Family members of the temporary foreign worker may or may not be eligible to accompany the worker during his or her stay in Canada, depending on the immigration program used. In the previous article, we saw under which circumstances this was possible with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

We will now look at what arrangements apply to family members who would like to accompany a worker who uses the International Experience Canada program, Young Professionals category.

According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website, the answer is simple.

Will my spouse or common-law partner receive a work permit under the International Experience Canada program to accompany me?

No. […]

In fact, your spouse/common-law partner may receive a work permit if he or she applies for the International Experience Canada program and receives an invitation to apply for a work permit. This could also be possible in the case where he or she submits his/her own request under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, when an employer is ready to take the necessary steps.

However, there is another option, almost unknown, that can be used if the main worker is employed at a level O, A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). See the following website for more details about the NOC:

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you are:

a spouse of a skilled worker in an occupation classified under skill type O, A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC) who has been authorized to work in Canada for six months or more;

For example, the spouse of an International Experience Canada participant, who would have a level O, A or B job, could apply for an Open Work Permit as the spouse of a skilled worker. Warning! To be able to proceed in this way, the principal worker must prove that the job he or she occupies will be at level O, A or B, and the proofs must be included in the spouse’s application for a work permit.

Finally, there is always the possibility for the spouse to accompany the worker to Canada as a visitor by applying for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or temporary resident visa. However, it will not be possible to work or study full-time for a degree (except for language studies lasting 6 months or less ).

If you would like to have your spouse’s eligibility checked for a work permit, please contact Objectif Terre at