It has been busy at the office, eight open work permits in 2 days under the new pilots for Spouses and Common Law Partners in Canada – not bad. Hoping for many more in the coming weeks.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced on December 22, 2104 a One Year Pilot, which will allow for the Issuance of OPEN WORK PERMITS to spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SCLPC) EVEN BEFORE before the approval in principle decision is made. Until now, the only way to obtain the open work permit under this class was to wait for the first stage approval, which currently takes almost 15 months on average! This is how the program will work (from the information that is currently available):
1) EXISTING applicants who have already submitted an application for permanent residence under the SCLPC class before Dec. 22, 2014 will likely not have to wait for the first stage approval. Their work permits could be processed within a matter of weeks (probably February 2015).
2) New Applicants, who submit their open work permit request after December 22, 2014 could see their applications processed within four months.
HOW TO DO IT
If you had not initially included a work permit application with your PR application, you will need to complete an Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker (PDF, KB) (PDF, 452.86 KB) form [IMM 5710], include the appropriate fee, indicating that you are applying for an open work permit, and submit it to the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville, at the following address:
CPC – Vegreville
WP – Unit 777
If an SCLPC applicant has already received approval in principle, they have the option of applying for an open work permit online.
This Pilot also means that the applicants would receive provincial health coverage while awaiting permanent residency. If you need more information or require help with this process, you can find my contact information at
WHO CAN BENEFIT AND WHO CANNOT
Spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and PRs who have who have submitted an application for permanent residence under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class are generally eligible to benefit from this new Pilot Project – with one exception, discussed below.
According to the CIC, the immigration officers will issue open work permits to SCLPC applicants if they meet the following requirements:
1) A PR application has been submitted under the SCLPC class;
2) A Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse has submitted a sponsorship application on their behalf;
3) The SCLPC applicant resides at the same address as the sponsor; and
4) The SCLPC applicant has VALID temporary resident status (as a visitor, student or worker).
I draw your attention to the forth point. If a sponsored spouse is OUT OF STATUS, it seems that they will not be able to benefit from this new provision and will likely have to wait until the first stage processing has been completed to apply / receive their open work permit. This is a little bit of a let down, but the applicants need to manage their expectations.
These open work permits will be valid for two years or until the date the SCLPC applicant’s passport expires, whichever is earliest. Call us – our spouse sponsorship lawyer can help.