IMP C42 – An open work permit for spouses of international students

Some international students have spouses or common-law partners. In most cases, these couples prefer to be in Canada together. However, when you move to Canada as an adult, you may also need permission to work. IMP C42 is an LMIA exemption code that allows certain spouses of international students receive an open work permit in Canada.

What is an open work permit?

An open work permit, such as the one issued under IMP C42, allows a foreign national to work for any employer in Canada. Therefore, you may work for a third party or your own business. Some work permits may have restrictions, such as the region you may work in or the nature of your work. Also, you may face certain conditions without an upfront medical exam. Regardless, open work permits create unique opportunities for foreign workers to

Understanding the concept of IMP

Let’s explore LMIA before explaining IMP C42. Generally speaking, a foreign worker must obtain an LMIA from Service Canada or, rather, ESDC. An LMIA is a letter that explains how hiring a foreign national will impact the Canadian labour market. Of course, an adverse LMIA letter means IRCC won’t issue a work permit for the person. The LMIA process is time-consuming, expensive, and prone to refusal.

Luckily, the government of Canada allows certain foreign nationals to apply for a work permit without an LMIA. The policies that will enable such exemptions to fall under the International Mobility Program or IMP. We have another article on our website that explains IMP in more detail.

Explaining IMP C42

IMP C42 refers to an open work permit the spouse or common-law partner of a temporary foreign worker receives in Canada. However, to qualify for this work permit application, you must meet the following criteria:

(A) Requirements and documentary evidence for the international student

(B) Requirements for the IMP C42 applicant (i.e. the spouse)

It is in the best interest of the applicant to present an upfront medical exam result. However, this step is not mandatory for everyone.

Defining genuine relationships for spouses or common-law partners

According to section 4 of the Immigration Regulations, you are not a family member if your relationship is not genuine. Consequently, IRCC could refuse to issue a working permit for you under IMP C42. Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut guidelines for proving the genuineness of the relationship. However, consider the following piece of advice based on my professional experience.

Group A: You have been in a relationship for more than two years

If you have been in a relationship for more than two years, present some documents to prove it. For example,

  • A marriage certificate that you received more than two years ago
  • Documents that show you have been co-habiting as common-law partners for more than two years

Group B: You have common children

If you have common children, then include documents to prove it. For example,

  • Brith certificates
  • Family books or similar official documentation

Group C: None of the above

If you do not belong to any of the previous groups, then you must present more documents. For example:

  • Your marriage certificate or the Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union form
  • Any official documents showing your common-law relationship or marriage
  • Support letters from family members or friends
  • Pictures showing you in different settings, such as family gatherings, trips to other places, etc.
  • Documents showing you live in the same location, such as the electric bills and cell phone bills

Of course, these lists are neither inclusive nor exclusive. Therefore, do your best to verify you are genuinely the spouse or common-law partner of the international student.

How to get the IMP C42 work permit

Just meeting the principal requirements is not enough. IRCC officers follow the guidelines under section 200 of the IRPR to issue the work permit. Therefore, they consider the following:

  • You have submitted a complete application.
  • You will leave Canada by the end of your authorized stay.

No need to say, you must submit convincing documents to support your qualifications under section 200. Consult with a professional for more information.

Let us help you with your IMP C42 application.

We can help you with your IMP C42 work permit application. Please fill out the following contact form. Of course, you may alternatively book an appointment with me for official advice.

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    Al Parsai

    Al Parsai is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (class L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) in Toronto, Canada. He is an adjunct professor at Queen's University Law School and Ashton College. Al, who holds a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University, is a member of CICC and CAPIC organizations. Al, the CEO of Parsai Immigration Services, has represented thousands of applicants from more than 50 countries to the immigration authorities since January 2011.

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