Canada to roll out Phased Plan to Expand Open Work Permits for Spouses and Working-Age Children

Canada to roll out Phased Plan to Expand Open Work Permits for Spouses and Working-Age Children


Spouses of high-skilled workers with an eligible work permit (regardless of work permit category) can obtain an open work permit. The key considerations are that the principal applicant:

  • Hold a valid work permit (employer-specific or open under a non-spousal category)
  • Must work in Canada for a period of at least 6 months after the spousal open work permit application is received
  • Be employed in a high skilled occupation
  • Is physically residing in or plans to reside in Canada
  • Is in a genuine relationship with the spouse or common-law partner seeking to obtain the work permit

Note: Full-time work is not a requirement, but the high-skilled worker must have sufficient funds to financially support their family members


Starting in January 2023, through a temporary 2-year measure, Canada will expand eligibility for spouses and working-age children to work in Canada. The plan will be phased and encompass workers at all skill levels.



It’s estimated that family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers could begin working in Canada, offering a greater opportunity for both foreign workers seeking to work in Canada and for employers addressing their labour needs.



Phase 1: 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: Expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, following consultations.

Phase 3: Consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess operational feasibility for expanding the measure to family members of agricultural workers.

Read all about it in this IRCC announcement, but stay tuned for more details:


#immigration #canada

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