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Are You a Teen Expat in Canada Who Wants a Work Permit?

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class

Are You a Teen Expat in Canada Who Wants a Work Permit?

Many teenagers who move to Canada with their families would like to work while living in Canada. Teenage family members accompanying a parent who has a Canadian temporary work permit can't work in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) categorizes teen expat children of foreign worker parents as family members who are in Canada to accompany their parents and pursue their studies, not to work.

There are two possibilities for teenage foreigners living in Canada to work:

  • If a teenage expat has a study permit to attend college or university in Canada, they make be eligible to work if as a student they apply for their own status document.
  • If a teenage expat's employer is willing to complete an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) and it is approved, then it could be possible for them to get a work permit.

There is no program for teen family members of foreign workers in Canada to get a work permit, but the OWP gives foreign spouses an opportunity to work while their immigration application is being finalized.

Spousal Work Permits

Canada's Spousal Open Work Permit Pilot Program OWP was initiated on December 22, 2014, by the Government of Canada as part of its core immigration priority for family reunification. This program gives spouses or common-law partners the opportunity to continue to work in Canada while waiting for their spousal sponsorship applications to be finalized. This pilot program allows applicants to apply for an Open Work Permit with or any time after they submit an application for permanent residence in the Spouse or Common-Law Partner In Canada (SCLPC) class.

Download Ackah Law's free checklist:
How to Sponsor Your Spouse to Move to Canada


No similar exemption exists for accompanying children.

Learn More:

At Ackah Law, We Don’t Sell Dreams, We Sell Success

If you have questions about your immigration to Canada or the United States, contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 Ext. 100 or 1-800-932-1190 or email contact@ackahlaw.com.


Evelyn Ackah

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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