Bringing your family to Canada on a work permit

Dear Mr Brown,

I heard that Canada will be making it much easier to obtain work permits. Do you think that I should apply for a work permit to accompany my spouse who is working over there? I remember that you had advised that she obtain a skilled job before submitting the application.

— SF

Dear SF:

The Canadian Government recently announced that Canada is extending work permits to family members of temporary foreign workers in order to address labour shortages. Starting in January 2023, through a temporary two-year measure, Canada will expand eligibility to work in Canada to spouses and working-age children. It is estimated that family members of more than 200,000 foreign workers could begin working in Canada.

Normally, spouses were only eligible for a work permit if the principal applicant was working in a high-skill occupation, which I believe you were alluding to. Therefore, this new measure will both keep families together, as well as providing additional workers for Canada.

The temporary measure will be implemented in three 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 Programme or the International Mobility Programme 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 Programme, 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.

The fact that all temporary foreign workers’ family members will be granted work permits is extremely positive news, which all affected parties will be looking forward to in the new year. Yes, I would encourage you to apply accordingly. We can follow-up in January.

Please visit JAMAICA2CANADA.COM for additional information on Canadian permanent residence programmes, including express Entry, The Study & Work programme, visas or appeals, etc.

Antonn Brown, BA, (Hons), LLB, MSc, RCIC, is an immigration counsel and an accredited Canadian education agent of JAMAICA2CANADA.COM—a Canadian immigration & education firm in Kingston. Send questions/comments to

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