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Family Work Permits for Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Canada is extending work permits to family members of temporary foreign workers with effect from Jan 2023 in three phases. Expanding the eligibility for work permits to family members accompanying the principal applicant to Canada will help address labour shortages by assisting employers in finding the workers they need.


Canada will expand eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and working-age children through a phased approach for workers at all skill levels. It is 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.


The temporary 2-year measure will be implemented in 3 phases to ensure its successful implementation:

  • Phase 1 will enable 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 aims to expand the measure to the family members of workers from the low-wage stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, following consultations.

  • Phase 3 will include consultation with agricultural partners and stakeholders to assess operational feasibility for expanding the measure to family members of agricultural workers.

If you are a foreign worker in Canada, and have a spouse and/or working-age children who have accompanied you to Canada and are interested in applying for the family work permit, please complete this online form so that we can keep you updated on the program as more details become available.

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