Last Updated on January 24, 2019
In a move that will be beneficial for Canadian permanent residents seeking the same status for their spouse or common-law partners, the Canadian government has announced a pilot program for individuals under the Spouses or Common-Law Partners in Canada class.
Now, such persons may be granted open work permits even before grant of ‘approval in principle’ on their permanent residence applications. This option is available to spouses and partners of permanent residents making an Inland application for permanent residence in Canada.
The distinction between Inland and Outland applications for permanent residence in Canada is loosely similar to the dual mechanisms of Adjustment of Status and Consular Processing under U.S. immigration law. While Inland applications are processed in Canada, Outland applications are processed by the visa office in the applicant’s country of origin.
Until the announcement of the pilot program, spouses or partners of permanent residents had to either join the partner in Canada without being authorized to work or wait for final approval before moving to Canada. The former option forced the spouse or partner to remain unemployed in Canada while the latter option resulted in forced separation for extended periods of time until grant of approval by Canadian immigration authorities.
The widely-lauded pilot program is expected to help applicants avoid the inevitable emotional, practical, and financial difficulties that would arise irrespective of the applicant’s final choice. Under the program, holders of the open work permit can work for any employer in Canada for a specific period of time until the application for permanent residence is processed.
The government agency in charge of immigration in Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, has announced that it will issue open work permits to all eligible Spouses or Common-Law Partners in Canada class applicants provided they have already applied seeking permanent residence in Canada. Such applicants can apply for the open work permit through the Internet. Those who have are applying after 22nd Dec, 2014 are required to complete the application for open work permit along with the application for permanent residence.