Work in Canada while waiting for your Spousal Sponsorship Application to be Approved – Extended Indefinitely

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Work or study in Canada while you’re waiting for your inland sponsorship application to be approved – program extended indefinitely

Open Work Permit for Sponsored Spouse with Inland Sponsorship

For the last few years Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been extending the program allowing sponsored spouses to apply for open work permits. The program was originally announced in December, 2014 as we explained in a previous version of this article. In a previous version of this article we reported that we were unable to confirm that the program was extended and suspected it had been made permanent. Well, now we think we have good news: to the best of our knowledge, the program has been extended indefinitely.

So, spouses sponsored “inland” will continue to be able to apply for open work permits at the time of their sponsorship application for the foreseeable future. As the holder of an open work permit, you may work for any Canadian employer without a confirmed offer of employment. That’s a wonderfully flexible permit as you seek Canadian job experience to reinforce your application for permanent residence.


Who is Eligible?

To qualify for an open work permit, you must be the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. You must be currently living in Canada at the same address as your spouse or common-law partner. That means you have been sponsored under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada (SCLPC) class.

You must have a valid temporary resident status as one of the following:

  • Visitor
  • Student
  • Temporary Worker.

As this is a measure to help you work while you await your permanent resident status, you will be in the process of one of the following:

  • Applying for permanent resident but have not yet applied for an open work permit; or
  • You will have already been approved in principle, but have not yet passed the medical, security, and background checks for yourself and family members; or
  • You are about to apply under the SCLPC class.

If you have applied for PR status but have not applied for an open work permit:

  • Go here to download and fill out your work permit application. Form IMM 5710: Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay, or Remain in Canada as a Worker is best filled out online using Adobe Reader 10. Ensure your Java Script is turned on, on your computer.
  • Make sure your fees are paid.
  • Mail the completed form to:

    CPC – Vegreville
    WP – Unit 777
    6212 – 55 Avenue
    Vegreville, AB
    T9C 1X6

If you have been approved in principle, but have still not passed your medical, security, and background checks, then you should apply for an open work permit online.

  • If you are part of the pilot program, and already have an open work permit, you must apply for an extension before your current open work permit expires. Go here for more information.

If you are just applying under the SCLPC class, then you should submit 3 applications at the same time:

You should mail your package to the following address:

In-Canada Sponsorship
CPC – Mississauga
P.O. Box 5040, Station B
Mississauga, ON
L5A 3A4

By courier you should mail your package to:

Case-Processing Centre – Mississauga
2 Robert Speck Parkway, Suite 300
Mississauga, ON
L4Z 1H8


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