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Immigration Newsweek



By Atty. Henry Moyal


A common question often asked by our clients is how to obtain a work permit for a spouse. Aside from the usual foreign worker requirements that are applicable to workers, there are 2 main programs that allow spouse’s to easily obtain an open work permit which does not even require a job offer and is exempt from a labor market opinion ( LMIA).


#1 – Program under Exemption Code A74


Under this program, a spouse will be issued an open work permit to applicants who are in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class prior to first-stage approval.

Under this pilot program, applicants may apply for an open work permit with, or any time after, the submission of their application for permanent residence in the SCLPC class.


Officers will issue open work permits to SCLPC class applicants if they meet the following requirements:

  • a complete permanent residence application has been submitted under the SCLPC class and is currently being processed, or has been received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for processing
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse has submitted a sponsorship application on their behalf,
  • the SCLPC class applicant resides at the same address as the sponsor,
  • the SCLPC class applicant has valid temporary resident status or their application for restoration of status with authorization to work has been received and the officer is satisfied that the SCLPC class applicant is eligible for restoration

The following do not qualify for the open work permit under this program:

  • applicants who have applied for permanent residence under the SCLPC class and have been refused or have withdrawn that application before submitting the open work permit pilot application
  • applicants whose application for permanent residence is being processed under the spousal public policy (subcategory “PP” in the Global Case Management System [GCMS]) on the basis that they do not have a valid temporary resident status (these applicants must wait until they receive approval in principle to be eligible to apply for an open work permit)
  • applicants who have applied as members of the overseas family class, including those living in Canada
  • applicants applying for the work permit pilot program at a port of entry




#2- Public Policy 2023 Program


Starting on January 30, 2023 spouses and dependent children of most work permit holders at all skill levels will be issued open work permits.


To be eligible for an open work permit you must be:

  • spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a work permit holder who
    • works in a job of any Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category (0 to 5), or
    • is the principal applicant and has an open work permit (example: post-graduation work permit holders at allskill levels)
  • spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of an economic classes permanent resident applicant who holds a work permit

The following are not eligible:

Spouses and dependents of workers in a TEER 4 or 5 job under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not eligible.




Attorney Henry Moyal is a certified and licensed immigration lawyer in Toronto, Ontario.
The above article is general advice only and is not intended to act as a legal document.
Send questions to Attorney Moyal by email or call 416 733 3193