Vulnerable foreign workers who are victims of abuse

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If your abuser monitors your computer, delete your browsing history.

If you need help right away call 9-1-1 or your local police.

What is abuse

Any behaviour that scares, controls or isolates you could be abuse. Abuse can be physical, sexual, financial or mental.

Examples of abuse that you should report in your application include:

Open work permit for vulnerable workers

If you’re being abused or at risk of being abused in relation to your job in Canada, you may be eligible for an open work permit for vulnerable workers.

An open work permit lets you work for any employer in Canada, except for one that:

This work permit helps protect your rights as a worker in Canada by helping you leave an abusive situation to find a new job. However, it’s a temporary solution and:

If you’re approved for this work permit, it should give you enough time to find a new employer and apply for a new work permit. You must apply for another work permit before this one expires if you want to stay and work in Canada.

Who can apply

You can apply if you:


There are no fees for this work permit.

How to apply

You must apply online.

Step 1: Make sure you have what you need

To apply online, you’ll need a scanner or camera to create electronic copies of your documents.

Step 2: Read the instruction guide

Even if you apply online, you should read the instruction guide before you complete your application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.

Step 3: Support your application with evidence

To support your application, include as much evidence as you can with your application. You can upload documents as evidence in the “Client Information” field under “Optional Documents”.

There is only one “Client Information” field to upload all of your evidence. You have to combine all your evidence in 1 file and upload it together. Find out how to upload multiple documents into 1 field.

One document that you must include as evidence is a letter to describe your situation and the abuse you’re facing or at risk of facing.

Other types of evidence could include:

The above list includes examples of evidence. You may have other types of evidence.

Step 4: Create your online account or sign in

You need an account to apply online. You can use your account to:

Create an account or sign in

Step 5: Get to the application

After you sign in to your account, follow these steps to get to the application:

Fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

As of December 3, 2019, most people applying from inside Canada must give their fingerprints and photo (biometrics). However, because you may be in a vulnerable situation, we won’t ask you to give your biometrics when you apply. If an officer determines you need to give your biometrics, they’ll ask you to give them after you apply.

When you apply online, you’ll be asked if you’ve given your biometrics for an application in the past.

When you’ve answered all the questions, you’ll get your document checklist. It includes the form “Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (IMM5710)”. This is the work permit form you need to fill out.

If you can’t apply online

You can submit a paper application in any of these situations:

Go to the IRCC office closest to you or contact the Client Support Centre for more information on how to apply.

After you apply

After we receive your application at the local office, we’ll contact you within 5 business days to tell you what to do next.

We may ask you to do an interview.

After you get your open work permit, we may contact your employer to perform an inspection. We won’t contact them for any other reason.


We inspect employers to make sure they follow the rules when hiring temporary workers through the International Mobility Program or the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. Inspections are meant to protect temporary workers.

If you’re approved for the open work permit for vulnerable workers, we may ask you to give us information to help us inspect your former employer. You don’t have to give us information. The choice is yours.

The inspection can happen at any time after you get your open work permit.

Open work permit for your family members

Family members who came with you to Canada may also be eligible for an open work permit if your application is approved. They must complete their own application but may submit it together with your application.

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