Family members of WP holders who are Economic Class PR applicants or chosen by a province [R205(c)(ii) – C49] – Canadian interest – IMP

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

In these instructions, “officer” refers to employees of both Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency.

The instructions on this page should be reviewed in conjunction with

The Minister designated the work performed by genuine spouses or common-law partners of principal foreign nationals who hold a work permit and are the principal applicants in an Economic Class permanent resident application as necessary for public policy reasons related to the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions, or economy, under subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).

On January 30, 2023, the Minister included the work performed by all family members defined in subsection R1(3) as necessary under R205(c)(ii).

As of July 13, 2023, the designation of work performed under R205(c)(ii) applies to all new and pending applications.

In these instructions, family member is defined as per subsection R1(3) as

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For the dependent family member to be eligible under R205(c)(ii), administrative codes C49, the principal foreign national must, at the time of decision on the family member application, meet all of the following requirements. The principal foreign national must:

The family member applicant must meet the following requirements:

If the principal foreign national holds or is approved for an open work permit because they are eligible to apply for one of the Economic classes, but has not yet submitted an application for permanent residence, their family members may be eligible to apply for an open work permit under administrative codes C41/C46 (family members of high-skilled workers) or C47/C48 (family members of low-skilled workers).

Documentary evidence

With the application for an open work permit, officers should be satisfied that they have the following documentary evidence to make an assessment:

  1. evidence of a genuine relationship if the applicant is the spouse or common-law partner
    • For example, (but not limited to) marriage certificate, Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union (IMM 5409),
      evidence that the dependent child meets the definition of R2
    • For example, but not limited to, birth certificate, adoption papers
  2. evidence the applicant has been included as a dependent in the principal foreign national’s submission of a complete permanent resident application in an Economic Class
    • For example, a copy of the IMM 0008 or a copy of the acknowledgment of receipt of the permanent resident application, or an indication in GCMS that the applicant is an accompanying dependent
  3. evidence that their principal foreign national’s authority or provisional approval to work in Canada is valid for 6 months or longer after the receipt date of the family member’s work permit application
    • For example, a copy of a work permit or copy of the letter of introduction

Consult this table (PDF) for information about coding work permit applications of eligible family members.

Note: The principal foreign national may be employed part-time for the dependent family member to qualify for this labour market impact assessment (LMIA) exemption. Although there is no standard minimum hours required, officers have to be satisfied the principal foreign national’s wages or available funds will be sufficient to financially support themselves and their family members while they are in Canada.

Applications received as a family group

If the family members and the principal foreign national are applying together as a family group, the principal foreign national’s application must be assessed first. The principal family members application in the group may be considered as documentary evidence of the authority or provisional approval to work in Canada and the requirement of 6-month duration.

If the principal foreign national is eligible and admissible, then the dependent family members are assessed for eligibility and admissibility – when they all receive a positive assessment, then the officer will enter Final Decision in GCMS.

If the principal foreign national’s work permit application is refused, the work permit applications of family members will be refused for not meeting the requirements of this category.

If the family group is approved, the principal foreign national must enter Canada before or together with their family members. The dependent family member cannot arrive in Canada prior to the entry of the principal foreign national.

Principal foreign nationals and family members applying as a family group in Canada must meet the requirements of R199.

Refer to this table (PDF) for information on whether the family members can apply for their open work permit before, upon or after entry to Canada. In most cases family members cannot apply with the principal foreign national as a family group at the port of entry.

Application assessment

Officers must be satisfied that all eligibility requirements are met at the time of decision on the family member work permit application. Mandatory association to the principal foreign national: The family member must be associated with the principal foreign national in GCMS. Association should be completed on the Client screen and not just within the application.

This is required to ensure the ability to revoke a family member work permit under public policy considerations.

If officers have any concerns as to the genuineness of documents provided, they may wish to undertake an assessment to ensure this material information is genuine and does not reflect a direct misrepresentation of facts in order to appear eligible for the permit.

Principal foreign national

The principal foreign national is the first foreign national in the couple who has submitted an application for a permanent residence and applied for and obtained a work permit.

In assessing eligibility for a family member open work permit, the principal foreign national continues to remain the principal in the couple and cannot obtain a spousal open work permit under R205(c) off of the spousal open work permit of their spouse.

For example, if the principal foreign national is the holder of a bridging open work permit issued under the administrative code A75 and the dependent spouse obtains an open work permit under LMIA exemption code C49 as the spouse of a worker who is a permanent resident applicant, and the spouse is working in an employment in a TEER category 4 or 5 occupation, the principal foreign national cannot obtain an openwork permit in the low-skilled spousal category (code C47) on the basis of their spouse’s C49 open work permit and employment in a TEER category 4 or 5 occupation.

Important: Dependent children cannot be the principal foreign national as per the definition in subsection R1(3).

Genuine relationship

As per section R4, a foreign national shall not be considered a spouse or a common-law partner of a person if the marriage or common-law partnership

If officers have concerns as to the genuineness of the relationship, they may request further documentation or information to confirm that the relationship between the dependent spouse or common-law partner and the principal foreign national is genuine and is not a relationship of convenience.

Dependent children and working age

There is no set minimum age to be eligible for a work permit. The submission of work permit applications on behalf of minor children is at the discretion of their parent(s) or authorized guardian(s).

The ‘working age’ varies across provincial and territorial jurisdictions and there is no minimum age for work permit issuance specified in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) or its regulations.

As such, unless there are reasonable grounds for an officer to be satisfied that a dependent child is unable to perform the work sought or any other reasons for refusal, minors may be issued a work permit.

IRCC and CBSA officers are not required to assess the minimum age requirements in the province of destination for dependent children. Therefore, the onus is on the Canadian employers to meet the requirements of the labour laws of the province of destination.

Please refer to the PDIs on Who qualifies as a dependent child to confirm if an applicant meets the definition of a dependent child in relation to the principal applicant.

The child must meet the definition of dependent child when we receive the work permit application and at time of decision.

Final decision


The work permit will be issued under the authority of R205(c)(ii).

In the Global Case Management System (GCMS) under the Application screen, officers should enter the information below in the specified fields:

Field Selection or input
Case Type 20
Province of destination


Important: For applications for family members of a provincial nominee or CSQ holder, the province of nomination or selection should be completed, and not left as ‘unknown’.

Exemption code

C49 - Family member of an Economic permanent resident applicant



Intended Occupation Open



The open work permit may be issued for a period that ends no later than the period of authorized stay of the principal foreign national or the date the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

If the principal foreign national is authorized to work without a permit under paragraph R186(u) at the time the family member’s work permit application is submitted, the application should be placed on hold until the principal foreign national’s work permit renewal application is assessed.


Officers should ensure that instructions provided in Work permit issuance in GCMS: Occupation or location restricted and Medical conditions to be imposed for occupation-restricted work permits are followed.

For example, the work permit of family members of provincial nominees or CSQ holders must be restricted by the province (not by the city). This condition should be added: Not authorized to work at any other location.

User Remarks


The following remark must be added to all open work permits

Authorized to work as per applicable labour laws.


$155 work permit processing fee

$100 open work permit holder fee


Work permit applicants are required to provide biometric information and pay the biometric fee – $85

The regular biometric exemptions apply (for example, age or 1 in 10).


If an officer has determined that the applicant does not meet the eligibility requirements. They should record their reasons for decision as per the instructions in: Decision making: Standard of review and process for making a reasonable decision.

Previous updates

January 30, 2023

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