Spouses Of Existing Open Work Permit Holders Can Apply For Open Work Permits In Canada

Spouses Of Existing Open Work Permit Holders Can Apply For Open Work Permits In Canada

Introducing a landmark policy change in family immigration, Minister Sean Fraser announced the expansion of Open Work Permits (OWP) to the spouses of OWP holders.

Until now, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) restricted open work permits to spousal sponsorship only, where either of the spouses must be a Canadian citizen or hold Canadian permanent residency. 

The new announcement made on 02 December, 2022 extends the scope of eligibility for Open Work Permits (OWP) to even the spouses of OWP holders who are neither citizens nor permanent residents of Canada. 

The program is expected to be implemented at the start of 2023. 

IRCC Expects More Than 100,000 New Work Permit Applications

Work permits allow any foreign nationals to work in Canada, irrespective of their residency status in Canada. 

While Work Permits are issued for a specific job with a specific employer, an Open Work Permit allows foreign nationals to legally work in Canada for any employer and in any job.

The change in Canadian family immigration policy to expand the eligibility of Open Work Permits to spouses of OWP is expected to attract more immigrants 

Canada is expecting more than 100,000 new work permit applications in the coming year to work, and potentially even settle, in Canada. 

The new change will be implemented in three phases from 2023: 

  • High-wage stream – For spouses of higher-paid workers who hold an open work permit (eg: spouses of Post Graduate Work Permit holders).;
  • Provinces and territories stream – For spouses of lower wage workers (e.g.: OWP holders under the International Experience Canada program, which recently saw an increase in program size); and
  • Families of agriculture workers – This phase would specifically deal with families of seasonal agriculture workers, a key stream of employment that Canada is trying to expand as part of its economic recovery.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser expects greater collaboration with provinces and employers to make phases two and three of new changes to OWP eligibility successful. 

However, Canada continues to post record job vacancies along with ambitious annual immigration targets of more than 465,000 immigrants in 2023. 

About 60% will come under economic-class programs like Express Entry, Provincial Nominee Programs, and others. In this context, you will find our previous blog on the top in-demand jobs in Canada that could help you qualify for Canadian immigration in 2023.    

Book a free consultation with our experts to determine your eligibility based on your work experience and academic profile.

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