Open work permit for Spouse in Canada

Spouse Work permit

Canada is one of the most accommodating destinations for skillful immigrants. The system allows you to bring your family along and sponsor your Spouse for permanent residency. This is an essential component of Canada’s Family reunification program that aims to attract, retain and integrate skillful immigrants. 

Sponsored spouses and partners under this program can also apply for Canadian work permits under the Spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC). This arrangement allows them to work in Canada while their permanent residency application is being processed. 

The article will look into this Spousal open work permit, the requirements and the steps to apply for this program. 

What is an open work permit 

An open work permit is a non-job-specific permit that allows an individual to work for any employer in Canada. 

Unlike the Employer-specific work permit, applicants do not require a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment or a job offer. 

Are you eligible for a Canadian open work permit? 

According to the IRCC, the following class of applicants can apply for an open work permit. 

  • International students graduating from a designated learning institution and eligible for the PGWP Program 
  • Students who cannot afford the cost of their studies 
  • A person with an employer-specific work permit who is being abused or at risk of being abused at their job in Canada 
  • A person who applied for permanent residence in Canada 
  • A dependent family member of a permanent residence applicant 
  • A spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student 
  • A spouse or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program 
  • A refugee, refugee claimant, protected person or their family member 
  • A person under an unenforceable removal order 
  • A temporary resident permit holder 
  • A young worker participating in special programs 

What is the Spousal open work permit? 

The Spousal open work permit refers to the Open work permit pilot program for spouses and common-law partners in the SPLC class. 

What are the requirements under this Spousal Open work permit? 

To be eligible, an applicant must be in the Spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC) while fulfilling the conditions below: 

  • Their application for permanent residency is being processed. 
  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident has submitted a sponsorship application for the applicant. 
  • The applicant must apply from within Canada 
  • The applicant and sponsor must reside at the same address 
  • The applicant must be a temporary resident 

Who is ineligible for a Spousal open work permit? 

The IRCC also places restrictions on who can apply for an open work permit under the SCLPC class. Foreigners are ineligible if: 

  • Their application for permanent residency under the SCLPC class has been refused or withdrawn. 
  • They applied as a member of the overseas family class 
  • They are applying for a work permit at a port of entry. 

Do you need a positive LMIA for a Spousal open work permit under SPLC class? 

Applicants under the Open work permit in the SPLC class do not need a positive LMIA. 

Such applicants fall under the LMIA exemption code A70. 

How to submit an open work permit application as a sponsored spouse 

If you are a sponsored spouse, you can only apply for an open work permit once you receive the acknowledgement of receipt (AoR) for your permanent residency application. 

You must create an online account to make your open work permit application. 

The process is as follows: 

  • Answer yes to the list of conditions that includes: “I applied for permanent residence and was found eligible (first stage approval) under one of the following classes: 
    • Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada 
    • Humanitarian and Compassionate cases 
    • Protected Persons in Canada 
    • Live-in Caregiver in Canada” 
  • Your answer when filling up the application should be as follows: 
    • Box 1: What type of work permit are you applying for – Open work permit 
    • Box 4: Job title- SCLPC OWP 
    • Brief description of duties- Spouse and common-law partner in Canada pilot program 
  • The next step is uploading your documents. This should include the following: 
    • The acknowledgement of receipt for your Permanent residency application 
    • Your Family information form 
    • Your marriage license 

What are the fees for a Spousal open work permit? 

The fee for an open work permit application is as follows: 

  • Work permit fee – $155 
  • Open work permit holder fee – $100 

Can spouses of temporary foreign workers apply for a Canadian work permit? 

An IRCC news release on December 2, 2022, announced the Canadian Government’s plan to address the workforce shortages in the Canadian economy. Starting January 2023, the IRCC is set to implement a temporary 2-year measure that will allow family members of temporary foreign workers, including spouses and children of working age, to apply for work permits. 

It is a much-needed boost to the thinning Canadian labour market as family members of an estimated 200,000 foreign workers will be eligible to join the workforce.

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou

Janggoulal Sitlhou is a content writer with SettleCanada. He is a Political Sciences graduate and a keen follower of international affairs and contemporary history. He has a background in publishing and regularly dabbles in writing and game development projects. Janggoulal currently writes on issues related to Canadian Immigration.