The Open Work Permit Pilot Program Allows Sponsored Spouses And Common-Law Partners To Work In Canada While Waiting For Permanent Residence Status
Canada’s immigration application process just got a little bit better for families in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) recently announced an extension to their Open Work Permit Pilot Program that was scheduled to end on December 22, 2016. The program—which is now set to run until December 21, 2017—allows sponsored spouses and common-law partners of Canadian Citizens and permanent residents to work in Canada while they wait for their application for permanent residency to be processed.
IRCC states that this program helps reunite families, and benefits Canada by promoting productivity in the workforce.
The Open Work Permit Pilot Program allows temporary workers to continue working anywhere in Canada while they wait for final decisions on their immigration status applications. This can also apply for extensions before their current work permits expire. In turn, they can, keep working in Canada, earn an income, and, most importantly, stay with their families.
The extension to the pilot program is, in fact, the second extension that’s been granted due to the extreme popularity amongst participants and their families.
Would-be applicants to the Open Work Permit Pilot Program must first apply for permanent resident status through the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class application. The applicant must be sponsored by their spouse or common-law partner via the Inland Sponsorship route (wherein the sponsorship application is made from within Canada itself).
They must also obtain a valid temporary resident status in Canada, such as a visitor, student, or temporary worker status, and live at the same address as their spouse or common-law partner. Although applicants may submit a work permit application after they have submitted a permanent residence application, it is recommended that they submit both applications at the same time.
Canada’s Immigration Minister, John McCallum, also announced that processing times for Family Class applications will be reduced by half, and this includes Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class applications. The new application processing time is estimated at 12 months. To meet this timeframe, applications have been moved online and the documentation process will be simplified for a faster and easier application process, as well as for immigration personnel to process the applications.
By reducing application processing times and making it easier for families to stay together in Canada, the stresses of Canada’s immigration process can become less burdensome. It is much easier to move to a new country and go through the sometimes frustrating process of gaining permanent residence status if you are able to work and have your loved ones by your side.