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?
- Understanding the concept of IMP
- Explaining IMP C41
- IMP C41 work permit for BOWP or PGWP
- Genuine relationships
- How to get the IMP C41 work permit
- Let us help!
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
- make a living,
- potentially qualify for an immigration option, such as the Canadian Experience Class,
- contribute to the Canadian economy, and
- alleviate potential mental health issues by remaining busy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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