ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 123-B – July 17, 2013

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

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Pilot Project for Working-Age Dependent Children of Skilled Workers Destined to Ontario

This pilot program has been extended until July 31, 2014.

IMPORTANT: All relevant work permits must be coded with Special Program Code “WDP” as indicated below, to support an effective evaluation of the pilot, and to assist officers when reviewing these applications.


In the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) annex to the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement signed in August of 2008, the parties agreed as follows:

4.2 Canada agrees to issue an open work permit to accompanying dependents of a TFW in Ontario if the TFW holds a work permit valid for 6 months or longer and is a Skilled Worker. The work permit will only be issued upon application by the dependent; the work permit will be limited to work in the province of Ontario; and a work permit will only be issued to persons who are otherwise able to be legally employed in Ontario. The work permits should expire the same date as the expiry date of the work permit of the principal work permit holder.”

Furthermore, section 4.4 of the Annex allows that dependents described above be exempt from the requirement to obtain a Labour Market Opinion (LMO).

New Pilot parameters

This pilot has been extended from July 31, 2013 to July 31, 2014 inclusive. These dates refer only to the period in which qualifying work permit applications must be received, 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 Ontario.

Pilot procedures

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

A) Eligible participants

Dependent children of foreign nationals must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible:

  1. Must be eligible to work in the province of Ontario.

Note that the employer is responsible for ensuring the provincial minimum age employment standards are adhered to. Please refer to the following website for provincial guidelines:

  1. Must be a dependent child (see Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), section 2, Interpretation) of a foreign national where the principal applicant is entering Canada, is destined to Ontario as a TFW and has a valid, job-specific work permit (WP) with a minimum duration of 6 months in an occupation found within skill levels 0, A or B of the National Occupation Classification (NOC) system.

B) Open work permit issuance

  1. A non job-specific open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) WP may be issued to a working-age dependent child accompanying a TFW principal applicant as described above, upon application by the dependent (including payment of the appropriate fee) and without requiring an LMO from Service Canada.
  2. A dependent’s WP can only be issued after the primary applicant has been found to be eligible for a WP. A dependent may apply for an open work permit at the same time as the principal applicant or subsequently – at a mission, port of entry or in-land – as long as its duration does not exceed the expiry date of the principal applicant’s WP.
  3. Verification of dependency 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 R204(c) of the IRPR, “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 “WDP,” (for working-age dependents of provincial TFW) in the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) or Global Case Management System (GCMS), on the dependent’s initial WP and extensions for this pilot.
  3. The name and WP number of the principal applicant related to the dependent is to be included in the remarks for cross-reference purposes using the following wording: “Dependent of client 1234-5678 Smith, John A, on WP U9012345678 valid to DDMMYYYY”.
  4. The dependent’s WP should specify in the Province field and in the printed conditions that it is only valid for work performed in the province of Ontario.
  5. For any applications originating at a visa office, any coding, conditions and/or remarks not downloaded from GCMS must be entered into FOSS before generating the WP.

D) Duration and extensions

The duration of the WP issued to the accompanying dependent cannot exceed the expiry date of the WP of the principal applicant.

Should the principal applicant’s WP be extended, that of the dependent can be similarly extended upon application.


This pilot is meant to consider whether or not facilitating the issuance of WPs to working-age dependents of skilled TFWs will make Ontario a more attractive destination for the principal applicants, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the TFW program in attracting international workers with in-demand skills.

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