrics completed as of Aug 17th, background verification is in progress. Estimated time for US residence is 3 weeks and India resident as 8 Weeks. Is this accurate or is there a way to contact IRCC for actual estimation since I am losing my mind waiting. Appreciate your feedback

    • Hi Kartik i applied on july 17th my biometrics done on july 20th but still i dont see any progress it shows we are processing your application will let u know,i dont have h1 stamp i did COS in 2021 may be that is causing delay or am not sure ,do u have stamp in your passport?

  11. I got approval on sep 2nd. Biometrics was on Aug 11th. does anyone have info on if i need to be in canada within specific time period or can i be there next year?


      • Hi Raj

        My biometric date is also Aug-09 here in US and the application status is still in progress.
        Have you applied group application or as an individual…?

  12. I have applied for the work permit for me and my family (wife & Kid).
    Q1. My kid may want to go there next year for internship or Job next year. Do I need to accompany him as I am primary candidate. My Kid is Indian citizen and on H4 in USA.
    Q2. Can we all go as tourist on this visa?

        • Hi Satya – This is interesting that the application status is not updating in IRCC account but you received a Passport request.

          Can you share some more details like, from which exact email-id you received the passport submission request…? maybe others also having the same issue and we missed/ignored the same email in our account.

          • In the home page after login to IRCC, status is shown as “submitted” (even now). But after clicking on “check full application status”, it is showing the accurate status as “approved”. So we should always check full application status.
            I got the email to the one registered with IRCC account with subject “We sent you a message about your application “.

          • Hello,

            I’ve not sent my passport yet and planning to send this week.
            Yes, I’m going to use 2way UPS service with additional 23.30 $ processing fee.

            I had a chat with VFS earlier and was told to include money order\cashier check along with passport. But today when I went to UPS, they didn’t accept my package as money orders are prohibited items for mail packages 🙂
            I’m going to contact VFS tomorrow.

  13. Hello all,

    I received the letter of introduction recently, I still haven’t received my passport . It says . The final decision to issue you a work permit and allow you to enter Canada is made after an examination by an officer in Canada . I have a few questions regarding this
    1. Does the three year validity for the OWP start after I enter Canada ?
    2. I am planning to do a Soft Landing and come back to Canada after a couple months, what all do I need to do before I leave Canada
    3. Any do’s and don’t will be helpful

    • Hello Nishanth,

      Did you received your passport back?
      How long it took to receive the passport.

      Please share the total time duration details

  14. HI, Good Article.

    I got my Canada OPEN WORK PERMIT, and I AM A H1B HOLDER IN US.

    Can you suggest what would be the process for my spouse.

    I did provide INFORMATION about my spouse IN THE INITIAL APPLICATION FORM but got nothing from Canada Immigration.

    I GOT my passport for the work permit Stamped.

    Can you suggest would be the next step to get the same for my spouse so they can enter Canada with me.

    • It depends if you selected option that you want to apply for your spouse’s work permit at that moment or your spouse will just accompany you in Canada.

      You can apply for your spouse’s work permit at later stage. Like now or even after moving there. It should be regular work permit application.

      • Please suggest what would require to accompany to Canada as there is no documentation biometric or passport stamping for them so far.

    • Hello Raj,

      Quick question,
      1. How many days it took to get your passport back? Please give timelines from the day u sent the passport.
      2. Also How you have sent the passport and to whom? VFS?
      3. Are they stamped the work permit in Passport? or they just sent the Letter for approval?
      Please share your inputs. Advance Thanks!

    • Hello Raj,

      Quick question,

      1. How many days it took to get your passport back? Please give timelines from the day u sent the passport.
      2. Also How you have sent the passport and to whom? VFS?
      3. Are they stamped the work permit in Passport? or they just sent the Letter for approval?
      Please share your inputs. Advance Thanks!

  15. I applied for OWP as a family but didn’t separately applied for spouse. I am still awaiting on my application and my biometrics was on 13th August.

    Can I somehow attach my spouse’s application to mine or apply for her work permit separately?
    When trying to apply for her in step 2:
    Step 2: Select H1B Open work Permit Options

    I cannot see the h1b option any longer(so I can add ‘for spouse in step 3’)

    It’s only giving me an option for visitor visa(And asking for invitation and my address in Canada which I don’t have since I am in US).

    How would I apply for that first and then work visa? Is there a way I can apply for her work visa?

  16. Hi All i submitted as a group application but it didn’t ask for my spouse and kid passport details only took there names and dobs ,will it ask after mine’s get approved or i did somethng mistake plz someone answer,thank u

  17. Hello all,

    after getting the approval notice, can i submit my passport to any VAC, or only to New York and Los Angeles.

    if only to New York and Los Angeles, can i courier them?

    • Hi All,

      I submitted my application 17th July and gave my biometrics last week of July. There are no further updates on application, I assume they are processing first in first out approach and is anyone is still waiting for approvals?

        • Same here. Applied on July 17th. Gave biometrics on Aug 17th. Status is “Background verification”. Please update when you see any progress.

      • Hi All,

        I also submitted my application on July 16th and my biometrics on the last week of July. I do not have a prior Canadian Visa so still its showing me application In progress. No sign of decision yet.

    • you can send to nearest VAC in your current location. i did ask this question to IRCC due to my upcoming travel and they confirmed the same. all they need is within 30 days it should reach them.

  18. Hi
    Has anyone used a renewed passport after receiving approval letter.
    I used a passport that is going to expire in 1 year during filing the open work permit. I would like to know if I can apply for passport renewal and submit the new passport once I receive work permit approval notice for stamp.
    will they accept it and give 3 year work permit with new passport or they will not accept renewed passport. Anyone successfully used renewed passport after biometric done.. pls suggest.

  19. Hi,

    I have applied for H1B open work permit on July 16,2023 and gave biometric on August 8. Not yet received approval letter. My passport expires on April 2024.
    1. Can I apply for new Passport now? (before getting approval for h1b open work permit)?
    2. If so, Will they give work permit for 3 years?
    3. How should I upload the new passport details?
    4. Or should I wait for the approval and not to proceed with new passport?

    Please suggest me. Thanks

    • Yes you can do it Karthi. Once you receive an approval on your application . you will be having 30 days to submit your passport to IRCC for stamping. I would suggest doing your application in premium processing. It is hard to say if they give approval for 1 year or 3 year but i am hoping that if you send a new passport then you should be able to receive 3 years. I don’t see any issues why they shouldn’t grant 3 years work permit. All the best.

    • Hi Karthi
      Pls update if you applied and sent new passport. Did you get 3 years or 1 year work permit.
      I am also in same situation as my passport is about to expire in Aug 2024. Thinking of applying for new passport but not sure if they accept new passport or not. Pls update if you got success, thanks

      • Hi Vijay,

        Sure. I have just started the passport renewal process. And I have not got any update on my H1B open work permit after done with Biometric on August 8th. Will let you know once I get the updates. Thank you.

        • Hi,

          AFAIK, People applied with unexpired H1B visa stamping on their passport had received CAN open work permit approval letter earlier than person who applied with expired visa but based on i797A though bio metric was given earlier.

          Looks like approval for people applied using i797 is taking more time.


        • Hi Karthi
          Any update. I saw your comment that you received new passport.
          “I just received my new passport and submitted IRCC webform. Will let you know once I get any update.”

          Could you pls let me understand what doe mean “submitted IRCC webform”. Do we need to submit new passport via web profile once we receive it OR do we need to send new passport when got an Work permit approval and they ask for stamping, any detail is highly appreciated, thanks

          • we need to inform IRCC about any changes in our situation. In this case he applied using a old passport and since he received a new one. IRCC should be notified of this change by using a IRCC webform. They will update your case file and consider the new passport when you send in for stamping. hope this helps.

    • Hi Karthi, Hope you doing well, Just want to check if you got your approval with new passport, as you metioned you submiited new passport.I am in same situation like yours, did you receive 3yrs or visa upto your old passport expiry? Did you send both old and new passport? Any help appreciated ! Will help many people in same situation.

  20. Has anyone got approved who never had H1b stamping? Like came on F1 or L1 and did change of status to H1b and never got h1b stmp on passport?

    • Sunny as long as you have a I-797 to prove that you are in valid H1B status it shouldn’t be a problem. Looks like your profile is similar to mine only difference is I had some h1b stamps in my passport. For me canada visitor visa got denied even though i had h1 stamping and consistent travels to India. In my denial letter they have mentioned that the officer was not convinced that i will leave Canada if i travel on visitor visa and proof they mentioned is my stay in USA after F1 expired and consistently working on H1b(this proved i had an immigrant intent). I was worried if my work permit will get approved but recently got an approval. so, i would say that visitor visa and work permit applications are completely different and should get approved if you can provide proof of h1b status.

  21. Hi,
    Once I get the approval letter. Could you please help to know if we can submit the passport in India or other VAC location?
    OR it need to be send only to USA VAC location ?

    Thanks a lot.

  22. Guys need help for below question. I have applied for open work permit and my application got approved and I have sent my passport as requested and waiting to get it back.

    Now i want to apply for my dependents. can someone clarify or provide suggestions for below questions.

    1) Can i apply for work permit directly for my spouse? Or should i apply for visitor visa only and later apply for work permit?
    2) For dependent children should i apply for study permit or just visitor visa?
    3) I have a US citizen minor(8 yrs old). Do we need to apply study/visitor visa for this child? If no VISA is needed how long a US Citizen reside in Canada and study?

    Appreciate if some one can guide me with these questions.


    • 1) Can i apply for work permit directly for my spouse? Or should i apply for visitor visa only and later apply for work permit?
      I believe it depends on you whether you would like to apply for your spouse work permit or not. In my case we both applied together for the work permit.
      2) For dependent children should i apply for study permit or just visitor visa?
      I also applied for my 2 year old study permit alongside us who is also a US citizen, but today received a withdrawal letter stating the kid not of the schooling age. So in your case it seems you need to apply for a study permit.

      • Hi,
        Once I get the approval letter. Could you please help to know if we can submit the passport in India VAC location or it need to be send only to USA VAC location ?

        Thanks a lot.

      • Chaitanya, thank you for the quick reply. I had some issues submitting application for my spouse along with my application.
        By the time i submitted it, i got a message that quota has been reached and only my application was completely received by IRCC and approved.
        Now i want to apply for my spouse, I was trying to understand if i need to do a visitor visa first and then apply for work permit. Or directly can i apply for work permit.

        For kids to apply for study permit they are asking for acceptance letter. Does primary schools provide this certificate?

        Any advise you can provide how you got this document for your child to apply for study permit?


    • I think you should first apply for your spouse work permit if your spouse want to work. As your kid is US Citizen he/she can enter Canada without a visa. But study permit is required to get your kid enrolled into a school.

  23. i got my POE letter this Friday, did anyone try to enter Canada with POE letter? i want to understand couple of things.

    1) can we still work in US with H1-B and stay in Canada?
    2) if we are moving should we need to clear the loan of car or we can still use US plates ?

  24. Hi guys, I also applied for the Open work permit program on July 16th and I was asked to submit additional documentation. I was asked to submit those additional documents through MyCIC account. I applied for the work permit using the IRCC login portal. Can anyone let me know what’s the difference between the IRCC login portal and the MyCIC account?

    There is also an option to submit requested documents through the IRCC login portal. Can I submit my documents to the IRCC portal?

    • Hi Sarath,

      Can you please share what other documents they are looking from you..? so others can also prepare accordingly. I assume most of us submitted similar documents, so just curious what specific IRCC looking for.

      • Do you know by any chance where I can submit those documents? I did not see the option to upload the documents on the IRCC login portal.

        • Hi Sarath,

          I’m not sure where exactly they are expecting to upload the documents. But I assume they might mentioned some instructions in requesting letter or email.
          Have you checked the appropriate instructions from them..?

  25. I applied for the Canada work permit and my Biometrics is on Aug 2 week, I will travel only to Canada in the worst case, is there any harm to my existing H1B visa stamped on my passport? of doing all these through Canadian immigration?

    And once the Visa is approved, how soon should I travel to Canada, is there any expiry date like that?

      • Hi Kumar,

        We have applied as family but have received biometrics only for spouse (primary applicant ) but not for me or my kid. Should only primary applicant biometrics required not wife and kid please do answer our biometrics is in another city need to plan if family has to travel.

        Many thanks

  26. Hi, does anyone know the average processing time for the H1B open work permit application? I provided my biometrics on July 20th. Can I expect an update this week?

  27. Thanks for the detailed explaination. I have two queries:
    1. Does wife’s (on H4) Open work permit linked with Husband (H1B holder) in terms of validity or work authorization ?

    2. If Primary applicant (H1B) and wife (H4)’s Open work permit got approved, can H1B holder come back to US after collecting the Open work permit and continue hisr Job here in USA and wife can stay and work in Canada on her open work permit.
    Is it possible or Primary application must be in Canada for all the time.

  28. Hi Kumar,
    You mentioned for the H4 spouse options : ” You can apply with your spouse on the IRCC portal during the initial process or apply for your dependent visa after your spouse’s Open work permit is approved.”

    Can you kindly elaborate on the 2nd part i.e. how to apply for spouse after primary applicant gets the work permit approved ?

  29. Please comment if received approval.My biometric is after August 1st week and hopefully will know the decision by mid of August .

  30. If someone’s Canadian open work permit application is approved, now he/ she is in the USA on h1b. What is the maximum time limit that can take for Canadian work permits because he/She has to serve even a notice period himself/herself in the USA.

    • Vishal,
      Until you enter Canada, you do not get the work permit. All you get is a letter and you need to take that and go to port of entry to get the H1B Open work permit. So, you can plan your exit in the US, after you get the letter.

    • Sri,
      We do not have any new details at this point, all we can do is wait. We will update this article, if something changes.

  31. Thank you so much for such a detailed article. Question – When I applied on 16 July, in the supporting documents required, besides i797, Visa, Passport and Funds proof, I was also asked to upload a fifth document called Immigration status proof. What was I supposed to upload for this?

  32. We started the application yesterday and are stuck at 10 year employment history and we are unable to move forward from there. I googled all options on filling in but there was no luck.

    With application being half a way thru can I still submit my application? Could You please confirm

    • Johnny,
      Well, technically anyone who is in H1B status can apply. While there is a requirement to submit H1B Visa, their main intent is to attract anyone working on H1B status in the US. Just apply and submit the Change of Status I-94 and your previous US visa that you used to enter US. You can put in a note on your situation of not having H1B visa stamp as well.

  33. Hello Do we know how much time it would take for spouse to get work permit after primary holder work permit is approved ( If spouse didn’t applied with primary holder)

    • Emily,
      Well, you need to submit your proof of H1B status in the US. I am not sure, how they would handle this as you would get the H1B status only in October. Worth applying, but not very clear in the guidance they gave regarding this.

  34. Hello,
    Thank you writing a nice article and the process involved in completing the open work permit for Canada.
    I would like you to add the procedure for dependents not physically present in US and also not having their H4 visa but stays in india. Thank you.

    • Also do we know how much time it would take for dependent work permit to be approved if primary is work permit is approved?

    • Gowrishankar,
      Unfortunately, this is not very clear. As part of the process, you need to submit your proof of residence. Not sure, how this would work. Technically, the principal applicant can apply and then later apply for the dependents when they arrive in US. As there is no cap for dependents, it should not be a problem.


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