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Extension of Pilot for Open Work Permits of Inland Sponsored Spouses

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced that it is extending the pilot program allowing for the issuance of open work permits to spouses or partners of Canadians (citizens or permanent residents) sponsored inland and following approval in principle. The program has been extended until December 22 2016, or for roughly one additional year.

An inland spousal sponsorship refers to an application submitted and processed entirely within Canada, for a foreign national who is already within Canada with valid status, and who is married to a Canadian, or who can demonstrate a common-law relationship with such. This is as opposed to a typical sponsorship application, in which the sponsor is within Canada and the applicant is abroad; in these cases, a portion of the application occurs within Canada and a portion at the responsible visa office abroad.

Approval in principle refers to the decision by the Canadian government that the relationship is bona-fide and the candidate is eligible for sponsorship. There are steps that must follow, which includes medical examination and security clearance. The steps following approval in principle can take many months to conclude, based on current processing delays.

Once the inland sponsoree has passed approval in principle, an open work permit may be issued under these rules. An open work permit means that the immigration document is not tied to a specific employer or location. For the most part, this means that the candidate can take any position of employment. In some cases, open work permits may be limited based on occupation, if that occupation demands a medical examination and the applicant has not completed such.

Date Posted: December 15, 2015 Posted In: International Mobility Program,Temporary Work Permits