Pilot projects circumvent LMO process

Alberta, Ontario offer open work permits to children of temp foreign workers

Working-aged dependents of temporary foreign workers in Ontario and Alberta can now apply for open work permits, thanks to two new pilot programs.

An open work permit will allow these individuals to work for any employer in Alberta or Ontario without having to undergo the usual process involved in applying for a temporary work permit, which includes a job offer and a successful labour market opinion through Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.

Under the pilot programs, which runs from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, certain conditions must be met.

The temporary foreign worker (called the primary applicant) must:

•be eligible for an employer-specific work permit or already be holding it

•intend to work in Alberta or Ontario

•work in a skilled, managerial or professional occupation ("A", "O", or "B" classification).

Dependent children of primary applicants may apply for open work permits if they are of legal working age in Alberta (18 years of age) or Ontario (14, 15, 16, or 18 years of age, depending on the occupation). For the purposes of Canadian immigration, children are considered dependent if they are not married or in a common-law relationship, and are under the age of 22.

The dependent child’s work permit will be valid for the same time period as the primary applicant’s work permit, and if the primary applicant’s work permit is extended, the dependent child’s work permit may be extended as well.

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