IMP C41 or C49 – An open work permit for spouses of Temporary Foreign Workers

Some temporary foreign workers (TFW) have spouses or common-law partners. In most cases, these couples prefer to be in Canada together. However, when you move to Canada as an adult, you may also need permission to work. IMP C41 is an LMIA exemption code that allows certain spouses of TFWs receive an open work permit in Canada.

IRCC changed the IMP C41 exemption code to IMP C49 for certain applicants on December 15, 2022. Other than changes to the code number, the current article applies.

What is an open work permit?

An open work permit, such as the one issued under IMP C41, allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada. Therefore, you may work for a third party, your own business, or your spouse’s business. Some work permits may have restrictions, such as the region you may work in or the nature of your work. Also, you may face certain conditions without an upfront medical exam. Regardless, open work permits create unique opportunities for foreign workers to

Understanding the concept of IMP

Let’s explore LMIA before explaining IMP C41. Generally speaking, a foreign worker must obtain an LMIA from Service Canada or ESDC. An LMIA is a letter that explains how hiring a foreign national will impact the Canadian labour market. Of course, an adverse LMIA letter means IRCC won’t issue a work permit for the person. The LMIA process is time-consuming, expensive, and prone to refusal.

Luckily, the government of Canada allows certain foreign nationals to apply for a work permit without an LMIA. The policies that will enable such exemptions to fall under the International Mobility Program or IMP. We have another article on our website that explains IMP in more detail.

Explaining IMP C41

IMP C41 refers to an open work permit the spouse or common-law partner of a temporary foreign worker receives in Canada. However, to qualify for this work permit application, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You are genuinely the spouse or common-law partner of a TFW.
  • The TFW holds a valid work permit for at least six months. Alternatively, the TFW may work in Canada without a permit (exceptions apply).
  • Employment of the TFW falls under one of the following categories:
    • NOC skill type 0 or skill levels A or B
    • An Atlantic Immigration Program applicant that works under NOC 0, A, B, or C
    • Any PNP applicant that has received a work permit under federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) agreement for permanent residence
    • A Quebec skilled worker applicant who holds a CSQ and is working in a job under the Canada-Quebec Accord
  • The TFW is either physically present in Canada or intends to be physically present in Canada. Of course, they must present enough documentation to verify this criterion.

IMP C41 work permit for BOWP or PGWP

Sometimes the TFW holds an open work permit under programs such as BOWP or PGWP. Thus, the spouse or common-law partner qualifies for IMP C41 only if the TFW works under NOC 0, A, or B. Unfortunately, IRCC refuses those applications that the principal applicant is not working in Canada, or their work is NOC C or D.

NOTE: IRCC will replace NOC levels with TEER Categories by mid-2022. Consequently, we may see changes to the IMP C41 policies soon.

Defining genuine relationships for spouses or common-law partners

According to section 4 of the Immigration Regulations, you are not a family member if your relationship is not genuine. Consequently, IRCC could refuse to issue a working permit for you under IMP C41. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut guidelines for proving the genuineness of the relationship. However, consider the following piece of advice based on my professional experience.

Group A: You have been in a relationship for more than two years

If you have been in a relationship for more than two years, present some documents to prove it. For example,

  • A marriage certificate that you received more than two years ago
  • Documents that show you have been co-habiting as common-law partners for more than two years

Group B: You have common children

If you have common children, then include documents to prove it. For example,

  • Your marriage certificate or the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form
  • Any official documents showing your common-law relationship or marriage
  • Birth certificates
  • Family books or similar official documentation

Group C: None of the above

If you do not belong to any previous groups, you must present more documents. For example:

  • Support letters from family members or friends
  • Pictures showing you in different settings, such as family gatherings, trips to other places, etc.
  • Documents showing you live in the same location, such as the electric bills and cell phone bills

Of course, these lists are neither inclusive nor exclusive. Therefore, do your best to verify you are genuinely the spouse or common-law partner of the TFW.

How to get the IMP C41 work permit

Just meeting the principal requirements is not enough. IRCC officers follow the guidelines under section 200 of the IRPR to issue work permits. Therefore, they consider the following:

  • You have submitted a complete application.
  • You will leave Canada by the end of your authorized stay.

No need to say that you must submit convincing documents to support your qualifications under section 200.

Let us help you with your IMP C41 application.

We can help you with your IMP C41 work permit application. Please fill out the following contact form. Of course, you may book an appointment with me for official advice.

    Full Name (required)

    Email Address (required)

    Have you entered your email address correctly?

    WhatsApp number (optional)


    Your Message

    Read this in Spanish 

    Relevant article:

    Related Posts

    Two-Pronged Test in Addressing Internal Flight Alternative (IFA)

    Apr 20, 2024

    Navigating Canadian Immigration: A Glimpse into Al Parsai’s Insightful Presentation

    Apr 14, 2024

    Canada Visa Refusals: Impact of Family Ties

    Apr 13, 2024

    Canadian Residency Obligation based on Ambat v. Canada

    Apr 9, 2024

    If you wish to visit or move to Canada, please fill out our free assessment form. We will review it for free, but we will contact you only if we find an opportunity for you. Alternatively, you may book a consultation session. Consultation sessions are not free, but you will receive formal advice from a licensed practitioner.

    Al Parsai, LLM, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

    Fill our Free Canada Immigration Assessment Form in your language!

    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

    The characters and places in the articles:
    All the characters and locations in the articles are fictional, unless otherwise clearly stated. Therefore, any resemblance in names, dates, and places is coincidental.

    Important Notes:
    For our official addresses, trust this website only. We currently do not have offices outside Canada. Therefore, anyone who claims to be our agent is committing fraud. Also, note that we do not issue any work permits or study permits or similar documents. The government of Canada has the sole authority to issue such material.

    Click to read the disclaimer.

    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.