The benefits of a Spousal Open Work Permit

The permit allotted to the spouse/partner of an individual who is currently working or studying in Canada and is being sponsored for permanent residence by his/her better half is known as the Spousal Open Work Permit. 

This open work permit is not specified to any particular type of job and allows the spouse to accept any job with any employer with very few restrictions and limitations. 

The eligibility requirements of this type of open work permit is largely dependent on the type of status the spouse has in Canada and the tenure of the open work permit will be similar to their spouses’ permit.

What are some of the benefits of a spousal open work permit?

1. Gathering Canadian work experience while waiting 

The Spousal Open Work Permit allows spouse sponsorship applicants to remain in Canada while their immigration application is in process. A spousal sponsorship application might take up to 12 months to be processed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). During this time, foreign nationals are permitted to work in Canada under the Spousal open work permit with this given work permit.

2. Living with people’s respective partners

The applicants for spousal sponsorship would have to complete the procedure outside of Canada if they didn’t have the spousal open work permit or another type of temporary status. While their sponsorship application is pending, the work permit makes it easier for couples to live together and work in Canada.

3. Gaining Canadian work experience

Getting to work in Canada and acquiring Canadian work experience before becoming a permanent resident may be helpful for you to advance your career in Canada. You will already have gathered some relevant Canadian work experience if you have a permanent residence. According to studies, having more work experience in Canada leads to better salaries. Not only that, but living in Canada allows you to network, form beneficial relationships, and, if necessary, improve your language skills.

What are the eligibility criteria for a spousal open work permit?

Spouses and common-law partners already residing together in Canada are eligible for inland sponsorship. The foreign partner must already be in Canada temporarily as a worker, visitor, or student.

Sponsorship candidates must meet the following standards to acquire a spousal open work permit for having Canadian work experience:

  • Submit an application for permanent residence under the Spouse Common-Law Partner Class. 
  • Have a Canadian citizen or someone who is a permanent resident spouse or common-law partner and has submitted an application for sponsorship on their behalf.
  • Live at the same address as their sponsor and have a valid and temporary resident status in Canada or an approved application for the restoration status with work authorization. Foreign spouses can apply for a spousal open work permit at the same time as their spouses or at any time afterward.

What are the ways to prove a common-law relationship?

One of the most distinct facts about such relationships is that common-law unions are based on a single tenet: 12 months of continuously living together. However, establishing the common-law relationship can be challenging to show and may necessitate extensive evidence.

These are the documents typically used to show common-law partnerships:

  • To prove that you are in a common-law relationship, you must fill out Form IMM 5532.
  • For statutory declarations, use form IMM 5409.
  • Based on the history of the relationship, one or both spouses may need to be required to give a legal statement stating that any prior marriages or relationships have ended.
  • As long as the address is similar, you can utilise the ownership of shared residential property paperwork or lease agreements bearing both spouses’ names.
  • One can also use utility bills, such as electricity, internet, or gas bills, as long as they have both spouses’ names and are addressed to a similar address.
  • These documents can be used if the partners have relevant insurance policies, driver’s licences, or other personal identification documents that reflect the joint residency.

When should someone apply for a work permit?

Before or after arriving in Canada, your spouse/partner can apply for a work permit. You generally have work permits for the same period as study permits. A job offer is not much required for your spouse/partner to apply for a spousal open work permit to work in Canada

In some situations, Canadian visa offices that exist in other countries will handle all the aspects of work permit applications for spouses and partners to gain Canadian work experience at the same time as study permit applications. One must include the additional cost of a work permit and complete the given application for your spouse/partner, which you may have on the consulate’s website.


You may be eligible for a spousal open work permit if your spouse is actively involved in any work or is studying in Canada. Or in case you have applied to be sponsored for gaining permanent residency in Canada by your husband or partner. 

A spousal open work permit lets the spouse of an individual who is a temporary Canadian permit holder work in Canada for any employer, anywhere in the country, to gather Canadian work experience, with few limitations.

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