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How to Apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit in Canada

While their inland sponsorship request for permanent residency is being handled, spouses and common-law partners of Canadians can acquire an open work permit.

Within 12 months, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) hopes to complete applications filed through the Spousal Sponsorship program. While waiting for an IRCC ruling, foreign spouses can work under the Open Work Permit Program. It can alleviate the financial and emotional strains of a lengthy application procedure by eliminating the need for a spouse to choose between living with their partner and working.

An open work permit is not employer or job-specific, and it permits the bearer to work for nearly any employer in Canada without first obtaining a confirmed job offer. These work licenses usually last for two years, or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first.

The following criteria must be completed in order to obtain a spousal open work permit:

  • Under the Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship Immigration Program, an application for permanent residence must be submitted.

  • The applicant must live with the sponsor (spouse/common-law partner) at the same address.

  • The candidate must be a visitor, student, or worker with a valid temporary resident status.

  • Under spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, both the applicant and the sponsor must meet all eligibility conditions.

It is feasible to simultaneously apply for an open work visa and sponsorship. After receiving an acknowledgement of receipt from IRCC, you can apply for a work permit online if you have already applied for sponsorship.
If the spouse or common-law partner’s status is ineligible at the time of application, IRCC will handle their work permit application after their permanent residence application has been accepted in principle.
Contact us at 1800-889-6113 for any query 
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