Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: June 3, 2023

Work permit for the spouse or common-law partners in Canada

Work permit for spouses in Canada

Yui is a Canadian citizen of Japanese origin. She fell in love with Sakura after meeting her online. Yui travelled to Japan later and proposed to Sakura. Luckily, Sakura doesn’t need a visa to travel to Canada. She received her eTA and travelled to Canada to stay with Yui. They later married, and Yui initiated sponsorship of the spouse or common-law partner in Canada. However, they wonder if Sakura could also receive a work permit. Someone tells them they can use the new work permit option for spouses.

Understanding sponsorship of the spouse or common-law partners (FC and SCLPC)

Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada may sponsor their spouses or common-law partners. If the plan goes right, their partners become permanent residents in Canada. However, there are two possible options:

If you are unfamiliar with these two options, I have an article comparing them. The fundamental matter you need to know is that SCLPC is only available to those spouses or common-law partners who cohabit in Canada. Moreover, this option is unavailable to conjugal partners and does not offer the right to appeal.

A work permit for spousal sponsorship applicant

IRCC used to issue work permits for inland spousal applicants under a pilot program that ended on May 9, 2023. The program allowed applicants to apply for a work permit for inland applications only after the officer approved the application in principle. The pilot was unavailable to outside Canada applicants, even if they managed to travel to Canada. However, upon the end of the pilot, IRCC changed the policy and reposted it on May 26, 2023. According to this policy, you may apply for a work permit once you submit a complete application [practitioners see R10]. Furthermore, the new policy also covers both inland (SCLPC) and outside Canada (FC) applications and the dependent children of the principal applicant.

The eligibility requirements for this work permit

The following are mandatory requirements for this work permit.

Who is not eligible to apply

You may not apply if you do not meet all the requirements above. Furthermore, the following people are not eligible to apply:

  • Applicants who have had their IRCC permanent residence application under the SCLPC or FC refused, withdrawn, or returned.
  • Applicants with a pending permanent residence application under the spousal public policy without valid temporary resident status. They must wait for their application to receive approval in principle before applying for an open work permit.
  • Foreign nationals who have applied for a work permit as part of their permanent resident application through the Permanent Residence Portal.
  • Applicants who apply at a port of entry.

Other circumstances

Sometimes there is no active FC or SCLPC application. In these circumstances, the applicant could seek other choices to apply for a work permit in Canada. Here are some examples:

  • The applicant is the spouse of an international student in Canada: You could qualify for an open work permit under IMP C42.
  • The applicant is the spouse of a foreign worker in Canada: You could qualify for an open work permit under one of the existing programs, such as IMP C41.
  • The applicant’s spouse may apply or has already applied or received a BOWP: You could qualify for a work permit under IMP C49.
  • In other circumstances, you may need to seek employment in Canada and try one of the following options:
  • The applicant sometimes qualifies for a work permit because they hold a TRP valid for more than six months, or they are under an unenforceable removal order, etc.

Let us help!

If you are interested in this work permit or spousal sponsorship application, please complete the following form. You may alternatively book a consultation session with me.

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    Spousal Sponsorship Applications

    Is the sponsor eligible to sponsor his or her spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner?

    NoYesI don't know

    Is the applicant (the foreign national) is an eligible spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner?

    NoYesI don't know

    Have you already submitted the application?

    NoYesI don't know

    Are you facing a refusal or complexities?

    NoYesI don't know

    Are you willing to apply for a work permit?

    NoYesI don't know

    Do you need to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa for your spouse or common-law partner?

    NoYesI don't know

    Are you willing to hire an immigration consultant to help you with your sponsorship application?

    NoYesI don't know

    Please provide more explanation below:

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    Al ParsaiAl Parsai, LLM, MA, RCIC-IRB
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Adjunct Professor – Queen’s University – Faculty of Law
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    This article provides information of a general nature only. Considering the fluid nature of the immigration world, it may no longer be current. Of course, the item does not give legal advice. Therefore, do not rely on it as legal advice or immigration advice. Consequently, no one could hold us accountable for the content of these articles. Of course, if you have specific legal questions, you must consult a lawyer. Alternatively, if you are looking for immigration advice, book an appointment.

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.