Family reunification is a core immigration priority for the Government of Canada. In addition to the changes made to process spousal sponsorship applications faster, IRCC also extended the open work permit pilot program until December 21, 2017, to give spouses a chance to work while their application is being finalized.
To be eligible for an open work permit, you must be a spouse or common-law partner living in Canada who is being sponsored under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class. You must have valid temporary resident status (as a visitor, student or worker) and live at the same address as your sponsor.
- If you have already submitted an application for permanent residence but have not yet received approval in principle under the SCLPC class or have not yet applied for an open work permit, you can complete the work permit application. Send your completed application, along with appropriate fee, to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville.
- If you have already received approval in principle on your permanent residence application—meaning you received a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada stating you meet the permanent residence eligibility requirements but have not yet passed the medical, security and background checks for your family members or yourself—you may apply for an open work permit online.
- If you were provided with a work permit under the initial pilot, you must apply for a work permit extension before it expires.
- If you are submitting a new application, you may submit a work permit application at the same time as your sponsorship application, along with an application for permanent residence. You must include the appropriate fees, and send all completed applications together to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga.
Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)