January 6, 2012
Work Permit Access for Spouses of Post-Graduate Work Permit Holders to Cease?
Government response to questions regarding changes in policy disallowing work permits to the spouses of post-graduate work permit holders:
CIC has been reviewing the policy as it relates to work permit access for spouses of post-graduate work permit holders. Until such time as that policy review is concluded, the existing temporary foreign worker (TFW) guidelines would continue to apply. As you know, once an international student graduates, he or she falls under the TFW stream and would no longer be categorized as an international student. As such, in these cases, whether the spouse of a post-grad work permit holder is eligible to receive an open work permit is dependent on the skill level of the principal applicant.
If the post-grad work permit holder is in a high skilled occupation (NOC 0, A, B), the spouse may be eligible to receive an open work permit, valid to the duration of the principal applicant’s own work permit. Note that there are exceptions to the skill level determination such as whether the principal applicant is a provincial nominee, or if there is a relevant provincial/territorial pilot program in place.
As always, the onus is on the applicant to demonstrate the relationship to the principal applicant, as well as the principal applicant’s skilled occupation. It is vital that applicants provide sufficient supporting documents to facilitate the decision-making process.