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Open Work Permits for Spouses and Children of Foreign Workers

Updated: Mar 6


Who:

Accompanying Family Members of Certain Foreign Workers

In Force:

January 30, 2023

Expires:

January 30, 2025 (approximate, in effect for “2 years”)


A woman and two children looking at a tablet in Canada.

Starting January 30, 2023, the family members of certain foreign workers are now eligible for an open work permit. Prior to this change, only the spouses of high-skilled workers were eligible for an open work permit. This policy is being rolled out in three phases. The first of which was implemented on January 30, 2023.

  • Phase 1 – Effective January 30, 2023

    • Family members (spouse or common-law partner or dependent child) of high skilled workers can apply for an open work permit (if they meet the eligibility requirements)

    • Family members (spouse or common-law partner or dependent child) of low skilled workers can apply for an open work permit (if they meet the eligibility requirements)

    • Does not include the Spouses and dependent children of workers in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream, the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program

    • Family members (spouse or common-law partner or dependent child) of applicants for permanent residence under an economic immigration program can apply for an open work permit (if they meet the eligibility requirements)

  • Phase 2 aims to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (LMIA)

  • Phase 3 will consider expanding the program to family members of agricultural workers.

IRCC has not indicated a timeline for the roll out of Phase 2 and 3.


In order to apply, you need to prove the eligibility of the foreign worker and their relationship to their dependent spouse, common-law partner, and/or dependent child.




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