Spousal Open Work Permit

Spousal Open Work Permit

The Canadian government recognizes the importance of keeping families together at all stages of the immigration journey, which is why there is a special provision allowing spouses of students, skilled workers and applicant’s for permanent residence, the ability to work. This type of work permit is commonly known as a Spousal Open Work permit. To be eligible for a spousal open work permit, you must be the legal spouse or common law partner of a skilled worker, or student in Canada. This means that if you decide to study in Canada, your spouse has the right to apply for a work permit. Likewise, if you are employed as a skilled worker in Canada, your spouse can also qualify to hold an open work permit. The duration of the work permit will be equal to the duration of your status as a worker or a student.

What is an Open Work Permit?

An open work permit allows you to work any job that is non-specific. This means you won’t need to limit your options when deciding on where you work, or who you work for. There are other advantages of holding an open work permit as well. In many cases, spouses of skilled worker or students, acquire employment opportunities that will lead to permanent residency pathways. It is not uncommon for the spouse of a student to achieve a clear pathway to permanent residency before the completion of their spouse’s studies. And since they are a legal family unit, both will apply for permanent residency at the same time.

Beyond meeting the eligibility requirements to apply for an open work permit, the main deciding factors on whether or not you will get an open work permit are your ability to be employed, your existing financial situation, and your previous travel history.

How Long Does it Take to Process an Open Work Permit?

Generally, it will take anywhere between 1 and 4 months to process your spouse’s open work permit application. If the sponsored person is already in Canada, they are not allowed to work until they obtain the open work permit. If you come from a visa-exempt country, such as the UK, US, AUS, NZ, Germany, France and others, you can apply for the open work permit when you arrive in Canada, through the port of entry.

How Do I Know If I’m Eligible for an Open Work Permit?

There are a few requirements you must meet if you’re going to successfully acquire a work permit for your spouse or common-law partner. While you can read about all the of the details on the government’s website here, some of the more important elements are as follows. You must fit one of the following conditions:

  • Be a spouse of a fulltime student in Canada
  • Be a spouse of a fulltime skilled worker in Canada
  • Be a spouse of an applicant for Permanent Residence

Paying for the costs of spouse or common-law partner is a very important aspect of this process, and there are some additional financial requirements associated with a sponsorship as well. While the complete list of details are available in the link above, ultimately, you must:

  • Show you can support you and your spouse in Canada

Are There Specific Requirements?

Generally speaking you need to prove that you have enough money to support your spouse or common-law partner even if they are applying for an open work permit. This means presenting the correct documents to show your financial assets and monthly costs of living.

In addition, it is advisable you demonstrate that you spouse will abide by the conditions of their stay, mainly that they will leave Canada at the end of their working period. This is best done by proving a strong connection to your home country, whether it is a letter from your employer, property and assets, or both.

What Factors Make Me Ineligible to Sponsor a Spouse for a Spouse Open Work Permit?

Again, many of the details about ineligibility are here on the government’s website. But the main elements that will make you ineligible include:

  • Being under 18 years old
  • Not living in Canada
  • Not being financially able to support your spouse
  • Not being eligible for an open work permit

If you have any questions or are unsure of some of the details of your Canadian immigration, just give us a call. We will be able to offer you more information than you can find online. Find out if you’re eligible today by booking an online consultation.

Contact Us

For answers to all of your questions, make sure to get in touch with us today for an immigration consultation. You can also book a free 15 minute call to discuss your case.

Need Assistance?

Speak with Canadian Immigration Specialist Chris Brown from Tudor House Immigration Services.

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“Chris was both knowledgeable and helpful. He made us feel at ease when asking questions and gave us valuable advice that would have been difficult for us to find on our own.”

Alana B – May 18, 2021