Press Room

Pilot Project Extends Work Permits to Family Members of Temporary Foreign Workers in B.C.

Under a pilot project between Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the province of British Columbia, between August 15, 2011 and February 15, 2013, the spouses, common-law partners and working-age dependent children of select temporary foreign workers (TFWs) destined to work in B.C. will be eligible to receive open work permits allowing them to accept any job with any employer in the province.

Previously, only spouses and common-law partners of higher-skilled TFWs (managerial or professional workers) have been eligible to obtain an open work permit in B.C.

To be eligible to participate in the pilot, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a spouse, common-law partner, or a working-age dependent child (18 to 22 years of age) of certain TFWs who have been issued a valid job-specific work permit of at least six months’ duration with a B.C. work location; and
  • Meet all admissibility criteria to enter Canada as a temporary resident.

Categories of TFWs whose family members are ineligible for this pilot project include:

  • Live-in caregivers;
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program participants;
  • Seasonal agricultural workers employed through the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training;
  • International Experience Canada participants.

Up to 1,800 open work permits will be available under the pilot. CIC and the B.C. Government have indicated that they intend to monitor and review the pilot both during and after the 18-month operational period. The reviews will specifically consider the impact of the pilot on the B.C. labour market and employers, and whether it has assisted employers in the recruitment of TFWs to B.C.

For further information on the B.C. pilot project or on the requirements and process generally in applying for a work permit under the TFW program, please contact the immigration law specialists at Green and Spiegel LLP.