Inland Spousal/Common-Law work permit
If you are the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to apply for an inland spouse open work permit. This permit will allow you to work in Canada without having to first obtain a job offer. There are a few requirements that you must meet in order to be eligible for this permit, and we will discuss them in detail.
Spouses and common-law partners of Canadians or Permanent Residents can get an open work permit while their inland sponsorship application for permanent residence is being processed.
Sponsored individuals can work for any employer of their choosing in Canada, allowing them to financially support themselves and their families while applying for immigration.
Having an open work permit also allows the sponsored spouse or common-law partner to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which can help them qualify for permanent residence through one of the Express Entry programs.
A Canadian or permanent resident (the sponsor) may apply to the Spousal Sponsorship program, which allows him or her to sponsor his or her spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residency. Inland sponsorship is a form of spousal sponsorship that can be used by couples who are already residing together in Canada and whose spouse/common-law partner is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
Open Work Permit Pilot Program
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) aims to complete Spousal Sponsorship applications within a year. The Open Work Permit Pilot Program may assist with the economic and emotional stresses of a lengthy application procedure by removing the requirement for a spouse to choose between being with his or her partner and working.
An open work permit is neither employer nor job-specific and allows the holder to work for almost any Canadian employer. These permits are usually valid for two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
Spouse Open Work Permit Eligibility Criteria
In order to be eligible for an inland spousal/common-law sponsorship open work permit, you must meet the following requirements:
- 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.
- You must be the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- Your relationship must be genuine
- You must intend to live in Canada with your spouse or common-law partner
- You must meet the basic requirements for temporary entry into Canada, including having a valid travel document (such as a passport), not being inadmissible to Canada, and satisfying an immigration officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your authorized appointment stay.
If you meet all of the above requirements, you may be eligible to apply for an inland spousal/common-law sponsorship open work permit.
Spouse Open Work Permit Document Checklist
The documents required for a Canadian spouse work permit will depend on the category you are applying under. Applicants may need to provide the following documents as part of their work permit application:
- Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter
- Provincial nomination certificate (if applicable)
- Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) (Quebec Acceptance Certificate) (if applicable)
- Completed application forms
- Proof of status in Canada
- Proof of spouse’s status in Canada
- Marriage certificate or proof of common-law status
- Proof of relationship to the principal applicant
- A valid copy of your passport
- Medical exam results (if requested)
- Proof of payment for applicable government fees
Can a spouse open work permit be extended?
The SOWP of the spouse, or lead applicant, is bound by their permit and will only be valid for as long as that person’s permit. If your SOWP expires, you’ll have to reapply based on your partner’s permission.
How long does it take to get a work permit after getting married?
There is no minimum amount of time that an applicant must wait before applying for a permit after getting married.
Can I work anywhere in Canada on a spouse open work permit?
Spouses of open work permits holders may work in any province or territory in Canada for any employer, with limited restrictions.
Can I add my dependents on my spouse open work permit?
Dependent children may apply for a visitor record if they wish to travel with the permit holder while applying for a spousal open work permit.
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