ARCHIVED – Backgrounder — British Columbia Pilot Project for Spouses, Common-Law Partners and Working-Age Dependent Children of Temporary Foreign Workers

This pilot project allows spouses, common-law partners and dependent children of most temporary foreign workers (TFWs) to receive open work permits that would authorize them to accept any job with any employer in British Columbia. Currently, only spouses of higher-skilled TFWs are accorded this privilege.

This pilot is the first of its kind in Canada and will be reviewed both during and after the 18 months in which it is in effect. The reviews will consider the impact of the pilot on the B.C. labour market and employers, and whether it has assisted employers in the recruitment of TFWs to B.C.

To be eligible to participate in the pilot, applicants must:

  • be a spouse, common-law partner, or a working-age dependent child (18 to 22 years of age) of certain temporary foreign workers who have been issued a valid job-specific work permits of at least six month’s duration with a British Columbia work location; and
  • meet all admissibility criteria to come to Canada as a temporary resident.

Categories of temporary foreign workers whose family members are ineligible for this pilot project include:

  • Live-in caregivers;
  • Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program participants
  • Seasonal agricultural workers employed through the Pilot Project for Occupations Requiring Lower Levels of Formal Training
  • International Experience Canada participants


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