There is a new time-limited pilot project under which Immigration Canada will issue open work permits to accompanying dependants of a temporary foreign worker in Ontario if the worker holds a work permit valid for six months or longer and is a Skilled Worker. The pilot will operate from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010 inclusively. This initiative will only apply to qualifying foreign nationals who are destined to the province of Ontario.

To qualify, the dependent children of foreign nationals must meet a number of criteria including being eligible to work in the province of Ontario. The applicant must also be a dependent child of a foreign national where the principal applicant is entering Canada, is destined to Ontario as a Temporary foreign worker and possesses a valid, job-specific work permit with a minimum duration of six months in an occupation found within skill levels 0, A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.

Those who qualify will be issued Open (non-employer specific) work permits without requiring an LMO (Labour Market Opinion) from Service Canada. A dependant’s work permit will only be issued after the primary applicant has been found to be eligible for a work permit, and the dependant may apply for an open work permit at the same time as the principal applicant or after through a Canadian Consulate abroad, at the border/port of entry or from within Canada (in-land). The duration of the open work permit must not exceed the expiry date of the principal applicant’s work permit.

Please let the author know if you have any questions about the new pilot project and how your temporary foreign workers and their families can benefit.