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Canada Offers 18 Month Extension of Open Work Permits To Address Labour Shortages

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Canada Work Permits

Canada Offers 18 Month Extension of Open Work Permits To Address Labour Shortages

In an effort to address labour shortages, on May 26, 2023, Canada Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced an 18 month extension for open work permits holders in the Spousal & Family class applicants. Starting June 7, 2023, individuals holding open work permits that are set to expire by the end of 2023 will have the opportunity to extend their work permits for an additional 18 months. From June 7 through June 28, 2023, eligible spousal open work permit holders can apply for an 18-month extension of their open work permit.

Spousal applicants and other open work permit holders whose open work permits are expiring between August 1 and the end of 2023 are eligible for the 18-month extension. Canada recently offered a similar option to some holders of expiring post-graduation work permits. Canada issued more than 1,075,000 work permits and work permit extensions in 2022.

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Eligibility Criteria For An 18 Month Open Work Permit Extension

    1. You possess a valid open work permit that will expire before December 31, 2023.

    2. You belong to one of these categories:

      • An applicant who has applied for permanent residence in Canada and is awaiting a decision on their application.
      • Permanent residence applicants and their spouses who are waiting for a decision on their application.
      • A spouse or dependent child/children of a work permit holder.
      • Spouses of study permit holders.
    3. Your biometrics will remain valid for the entire 18-month extension period (unless you are exempt from the biometric requirement).

    4. You have a Canadian mailing address.

    5. Your passport is valid for at least 18 months beyond the expiration date of your current spousal open work permit.

    6. You are admissible to Canada, meaning you do not have any major legal proceedings or medical conditions that would prevent your entry.

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    How To Apply For An Open Work Permit Extension


    1. Opt-In

    This free facilitative measure can be accessed through the secure GCKey account used for your initial application. The easiest way to obtain an 18-month spousal open work permit extension is to update your address and passport details and select "Opt-In" in your secure IRCC account. This option is available only until June 28, 2023. Those who use the "Opt-In" option will receive their open work permit extension by mail at their updated address.

    2. Apply for an open work permit
    If you cannot "Opt-In" before June 28, 2023, or if this option is unavailable in your GCKey for any reason, you can still obtain an 18-month extension. To do so, submit a standard work permit application, reference this public policy in your application, and follow the IRCC's special instructions.

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    Do You Want To Apply For An Open Work Permit Or Spousal Work Permit?

    Get in touch with Ackah Law today to arrange a consultation and discover more about how we can assist you in immigrating to Canada. Ackah Business Immigration Law is a full-service immigration law firm catering to businesses and individuals, with offices in Toronto, Calgary, and Vancouver. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452-9515 or email us directly at contact@ackahlaw.com.



        Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

        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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