Work Permits for Families of Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Canada has taken steps to increase immigration targets for 2023 by introducing a number of temporary measures. One of the most significant of these measures is the introduction of a new policy that allows family members of temporary foreign workers to apply for work permits.

The New Policy

Under the new policy, temporary foreign workers who have been employed in Canada for at least one year and who have valid work permits can apply for open work permits for their spouses, common-law partners and dependent children. The open work permits will allow the family members to work in Canada for up to two years.

The new policy commenced on January 30th and is part of the federal government’s response to increasing economic immigration. It is intended to help families maintain their incomes post-pandemic.

The move is also seen as a way to support the Canadian economy, as it allows more people to contribute to the labour market. This could help to reduce the economic impact of the pandemic and ensure that the country’s economy remains strong during this period.

In addition to the open work permits, the new policy also allows family members to apply for study permits, which will allow them to pursue studies in Canada. This will not only provide valuable education opportunities, but it could also help to attract highly-skilled foreign workers to Canada in the future.

The new policy is a positive step that could help to ensure that temporary foreign workers and their families are able to remain in Canada during the pandemic. It is a recognition of the significant contributions that these workers have made to the Canadian economy, and of the hardship that they have faced over the past year. It remains to be seen how effective the policy will be, but it is certainly a welcomed move.

Implementation in Phases

The Canadian government has announced a new temporary measure which will be implemented in three phases in order to ensure its successful execution. As of now, the dates for the second and third phases have not yet been revealed.

Family members of workers arriving to Canada under the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program will be able to apply for an open work permit in Phase One.

Following a series of discussions, Phase Two will include an extension of the policy to include family members of employees from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Phase Three will involve further consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to evaluate the operational feasibility of the measure's expansion to the family members of agricultural workers.

What is an Open Work Permit for Spouses and Dependent Children of Temporary Foreign Workers?

In Canada, temporary foreign workers are allowed to bring their spouses and dependent children with them. This is subject to certain conditions and requires the family members to obtain an Open Work Permit (OWP). An OWP allows the family of temporary foreign workers to live, work, and study in Canada.

To be eligible for an OWP, the foreign worker must have a valid work permit and be working in Canada full-time. The OWP will be valid for the same period as the foreign worker’s work permit. The family members must also satisfy certain other requirements, such as health and security checks.

Once an OWP has been issued, the holder can work in any occupation and for any employer in Canada. The family members of the foreign worker can also apply for a study permit while they are in Canada.

The OWP also allows foreign workers to leave Canada temporarily while their family members remain in the country. The permit is valid for the entire period of the foreign worker’s work permit, regardless of how much time the foreign worker spends in Canada.

The OWP is a great option for families of temporary foreign workers who want to work and live in Canada. The permit allows the family members to work, study, and travel in Canada without having to obtain a separate work or study permit. It is also beneficial to employers looking to hire foreign workers and their families, as it simplifies obtaining the necessary permits.

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