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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.

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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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Everything went well at the border. Spent less time with the immigration officer than I did waiting in the line in my truck – thanks to your excellent application package and prep for me!

- M. Worden

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