Staying in Canada with your partner

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Staying in Canada with your partner is possible thanks to the Open Work Permit Pilot

Staying in Canada with your partner or spouse – is this what you are thinking about all the time? Many of us immigrated to Canada under different circumstances. Also, it is important to remember Canada has always been positively open to migration. In short, it’s normal for you to want your family with you in your new home.

Canada allows spouses and common-law partners to work in Canada while they apply for permanent residence. This is usually known as the Open Work Permit Pilot, which is a huge opportunity. Thousands apply every year for the permanent residence program, since their partners already live in Canada. But the Open Work Permit enables them to look for work meanwhile the government processes their permanent residence application. The criteria for applying are simple. In order to be eligible, spouses or partners must be living in Canada on legal status. They also need not to have another job offer at hand at the time of their application.

The IRCC (Immigration, Refuges and Citizenship Canada) extended the Pilot until July 31, 2020. There is still no confirmation if the IRCC is going to extend it before this date, but similar initiatives could see the light of day soon. Moreover, there is no need to think the IRCC is going to axe the Pilot, since it has extended it every year since first implementation in 2014.

How to apply during COVID-19 epidemic?

We want to remind you that as a spouse or partner, you can apply to the Open Work Permit Pilot and the Inland Spousal/Common-law Sponsorship at the same time. You can also choose to apply to only one of them or both, separately. Applying during the COVID-19 can be messy – the IRCC advises to let them know if there are problems with sending documents by mail. IRCC requires also a proof of payment. If you have not yet completed after 60 days, the IRCC will extend you the request giving you an additional 90 days to send the documents.

The IRCC, moreover, can grant you an ‘approval in principle’. This states that all the requirements for permanent residence have been met. However, medical, security and background checks must take place separately. The approval in principle enables you to start applying for the open work permit online. However, if you have not yet received the approval in principle, don’t be disheartened. You can still apply via email, sending all necessary documents and proof of payment.

Remember that Canada wants to stay open in the future: if you have recently migrated to Canada, and you find yourself at home, do not hesitate to bring your significant other. Happiness and family go hand-in-hand, and Canada and the IRCC commit fully to reunite families and allowing them to prosper. Not only for the good of the family itself, but for the common good of all.