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Can my spouse or partner continue to work while their application for sponsorship is being handled?

When a spouse or partner applies for permanent residency with your sponsorship, they may also apply for an open work permit.

While the processing of your spouse's or partner's application for permanent residency is ongoing, they must:

Maintaining their temporary resident status legally in Canada; Delaying employment until their work permit has been approved.

The spouse or partner may continue to work as long as they maintain their position as a worker even if their current work permit is about to expire.

What is an Open Work Permit?

One of the various types of work licenses that enable foreign workers to lawfully work in Canada

is an open work permit. Foreign nationals with open work permits are able to work in Canada for a wide range of firms in different regions. The freedom of movement between employers, professions, workplaces, or locations within Canada is their greatest benefit.

An open work permit can ease the financial and emotional load of a potentially drawn-out application process while still enabling your spouse or partner to engage in professional activity in the Canadian labor market. You can apply without having received an employment offer.

Depending on each person's unique circumstances, different requirements and application processes apply. An open work permit may be available to spouses and common-law partners who are sponsored under Inland Sponsorship and meet the requirements for that program.

Eligibility criteria for Open Work Permit.

There are requirements that need to be satisfied in order to obtain a spouse open work permit:

  • An application for sponsorship as a spouse or common-law partner is made. Both the applicant and the sponsor must live there.

  • The applicant must be in possession of a current temporary resident visa for a visitor, student, or employee.

  • Both the applicant and the sponsor must be eligible to sponsor a spouse or common-law partner.

How to apply for a spousal open work permit?

Regardless of whether your spouse or partner has filed for permanent residency or not, you are still eligible to apply for an open work visa. You can mail all applications—for sponsorship, permanent residence, and an open work permit—in one envelope to the Case Processing Center in Mississauga, Ontario if your spouse or partner has not yet applied for permanent residence.

If your spouse or partner has not yet applied for permanent residence, they must wait until they do in order to obtain their letter of acknowledgment of receipt. Once they have that, they can submit an online application for an open work permit. The applicant must respond to several questions after creating an online account in order to receive a customized document checklist. The next step is for the applicant to complete the application forms and upload the necessary files.


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