Spousal Work Permit Pilot to be Made Permanent by IRCC
Canada has extended the open work permit pilot for spouses and common law partners as the government works toward making this program a permanent fixture, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The pilot, which was launched in December 2014, allows foreign spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to work in Canada while their inland sponsorship application for permanent residence is being processed. It was initially set to expire on July 31 after its most recent extension, however, the government of Canada has decided to extend the pilot until the regulatory changes have been completed to implement it as a permanent policy.
A press release from IRCC stated:
"Support for families is a priority for the Government, and these measures ensure that applicants have the opportunity to work and contribute to the economy. The extension of these measures provides certainty and stability to spouses and common-law partners in Canada who are awaiting their permanent resident status."
The pilot program’s updated web page on the IRCC website also states that family reunification is a “core immigration priority for the Government of Canada.”
It is important to keep in mind that the open work permits are limited those who are living in Canada and have submitted an application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class. Applicant’s must also have temporary resident status or be eligible to restore their temporary resident status (as a visitor, student, or worker) and be living at the same address as their sponsor.
Those who have been provided with a work permit under the initial pilot must apply for a work permit extension before their status lapses.
Submitting an Application
If you are submitting a new application for a work permit under this pilot, you can do so at the same time as your application for sponsorship application and permanent residence. Your applications must include all the appropriate fees and be sent together by mail or courier only.
For more information about the Open work permit pilot program, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.