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Children of Temporary Foreign Workers in Alberta and Ontario can now apply for Open Work Permits

Working-aged dependents of Temporary Foreign Workers (http://www.canadavisa.com/canadian-temporary-work-visa.html) in Ontario and Alberta can now obtain Open Work Permits without having to undergo the usual process involved in applying for a Temporary Work Permit.

In many cases, dependent children of Temporary Foreign Workers accompany their parents to Canada on either Study Permits (http://www.canadavisa.com/canadian-temporary-study-visa.html) or Visitor Visas (http://www.canadavisa.com/canadian-temporary-visitor-visa.html), or they apply for their own Work Permits. In some other cases, the family is split up while the Temporary Foreign Worker is in Canada. However, as a part of two separate pilot projects put in place by the provinces, Alberta and Ontario are now giving dependent children of Temporary Foreign Workers the opportunity to join their parents and work in Canada (http://www.canadavisa.com/finding-work-in-canada.html) on an Open Work Permit, allowing them to enter the country on such grounds without first needing a job offer.

Currently, a Canadian employer who wishes to hire a foreign worker must first extend a job offer to that worker, and then apply to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) for a Labour Market Opinion (LMO). With a genuine job offer and an LMO, the Temporary Foreign Worker can apply for a Work Permit that is usually issued for the duration of the employment contract. On the other hand, Open Work Permit holders can legally work in Canada without first receiving a confirmed job offer or an LMO from HRSDC.

Under the pilot projects, in effect from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, Alberta and Ontario (http://www.canadavisa.com/about-ontario.html) are allowing dependent children of Temporary Foreign Workers to avoid this process providing they meet certain conditions.

The Temporary Foreign Worker (formally referred to as the "primary applicant") must:

  • Be found eligible for an employer-specific Work Permit or already be holding it;
  • Intend to work in Alberta or Ontario; and
  • Work in an occupation that falls under the "A", "0" or "B" skill levels in HRSDC's National Occupation Classification (i.e. the occupation must be a skilled, managerial or professional occupation).

Dependent children of primary applicants may apply for Open Work Permits if they are of legal working age in Alberta or Ontario. For the purposes of Canadian immigration, children are considered dependent if they are not married or in a common-law relationship, and are under the age of 22.

The dependent child's work permit will be valid for the same time period as the primary applicant's work permit, and if the primary applicant's work permit is extended, the dependent child's work permit may be extended as well.

It is important to note that time period allocated for these pilot projects does not refer to the validity period of the open work permits, but rather the time period during which these work permits can be issued.


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