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In-Canada Family Class Spouse Work Permit Pilot Extended

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class

In-Canada Family Class Spouse Work Permit Pilot Extended

Canada has extended the work permit pilot program for in-Canada family class spouses and common-law partners applying for permanent residence until July 31, 2020. This is the 4th extension of the Open Work Permit Pilot Program. The Open Work Permit Pilot Program (OWPPP) was initiated on December 22, 2014, by the Government of Canada as part of its core immigration priority for family reunification. This program gives spouses or common-law partners the opportunity to continue to work in Canada while waiting for their spousal sponsorship applications to be finalized. This pilot program allows applicants to apply for an open work permit with or any time after they submit an application for permanent residence in the SCLPC class.

Canada's IRCC pilot program announcement states:

Canada recognizes that when families can work while living together, their integration outcomes are improved. Extending this pilot ensures applicants are able to work, provide for their families and contribute to the Canadian economy while waiting for their permanent resident applications to be processed.

To qualify for an open work permit under the pilot program:

  • You must be living in Canada
  • You must be sponsored under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner In Canada (SCLPC) Class
  • You must have valid temporary resident status such as a visitor, student or worker
  • You must live at the same address as your sponsor

New spousal or partner work permit applications can be submitted with your sponsorship application, and:

  • may be submitted with an application for permanent residence
  • include the appropriate fees
  • be sent by mail or courier

If you received a work permit under the initial pilot but have not yet been approved, or if it has been approved but you have not yet completed your medical and security checks, you must apply for a work permit extension before your current work permit expires.

Foreign nationals do not qualify for the open work permit pilot program if they are deemed inadmissible to move to Canada, withdraw or do not follow the application process or do not meet the other eligibility criteria of the work permit pilot program.

An OWPPP is valid for a maximum of 2 years or until the date the applicant’s passport expires, whichever is the earliest.

For more information and assistance in applying to Canada's Open Work Permit Pilot Program, or if you have been deemed unqualified for a work permit and want to explore your alternatives, contact Ackah Law.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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