B.C. has joined Alberta and Ontario in offering a special pilot program that will allow certain dependants of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) in B.C. to obtain work permits. The principal TFW must have been issued an employer-specific work permit valid for at least 6 months.

The B.C. program will be in place to February 15, 2013, and will have a cap of 1,800 work permits.

Eligible dependent children aged 18 to 22 of TFWs in B.C. may obtain an open work permit that will allow the child to work in B.C.

The B.C. program also allows spouses, common-law partners and dependent children aged 18 to 22 of many TFWs in low-skilled occupations (NOC skill level C and D occupations) to obtain an Open Work Permit. Therefore, some accompanying spouses of low skill workers in B.C. will be able to obtain a work permit.

The Alberta and Ontario pilot projects have different eligibility rules, and apply only to eligible children of TFWs in those provinces who are working in NOC 0, A or B occupations. Those two programs do not apply to spouses or children of TFWs working in low skill occupations. Information on these programs is set out at the links below.

Operational Bulletin on B.C. Pilot Project

Alberta Pilot Project for Work Permits for Working-Age Children

Ontario Pilot Project for Work Permits for Working-Age Children