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Canadian spousal Open Work Permit: How to apply?

While the time of processing Inland Sponsorship Application for permanent residents, Canadian spouses and law partners can get an open work permit.

The applications submitted through Spousal Sponsorship Program, are processed by IRCC within 12 months of applying.

An open work permit is neither employer nor job-specific. It allows the holder to work for any Canadian employer, without having a confirmed offer of employment. This work permit is valid for two years or to the date of the applicant’s passport expiry date, whichever comes first.

Criteria for Spousal Open Work Permit:
  • A permanent residence application must be submitted under the Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship Immigration Program;
  • The applicant must reside at the same address as the sponsor (spouse/common-law partner);
  • The applicant must have valid temporary resident status (as a visitor, student, or worker); and
  • The applicant and the sponsor must meet all eligibility requirements under spousal or common-law partner sponsorship.
Spouse Open Work Permit
Inland Sponsorship Application

It is a specific program used to sponsor the family members under the Canada’s Spouse or Common Law Partner in Canada Class immigration program.

To apply under this program, the spouse or common law partner must have a valid temporary status in Canada either as a student, worker or visitor.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible to sponsor, the candidate need to meet the following criteria:

  • your spouse or partner needs to live with you in Canada; and
  • your spouse or partner needs to have temporary resident status in Canada.

There are also several basic requirements for immigration to Canada that the sponsor and the sponsored person will also have to meet to be eligible for Inland sponsorship:

  • the sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada;
  • both the sponsor and sponsored person must be at least 18 years of age;

The relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person must be one of the following:

  • spouse: you are legally married, and your marriage is valid under the law of the jurisdiction where it was registered and under Canadian law;
  • common-law: you are cohabiting or have cohabited with your partner in a marriage-like relationship for at least 12 consecutive months;
  • the sponsored person must not have been sponsored by their spouse in Canada in the five years preceding the submission of their application;
  • neither spouse must be in prison, charged with a serious offence or bankrupt.

Conjugal partnerships, i.e. relationships in which two people cannot live together or marry because of religious or marital status barriers, for example, are not eligible for Inland sponsorship.

Spousal Sponsorship Program

Who is eligible?

You can be a sponsor if:

  • You are 18 years of age or older;
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident living in Canada, or person registered under the Canadian Indian Act;
  • You live in Canada or are a Canadian citizen planning to return to the country;
  • You are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability;
  • You can provide for your basic needs, those of your spouse or partner and, if applicable, those of dependent children.

As a sponsor you must:

  • Be able to support your partner financially;
  • Make sure they will not require social assistance from the government.

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2 Replies to “Canadian spousal Open Work Permit: How to apply?”

  1. […] How long is the open work permit valid for? Your spouse or common-law partner's work permit will be valid for the same period of time as  […]

  2. Thank you for sharing this information. Your article sheds light on a topic that many may find intricate, and you’ve made it accessible and engaging.

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