Spouse Open Work Permit Eligibility under IRCC’s New Temporary Policy

Spouse Open Work Permit
  • January 28, 2023

IRCC will temporarily extend open work permit eligibility to spouses and dependent children of most work permit holders at all skill levels starting January 30, 2023.

Sean Fraser, the Immigration Minister, first announced this temporary policy on December 2, 2022.

In accordance with the announcement, the first phase of the new temporary policy will come into effect on January 30.

Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility under IRCC's New Temporary Policy

The spouse of the principal applicant had to work in a high-skill occupation covered by TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3 to qualify for a spousal open work permit before this temporary policy.

A spouse will now be eligible to apply for an open work permit if their principal applicant is employed in any of the following occupations: TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.

In accordance with this new spousal open work permit temporary policy, IRCC shared eligibility and ineligibility information.


What are the eligibility requirements?

Spouse, common-law partner, or dependent child of a work permit holder is eligible, if the work permit holder in Canada:

  • works in a job of any TEER (Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities) category (0 to 5), or
  • have an open work permit such as PGWP (post-graduation work permit holder) at all skill levels, or
  • Hold a valid work permit as a permanent resident under the economic class

Currently, who is not eligible?

At this time, spouses and dependents of work permit holders in TEER 4 or 5 jobs are not eligible, if the work permit holders are currently employed:

  • In the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP);
  • the Temporary Foreign Worker Program’s Agricultural Stream

The following children qualify as dependents:

  • unmarried or don’t have a common-law partner, and
  • less than 22 years of age

Children over 22 years can also qualify as dependents if:

  • Because of a physical or mental condition, they are unable to support themselves financially
  • Their parents have supported them financially since before they turned 22






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