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Canada’s Work Permit Routes for Dependent Children

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Discover Canada’s progressive approach to addressing labor shortages and fostering family integration. A recent policy announcement allows dependent children of temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to qualify for work permits. This initiative extends to spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children of work permit holders in various Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) categories. 

Additionally, principal applicants of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program or the International Mobility Program with open work permits (OWP) and family members of economic class permanent resident applicants holding work permits, are eligible.

While this policy covers a wide range, it is important to note that it currently excludes family members of workers in TEER 4 or 5 jobs under the low-wage stream of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) from eligibility. This multifaceted policy demonstrates Canada’s commitment to its workforce and the unity of families within its communities. Stay informed about this significant development shaping the nation’s socio-economic landscape.

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TEER Categories

Please be aware that TEER categories, ranging from 0 to 5, determine the necessary training, education, experience, and responsibilities for specific occupations:

TEER 0 – Management roles with high education and experience requirements, such as advertising, marketing, and financial managers.

1 – Jobs like financial advisors and software engineers often require a university degree.

2 – positions typically need a college diploma, apprenticeship, or supervision, including computer network technicians and medical laboratory technologists.

3 – roles need a diploma, short apprenticeship, or on-the-job training, like bakers and dental assistants.

4 – entry-level jobs with a high school diploma or brief on-the-job training, like childcare providers and retail salespersons.

TEER 5 – roles not demand formal education, often involving manual labor or basic services, like landscaping laborers and delivery drivers.

Previously, only high-skilled occupations or international student dependents could get work permits. Canada’s expansion now includes TFWs’ spouses, dependents, and partners, promoting integration and bolstering the labor force with existing local talent. This impactful policy expects to benefit over 200,000 foreign worker families, enhancing Canada’s workforce and promoting community cohesion.

Qualification Criteria

A dependent child encompasses your own, your spouse’s, or common-law partner’s child. To qualify for the program, your child must:

  • Be under 22 years old.
  • Be unmarried and without a common-law partner.

Should the child be 22 or older, they can be considered dependent if they relied on parental financial support before turning 22 due to a physical or mental condition, continuing until application processing concludes.

A previous definition of dependent children may apply to those whose age eligibility was determined on or before October 23, 2017. Children under exclusive custody of the other parent must be included in sponsorship applications, regardless of custody agreements or court orders. Such children must also pass mandatory medical, security, and background checks.

Note for Permanent Residents: Including dependent children in your application offers future sponsorship potential as family class members if custody or living circumstances change. Omitting family members risks permanent resident status loss. Children in the custody of a former spouse/partner are also considered dependents.

Dependent children of TFWs seeking work permits in Canada must apply jointly or separately with their families. An open work permit is eligible if sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or if working as a foreign worker in Canada. Otherwise, an employer might require a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) before hiring a foreign worker.

Dependent children aspiring to work in Canada should review the age requirements for their desired job type and location. In some cases, a medical exam may be necessary before they can work in Canada.

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