Does your spouse work or study in Canada and you want to accompany them while traveling and living in Canada? Does the distance and time of study or work period in Canada create a barrier in your relationship? Everyone has the right to be with their family and spend quality time no matter what the situation or circumstances are. This blog will discuss what an Open Work Permit is, who qualifies for one and what the conditions and requirements are for you to be able to obtain the Open Work Permit and reunite with your family members in Canada. This permit has categories to allow people belonging to temporary permits in Canada to bring their spouses for a particular period of time if they meet the requirements.
Open Work Permit is a work permit that does not restrict the employee to work for one specific employer or do one job in particular. Open Work Permit is exactly like the Post Graduate Work Permit that international students qualify for once they graduate from a Canadian institution. Depending on the time that the student studied in Canada, Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) allows the student to stay in Canada. For example, if an international student studied in Canada for the duration of 8 months he would qualify for a post graduate work permit with the duration of the same time as he spent in that institution to finish his studies. However, if you studied in a Canadian institution as an international student for 2 years, you will qualify for 3 years of Post-Graduate Work Permit. PGWP does not restrict you to work for a specific employer or do a specific job. Exactly in a same way the open work permit does not restrict you to work for one particular employer. The purpose of this permit is to unite families who have a spouse or common-law partner in Canada.
Before we can apply for it we need to know whether the individual who wants to apply for it, is qualified or not. We will also discuss what fits the criteria of an individual to help him qualify for it. So any individual who has a legal status in Canada has the right to help their spouse or common-law partner apply for it. Below are the categories that are considered legal when it comes to a qualified status in Canada for this visa category. You can qualify for open work permit if:
your spouse has study permit in Canada
your spouse has work permit in Canada (skilled worker in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B)
your spouse has a permanent residence
you are the family member of an individual whose application has been approved under one of the following:
Spouse or Common-law partner in Canada
Live-in Caregiver Program
The only relationship that does not qualify for this category is conjugal partner relationship. You can also apply with your partner when they apply for study or work permit in Canada, that way you as a couple can qualify together. If a permanent resident has filed for an application to sponsor their spouse they can simultaneously apply for open work permit for their spouse as well.
It is important to know where to apply for this visa category. There are people who have confusions about it and they ask questions about which option is the easiest to get the quick result in this application. Since your spouse is in Canada on a permit it is important that the application is applied at the inland office in Canada. You can apply for open work permit application for your spouse separately than applying for both applications at the same time as it faster for the immigration office to process it. You can use the same forms from CIC to apply for Open Work Permit as you would for LMIA Work Permit. The forms are not different apart from a few questions which you do not have to do in the application for open work permit.
Second option would be to wait for your “Approved in Principle letter” in your application. Once you get this letter than your spouse can apply for open work permit, which essentially means that the application is approved in principle. It does not necessarily mean that it’s the final decision on your application, but the first stage would be to have the approval from the immigration officer. Processing time depends on when you apply for it and what year you applied for it and what your country of citizenship is but in general it varies. It might take 6 to 8 months to get that letter of approval in principle which is the first step to applying for open work permit for your spouse.
As far as validity of the visa is concerned, it is not very complicated to understand how it works. For spouses and common-law partners, open work permits are generally valid for the same amount of time as their spouses’ expiry of permit in Canada. In other words, the open work permit is as good as your spouse’s work or study permit in Canada.
There is one more category you can apply for in Canada if you already have an open work permit. The category is called “Bridging Open Work Permit”. We will discuss this category briefly as well and how this helps those who have work permit in Canada. To qualify for “bridging open work permit” you have to be currently working in Canada and also you have to have your application applied for permanent residence. You may be eligible for a bridging open work permit if your work permit is expiring in four months or less. This means you can keep working in Canada while the immigration officer makes a decision on your permanent resident application as well.
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Provincial Nominee Program
Federal Skilled Worker Program
Canadian Experience Class
Caring for Children Class
Caring for People with High Medical Needs Class
be present in Canada, be on a work permit and have a valid permit that is about to expire within four months’ time
have already applied for an open work permit
have paid the processing and the Open Work Permit fee
If you want to bring your better half to Canada on Open Work Permit and if you want to know whether your spouse or common law partner qualifies for it, you might want to contact a reliable professional who can give you the right information and guide you through the process of your application. It is always advisable to let the people who understand the sensitivities of immigration do the job for you. It is the question about your family and one little mistake on the application can potentially lead to disapproval. If you need further guidance and need professional help in obtaining an Open Work Permit, please do consider Akrami & Associates, our team of dedicated consultants and lawyers will take good care of you by presenting the best possible case for you and your loved ones.
With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!