Operational Bulletin 337-A - February 15, 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.

Changes to the Pilot Program for Spouses/Common-law Partners and Working-Age Dependent Children of Select Temporary Foreign Workers Destined to British Columbia


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides information on the British Columbia (BC) Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) pilot project and the changes that will become effective February 15, 2013.


The purpose of this OB is to provide information about the pilot project under the TFW annex of the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement that provides the province of BC with mechanisms to facilitate the entry of TFWs to meet its economic priorities and labour market objectives.


On August 15, 2011, a pilot project was launched under article 7.1 of the TFW annex – archived to the Canada-British Columbia Immigration Agreement – archived that allowed the issuance of open work permits (WPs) to spouses, common-law partners and working-age dependants (18–22) of most TFWs employed in BC.

Changes to this pilot project will become effective February 15, 2013, and are outlined below.

Changes in the BC pilot project

After February 15, 2013, initial WP applications will no longer be accepted for:

  • Spouses, common-law partners and working-age dependent children of TFWs working in occupations requiring a lower level of formal training (National Occupational Classification (NOC) level C and D).

Transitional accommodations

  • Applications received up to and including on February 15, 2013, will be processed for spouses, common-law partners and working-age dependant children of TFWs working in occupations at a NOC C and D level.
  • Spouses, common-law partners and working-age dependent children of TFWs working in NOC C or D level occupations, who have already been issued an open WP under the original pilot project, or who submitted an application under the pilot prior to February 15, 2013, may also apply for a WP extension should the TFW family member’s (principal applicant’s) WP be extended. This provision will be available until February 14, 2014.

The pilot project will continue to accept WP applications for:

  • Working-Age Dependent Children (18-22) of Skilled TFWs (NOC level 0, A or B).

The application deadline for the above-mentioned pilot project is February 14, 2014, after which a review of the pilot will be conducted.

(Note: Provisions for spouses or common-law partners of skilled TFWs is not a part of this pilot because this group can already apply for Labour Market Opinion (LMO)-exempt open WP under the “public policy relating to the competitiveness of Canada’s economy” – R205(c)(ii) – C41.)

Pilot parameters post February 15, 2013

A) Eligibility – Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • The principal applicant must be currently employed in a NOC 0, A or B level.
  • The applicant must be a dependent child of a principal applicant.
  • The principal TFW (initial WP holder) must hold an employer-specific WP that is valid for at least six months for an employer located in BC.
  • Dependent children (see Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations Division 1, Interpretation) must be aged 18-22 at the date of application, and eligible to work in BC.
  • Dependants of TFWs in BC, where the Principal Applicant has a WP issued under the International Experience Canada Program, are NOT eligible for open WPs under this pilot.

B) Open WP issuance/extensions

  • A non job-specific open or open/restricted (depending on medical examination requirements, if applicable) WP may be issued to the eligible applicant accompanying a TFW principal applicant as described above, upon receipt of a WP application without requiring an LMO from Service Canada.
  • An applicant’s WP must not be issued before the principal applicant has been issued a WP.
  • An applicant may apply for an open WP at the same time as the principal applicant or subsequently – at a mission, port of entry or in-land. If the applicant is applying on a significantly later date after the issuance of the principal TFW’s WP, an officer may wish to request the applicant provide proof that the principal TFW continues to be in good standing with the employer. Such proof can be in the form of a letter from the employer, or a recent pay stub.
  • The applicant must also meet all other admissibility requirements to be issued a WP under this pilot.
  • Verifications should be performed as per existing procedures, so that officers are satisfied that the relationship is bona fide.
  • WPs issued under this pilot must be valid for the same period as the WP of the principal TFW.
  • Should the principal applicant’s WP be extended, the WP of the dependant can be similarly extended upon application, provided that it does not exceed the duration of the principal applicant’s WP. The extension decision must be taken during the operating period of this pilot project.

C) System instructions

  • LMO exemption code: T13
  • Special program codes: Officers are requested to enter the Special Program Code…

    ‘WDP’ – Working-Age Dependants of provincial TFWs

    …in the system in order to monitor progress of the pilot and to support an effective review.

  • The WP number of the principal applicant directly related to the applicant is also to be included in remarks for cross-reference purposes using the following wording, as applicable:
    • Dependant – X-Ref – (WP#) U123456789
  • The applicant’s WP should specify in the Conditions field that it is only valid for work with an employer located in BC. Where an employer has locations in more than one province, the employment should be with the BC office of that employer.
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