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17th April 2023BY Qasim Nihang

Open Work Permits for Vulnerable Workers: A Path to Protection and Empowerment


In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the rights and well-being of vulnerable workers in Canada. Open work permits for vulnerable workers have emerged as a crucial means to ensure their protection and enable them to access better working conditions. In this blog, we will discuss what open work permits for vulnerable workers are, who is eligible, and how these permits contribute to a more just and equitable workforce in Canada.

Open work permits for vulnerable workers are a special category of work permits issued by the Canadian government to provide temporary resident status to workers who are being abused or are at risk of abuse in their current employment. Unlike employer-specific work permits, these open permits allow workers to seek and accept employment with any Canadian employer, granting them the freedom and flexibility to escape abusive situations and find more suitable employment.

To be eligible for an open work permit for vulnerable workers, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  1. Be physically present in Canada.
  2. Have a valid employer-specific work permit or have applied to extend or restore their status as a worker.
  3. Demonstrate reasonable grounds to believe they are experiencing abuse or are at risk of abuse in their current employment.

Abuse, in this context, can take many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse. It may also involve threats or intimidation, harassment, or other forms of mistreatment that create a hostile or oppressive work environment. The Canadian government takes such abuse seriously and aims to protect vulnerable workers from these harmful situations.

Open work permits for vulnerable workers represent a vital lifeline for those facing abuse or exploitation in their employment. By granting these workers the flexibility and protection they need to escape harmful situations, the Canadian government demonstrates its commitment to promoting a just and inclusive labor market. As awareness of these permits grows, it is our hope that more vulnerable workers will be empowered to seek help and improve their working conditions, contributing to a fairer and more equitable workforce for all.


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