During the processing of a sponsorship application for family class immigration, some sponsored spouses, partners, and their dependent children may come to Canada as temporary residents to be with their sponsor. In May, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) introduced a temporary public policy that allows these individuals to work in Canada while their application is being processed.

This public policy aims to make it easier for foreign nationals applying for family class sponsorship, including dependent children over 18 years old, to obtain an open work permit. Previously, open work permits were only available for the inland spousal sponsorship program, but now they are being extended to those applying from outside Canada.

IRCC believes that issuing open work permits will not only contribute to the financial stability of families and their integration into Canadian communities but also help address labor shortages and boost the economy.

What are the eligibility requirements for obtaining an open work permit under this policy?

The foreign national is:
A principal applicant who has submitted a permanent residence application as a spouse or common-law partner in Canada or as a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner under the family class, and the application has been accepted for processing by IRCC.
They have submitted a work permit application requesting a maximum duration of two years.
They are the subject of a sponsorship application submitted by their Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
They have the same residential address as their sponsor in Canada at the time of the application.
They have valid temporary resident status in Canada or are eligible for and have applied for restoration of status.
OR

The foreign national is:
A dependent child included as an accompanying family member in the application for permanent residence.
They have submitted a work permit application requesting a maximum duration of two years.
They have the same residential address as the principal applicant and their sponsor in Canada at the time of the application.
They have valid temporary resident status in Canada or are eligible for and have applied for restoration of status.
In addition to the introduction of the open work permit option, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser, announced improvements to strengthen family class immigration and family reunification in Canada on May 26. These measures include faster processing times for temporary resident visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants, new processing tools specifically for spousal TRV applicants, and extensions for open work permits expire in August 1st to end of 2023.

Fraser emphasized that these measures align with IRCC’s commitment to reuniting families and the significance of family reunification as a core aspect of Canada’s immigration strategy.

 

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