On May 8, 2013, Citizenship and Immigration Canada announced an extension of the Pilot Project which provides for the issuance of two-year open work permits for foreign spouses/common-law partners and dependent children of certain high-skilled Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are returning to work in Ontario. This pilot project, which began on November 24, 2010 has been extended until May 23, 2014.
In order to be eligible for the two-year open work permit, the returning Canadian citizen or permanent resident must return to Canada and re-establish their residence in Ontario and work in Ontario as either a health professional or as an academic for a post-secondary public institution. A full list of eligible health professional and academic occupations is listed at Appendix A of the following bulletin: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/resources/manuals/bulletins/2013/ob229B.asp
Also, the returning Canadian citizen or permanent resident’s employment must be confirmed with a letter from the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trades, Business Immigration Unit, and must specifically confirm the employment, location, and occupation of the returning Canadian.
Finally, the applicant must be a person for whom an application for Family Class sponsorship has already been approved by the Case Processing Centre Mississauga. The applicant must also be of sufficient age to work in Ontario.
Applicants who are eligible under the pilot project would be exempt from obtaining a Labour Market Opinion and would be issued a two-year open work permit restricted to work in Ontario. Applicants are also permitted to apply either from overseas or within Canada.
For additional information, please contact Green and Spiegel, LLP.