May 20, 2024 10:36 AM

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Beginning 2023, Canada Expands Open Work Permits to Family Members of Temporary Foreign Workers

The new policy is a boon for family members accompanying Open Work Permit holders as they can work for any job for any employer in Canada.

There are close to a million job vacancies in Canada, showing a growth of 73 percent over the beginning of 2020. The move to allow family members of principal applicants of Open Work Permits will address the acute labor shortage in Canada.

Open Work Permit enables immigrants to work for any job regardless of employer and location. The announcement by the Minster for Immigration, Refugees and Citizens Canada (IRCC), Hon Sean Fraser, extends work permits to spouses and children of Open Work Permit holders, starting in 2023.

The new policy is a temporary two-year measure. The implementation of the new approach will be in three phases:

  • First phase – Spouses of Temporary Foreign Workers in the high-wage stream are eligible for Open Work Permits.
  • Second phase – Spouses of Temporary Foreign Workers in the lower-wage stream will be eligible for Open Work Permits.
  • Third phase – Families of seasonal agriculture workers will be eligible for Open Work Permits.

There are over 200,000 foreign workers in Canada. The new measure will facilitate employers to fill vacant positions as per the skill levels of family members. The facility of becoming eligible for an open work permit was only available for spouses of foreign workers in high-skill occupations. The new measure is an excellent opportunity for employers and families of Open Work Permit holders.  

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