Canada | Open Work Permit Eligibility Expands to Spouses and Working-Age Children of All Work Permit Holders

Starting this month, Canada is expanding eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and working-age children through a phased approach for workers at all skill levels. This will allow dependent children and spouses of work permit holders working at all skill levels (TEER 0-5) to apply for Open Work Permits. This changes the existing policy, which only allows spouses of workers in high-skill occupations (TEER 0-3) to apply.

This temporary 2-year expansion policy will occur in 3 stages:

  • Phase 1 will enable family members of workers coming to Canada through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program to apply for an open work permit.
  • Phase 2 aims to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program following consultations.
  • Phase 3 will include consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess the operational feasibility of expanding the measure to family members of agricultural workers.

The change detailed above is part of an overall strategy of the Canadian government to ensure that spouses and dependent children can work, which will likely positively impact labor market participation and fill significant gaps in the Canadian Labor Market.

Working-aged children of highly-skilled individuals can apply for an open work permit from January 30, 2023.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.