Canada: Work Permit Options to Expand for Dependent Family Members in 2023

Last Updated on February 23, 2023

Key Points  

  • Canada will temporarily expand work permit options to eligible dependent family members of temporary foreign workers beginning in 2023 


The government of Canada will introduce a two-year temporary measure that will allow family members of temporary foreign national workers to apply for a work permit beginning in 2023. Previously, family members of principal work permit holders were only eligible to apply for a work permit if the principal applicant worked in a highly skilled occupation. The temporary measures will be implemented in three phases: 

  • Phase 1: Enable family members of workers coming to Canada through the high-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) or the International Mobility Program to apply for an open work permit.  
  • Phase 2: Expand measures to family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the TFWP.  
  • Phase 3: Consult with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess whether these measures can be expanded to apply to family members of agricultural workers.  

What are the Changes?  

The government of Canada expanded work permit options for dependent foreign national family members. According to the government announcement, expanding the eligibility for work permits to family members accompanying the principal applicant to Canada will help to address labor shortages throughout the country.  

Looking Ahead  

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.