Good News for Spouses: Open Work Permit Pilot to become permanent

Open Work Permit Pilot

As per the recent update from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Canada is converting the Open Work Permit Pilot (OWPP) program into a permanent program. Spouses or common-law partners of Canadians can continue their jobs until they get permanent resident status.

This program was launched in December 2014 and was expiring on July 31 after its most recent extension. Rather than deciding another expiry date or an extension, Canada has now extended the program prior to the regulatory changes that have been done to update the pilot as a permanent policy.

The webpage of IRCC said “Family reunification is a core immigration priority for the Government of Canada” in support of the candidates.

This OWPP policy is applicable for inland spousal and common-law sponsorship candidates. Such sponsorship is for couples who are presently in Canada. One condition for the program is that the partner who wants to apply for immigration must have temporary status in Canada as a worker, student or visitor.

Spouses or common-law partners of Canadians can apply for OWPP any time after they have submitted their applications for permanent residence through family-class sponsorship.

This OWPP candidate is not tied with any specific employers, they are allowed to work for any employer in Canada till they fulfil the occupation’s qualifications criteria.

To get eligible for OWPP, immigration applicants must fulfil below-listed requirements:

  • Submit a permanent residence application under the Spouse Common-Law Partner Class;
  • Have a Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse or common-law partner who has submitted a sponsorship application on their behalf;
  • Live at the same address as their sponsor; and
  • Have a valid temporary resident status in Canada or an approved application for restoration status with authorization to work.
  • People applying under the OWPP can submit the work permit application at the same time as their application for permanent residence.

Note: Candidates who wish to apply under the OWPP program can submit their work permit application at the time of their permanent residence application submission. This is not compulsory, It is also fine if a candidate wants to submit the application for OWPP separately as they have already submitted their permanent residence application.


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