Canada: Expansion of Open Work Permits to Dependents  

January 19, 2023 Jessie Butchley

Key Points  

  • Canada will expand open work permit eligibility for the spouses and dependent children of principal applicants under a temporary employment program 

Overview  

The government of Canada announced that it will expand open work permit eligibility for spouses and dependent children of principal applicants who have arrived in Canada under a temporary employment program. According to the government, this change will apply to more than 200,000 principal applicants. 

The government shared that the expansion will be launched in three phases. The first phase will involve foreign nationals who have arrived via a high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the International Mobility Program or the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.  

The second phase aims to expand eligibility to dependents of lower-wage stream foreign national workers. The third phase is expected to expand eligibility to dependents of agricultural workers.  

What are the Changes?  

The Canadian government will expand eligibility for open work permits to spouses and dependent children of principal applicants who have arrived in Canada under a temporary employment program. This expansion aims to support families in Canada and to help them to integrate into Canadian society. 

Looking Ahead  

The government will consult with officials in the provinces and territories of Canada and will release specific timelines for each phase of the expansion in the coming weeks.  

Continue to check the government of Canada’s website and Envoy’s website for the latest updates and information.  


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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an attorney at one of the two U.S. Law Firms working with the Envoy Platform or another qualified professional. On non-U.S. immigration issues, consult an Envoy global immigration service provider or another qualified representative.

About the Author

Jessie is Envoy's Global Immigration Writer.

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