Operational Bulletin 146 - June 28, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Alberta Pilot Project for Spouses and Common-Law Partners of Long-Haul Truck Drivers

This pilot program has been extended until July 30th, 2012.

IMPORTANT: All relevant work permits must be coded as indicated below (see Special Program code under System Instructions) to support an effective evaluation of the pilot, and to assist officers when reviewing these applications.


In the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Annex – archived to the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration signed April 1, 2009, the parties agreed as follows:

7.2 The Canada-Alberta Working Group on TFWs, defined in section 9.2, will initiate the following pilot projects within 12 months of signing this Annex: ...

b) Spouses [and common-law partners] of long-haul truck drivers operating out of Alberta being eligible to receive open work permits.”

Furthermore, 7.3 of the Annex allows that spouses (and common-law partners) described above be exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

In order to see the full Agreement, please click on the following link: Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration

The purpose of this operational bulletin is to advise officers of a pilot project to fulfill Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s commitment under paragraph 7.2(b) of the TFW Annex in this agreement.

New Pilot parameters

This pilot has been extended from August 17th, 2010 to July 30, 2012 inclusive. These dates refer only to the period in which qualifying work permits can be issued, not to the duration of the work permits. The terms of the pilot will apply only to qualifying foreign nationals (as described below) destined to work in the province of Alberta.

Pilot procedures

All general eligibility criteria, conditions of the work permit and processing procedures, outlined in FW 1 will continue to apply in conjunction with the following procedures:

A) Eligible participants

Applicants for the open work permit must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  1. Must be the spouse or common-law partner of the principal applicant;
  2. The principal applicant must hold a work permit authorizing them to work in Alberta as a truck driver (NOC 7411), for which he/she possesses a letter of offer confirming their employment as a long-haul truck driver.

B) Open work permit issuance

  1. Consult section 10 of FW 1.
  2. A non job-specific open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) work permit may be issued to the spouse or common-law partner of a long-haul truck driver as described above, upon application by the spouse/common-law partner (including payment of the appropriate fee) and without requiring an LMO from Service Canada.
  3. A spouse/common-law partner’s work permit can only be issued after the primary applicant (principal) has been found to be eligible for a work permit. A spouse/common-law partner may apply for an open work permit concurrently with the principal applicant’s application either overseas or, if applicable, at a port of entry. Spouses/common-law partners who have accompanied the principal applicant into Canada simply as a visitor, but decide once in Canada to seek employment, may apply to the Case Processing Centre (CPC) in Vegreville for an open LMO-exempt work permit.
  4. Verification of marriage or common-law relationship should be performed as per existing procedures, so that officers are satisfied that the relationship is bona fide.

C) System instructions

  1. The LMO Exemption Code is T13 in conjunction with section R204(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations,"an agreement entered into by the Minister with a province or group of provinces under subsection 8(1) of the Act".
  2. Special program code: Officers are requested to use the NEW Special Program Code “LTD” (The long description is AB – Spouses Long-Haul Truck Drivers Open WP) in FOSS, CAIPS, or, for in-land processing, in the drop-down menu in the CPC system under “Special Programs”, on the spouse/common-law partner’s initial work permits and extensions for this pilot. This will assist immigration and border services officers when reviewing these applications. It is also important for statistical research, evaluation and policy development purposes.

The following visible remarks must be placed on the Work Permit:

  1. Pursuant to 7.2(b) / 7.3 of Canada/Alberta Annex B: Temporary Foreign Workers”
  2. The spouse/common-law partner’s work permit should specify “ALBERTA NES” (Code 7999) as a Destination Code. The fee is $150.
  3. For any applications originating at a visa office, any coding, conditions and/or remarks not downloaded from CAIPS must be entered into FOSS before generating the work permit.

D) Duration and extensions

The duration of the work permit issued to the spouse/common-law partner cannot exceed the expiry date of the work permit of the principal applicant.

Should the principal applicant’s work permit be extended, the work permit of the spouse/common-law partner can be similarly extended upon application.


This pilot supports the agreements made within the Temporary Foreign Worker Annex of the Agreement for Canada-Alberta Cooperation on Immigration, which was negotiated with the intent of providing the province of Alberta with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to meet Alberta’s economic priorities and labour market objectives.

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