Update on work permits for spouses and common-law partners applying for permanent residence from within Canada

Foreign nationals in Canada applying to immigrate as a spouse or common-law partner will continue to have the opportunity to work while waiting for their application to be finalized. A pilot program giving them open work permits is being extended for one year, until December 22, 2016.To be eligible for an open work permit, you must be a spouse or common-law partner living in Canada who is being sponsored under the Canada Spouse visa or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class. You must have valid temporary resident status (as a visitor, student or worker) and live at the same address as your sponsor.If you have already submitted an application for permanent residence under the SCLPC class but have not yet applied for an open work permit, you can complete a work permit application.

If you have already received approval in principle on your permanent residence application—meaning you received a letter from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada stating you meet the permanent residence eligibility requirements but have not yet passed the medical, security and background checks for your family members or yourself—you may apply for an open work permit online.If you were provided with a work permit under the initial pilot, you must apply for a work permit extension before your current work permit expires. If you are submitting a new application under the SCLPC class, you may submit a work permit application at the same time as your sponsorship application, along with an application for permanent residence, under the SCLPC class. You must include the appropriate fees, and send all completed applications together to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga.