All about Spouse Open-Work Permit

By Eva Olsen [Published 05 Apr, 2022 | 05:44 AM] 1264
All about Spouse Open-Work Permit

Canada's immigration system majorly favours family-oriented migrations. Reunification of families is an important part of Canada's immigration policy. On this premise, students can bring their spouse, dependent partner, or common-law partner to Canada. Overseas immigrants who are awaiting a judgement on their inland spousal or common-law sponsorship application can apply for an open work visa in Canada. The Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) is an immigration pathway option that allows inland sponsorship applicants to work while their immigration application is being processed.

Who can apply for a Spousal Open-Work Permit?

If you are an overseas student who has completed a course at an approved educational institution and is qualified for a Post-Graduation Work Permit;

  • If you applied for permanent residency in Canada through one of the country's immigration schemes;
  • If you are a family member (spouse or common-law partner) of someone who has applied for permanent residence.
  • If you are a skilled worker or international student's spouse or common-law partner. 
  • If you are in possession of a temporary residence permit. 
  • If you are a refugee, asylum seeker, or protected person, or a family member of a refugee, asylum seeker, or protected person.
  • If you are subject to an illegitimate removal order. 
  • If you are a young worker taking part in a Working Holiday initiative.
  • If you are a student who can't afford to pay for your courses. 


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What are the benefits of a Spousal Open-Work Permit?

  • Your spouse can work full-time in Canada if he or she has a Spouse Dependent Work Permit.
  • To obtain a Spouse Dependent Work Permit, there is no necessity to take the IELTS language competence test.
  • If your spouse is already in Canada on a valid visa, there is no need for an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) or a job offer at the time of application.
  • You can stay in Canada with your spouse until your permit expires.
  • You can even prolong the duration of your stay in Canada with your spouse by extending the validity of your visa. If your spouse has prolonged the validity of his or her lawful visa status, this may be doable.

Overseas spouses can apply for an open work permit at the same time as they apply for permanent residency through spousal sponsorship, or at any time afterwards. Applicants can apply for the SOWP online if their permanent residence application has already been approved in principle. 

This means they can apply once they have received a letter from IRCC saying that they meet the permanent residence eligibility standards in principle, but are just yet to pass the medical, security, and background investigations. If the immigration decision is not reached before the SOWP expires, it may be extended. Holders of SOWPs will need to seek extensions before their permits expire.


Tags: family, family class, sowp, sponsorship, spousal open work permit, work, work permit

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