Open Work Permit Pilot Program for Spouses and Common-Law Partners

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open work permit pilot program

Did you know that spouses and common-law partners of Canadians who are applying to become permanent residents can legally stay in Canada with an Open Work Permit under a program called the Open Work Permit Pilot Program?




WHAT IS THE OPEN WORK PERMIT PILOT PROGRAM?

The Government of Canada’s Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) first introduced the program in 2014. It has been extended until July 31, 2020.

The program provides Open Work Permits to spouses and common-law partners with of Canadians allowing them to legally stay in Canada while their application to become permanent residents is being processed through spousal sponsorship.

To be eligible, spouses and common-law partners must meet the minimum requirements of the program, including being in Canada legally.

Spouses and common-law partners must already be living at the same address as their partner.

A valid job offer from a Canadian employer is NOT required to apply for this program.




WHAT IS AN OPEN WORK PERMIT?

Most Work Permits issued to Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) are restricted to specific Canadian employers.

With Open Work Permits, OFWs can work for any Canadian employer without need for additional documentation such as Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs)




SPOUSAL OR COMMON-LAW SPONSORSHIP

It is possible to submit applications for the program together with the Inland Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship at the same time.

OFWs submitting documents must do so by post. Application forms and proof of payment must be sent by mail.

OFWs can request an extension from IRCC if an application cannot be submitted by mail due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On a case-to-case basis, IRCC may hold applications for up to 90 days.

If additional documents are required, IRCC may provide an additional 90 days for OFWs to submit the required documents.

If there is an application for Inland Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship has already been submitted, OFWs can submit an application for an Open Work Permit online.

IRCC will provide OFWs with an Approval in Principle, which is a letter stating that the OFW has met the minimum requirements to become permanent residents, but other requirements such as medical, security and background checks must still be submitted.

OFWs who have not received an Approval in Principal letter must submit an application for an Open Work Permit by mail.




LEARN MORE ABOUT THE OPEN WORK PERMIT PILOT PROGRAM HERE

For more information about the Open Work Permit Pilot Program, click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/foreign-workers/special-initiatives-pilot-project/partner.html

For more information about Inland Spousal or Common-Law Sponsorship, click here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/application/application-forms-guides/guide-5289-sponsor-your-spouse-common-law-partner-conjugal-partner-dependent-child-complete-guide.html






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