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Canada expands Open Work Permit Pilot Canada Immigration

Spouse Work Allows the pilot to be made permanent by the IRCC

Canada has extended the pilot common law open spouse and partner work permits as the government works to make this program an integral part, according to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Launched in December 2014, the pilot enables overseas spouses and common law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to work in Canada while their domestic sponsorship application for permanent residence is processed. It was originally due to expire on July 31st after its final renewal. However, the Canadian government has decided to extend the pilot until the regulatory changes are completed to make it a permanent policy.

According to a press release from the IRCC:

“Supporting families is a government priority, and these measures ensure that applicants have the opportunity to work and contribute to the economy. Expanding these measures will offer common law spouses and partners in Canada who do waiting for their work, security and stability permanent residence status. “

The updated pilot program webpage on the IRCC website also states that family reunification is a “key immigration priority for the Government of Canada”.

It is important to note that the open work permits are restricted to those who live in Canada and have applied to the spouse or partner under general law in the Canada class. The applicant must also have temporary residence status or be eligible to restore their temporary residence status (as a visitor, student or employee) and live at the same address as their sponsor.

Those who have been granted a work permit as part of the first pilot must apply for a work permit extension before their status expires.

Submit an application

If you submit a new application for a work permit as part of this pilot project, you can do this at the same time as your application for sponsorship and permanent residence. Your applications must include all applicable fees and must only be sent together by post or courier.

For more information on the Open Work Permit pilot program, see Visit the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Arghavan Gerami is the Founder and Senior Counsel of Gerami Law Professional Corporation (“PC”), a full-service immigration law firm in Ottawa, Ontario. Since 2011 Ms. Gerami has focused on immigration and refugee disputes. Ms. Gerami previously served in the Department of Attorney General and Justice Department and was privileged to serve Judge M. Evans on the Federal Court of Appeals for Immigration and Administrative Law Complaints. Ms. Gerami is a member of the Immigration Law Division of the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Ms. Gerami has also published numerous articles in professional journals and featured at various conferences and events on immigration and refugee law across Canada.

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