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The Government of Canada is extending the open work permit pilot for spouses as well as common law partners who have put in an application for permanent residence under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class until the regulatory changes come into force to permanently implement this policy. People from abroad who are being sponsored by their spouse or a common law partner may be eligible for an open work permit in Canada. If the work permit application of a foriegn national is successfully accepted, they will be issued an open work permit authorizing them to work for multiple employers in any location in Canada while their permanent residency application is processed. The application procedure for the spousal sponsorship open work permit varies depending on the applicant’s status in Canada and the stage of their permanent residency application. Foreign nationals cannot work in Canada without the appropriate authorization. Engaging in any form of employment in Canada without the proper work permit is unlawful and can jeopardize future immigration applications.



In order to be eligible to apply for a spousal sponsorship open work permit, a foreign national must have applied for permanent residency sponsorship from within Canada through the inland stream of the spousal sponsorship program.


Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit if you:


  • have a valid study permit and

  • are a full-time student at one of these types of schools:

  • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec

  • a private college-level school in Quebec

  • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree)


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