IRCC now requires evidence of a genuine relationship for spouses and common-law partners
Today, September 27, 2021, IRCC updated the sections on spouses and common-law partners of skilled workers and international students. These sections now reflect that only spouses of study permit holders -who are eligible for a PGWP– may apply for an open work permit. Also, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada added that:
There can only be 1 principal foreign national, a requirement for a genuine relationship and clarification on document requirements.
Before mentioning the main changes, we’ll tell you what a genuine relationship means.
- A foreign national enters the marriage or common-law partnership for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Act, or
- It is not genuine. If officers have concerns as to genuineness of the relationship, they may request further documentation or information to confirm that the relationship.
General eligibility for spouses or common-law partners of skilled workers (C41 category):
According to IRCC, the dependent spouse or common-law partner must be in a genuine relationship with a principal foreign national. Moreover, the principal applicant must not have an open work permit issued under LMIA-exemption code C41 or C42 and must meet the general eligibility requirements.
Also, for the spouse or common-law partner to qualify for this LMIA exemption, the principal applicant needs a part-time job. The update doesn’t specify how many work hours the principal applicant needs. However, it must convince the officers that he/she has sufficient funds to stay in Canada.
More information: IMP C41 – An open work permit for spouses of Temporary Foreign Workers
For spouses of study permit holders (C42 category):
In general spouses of study permit holders require:
- Evidence that they are the genuine spouse or common-law partner of a study permit holder.
- The principal applicant also holds a valid study permit and is pursuing full-time studies.
- The principal foreign national is in a post-graduation work permit- eligible study program and institution.
If the principal foreign national is not enrolled in the private post-secondary program/institution listed on IRCC’s website, the spouse or common-law partner is not eligible for a spousal open work permit.
Spouses or common-law partners of bridging open work permit (BOWP) holders
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