Canada has introduced Open Work Permit option for family class and spousal applicants

by Rajneesh Kumar Published on 20/Jul/2023
Canada has introduced Open Work Permit

Canadian government has announced a number of new initiatives with the objective of streamlining the process for permanent residents to sponsor their families' immigration to Canada. One such step is the introduction of an Open Work Permit (OWP) designed precisely for spousal and family class applicants.

These new guidelines not only give preference to family reunification but also aim to tackle the labour shortages that Canada has been dealing with since the onset of the global pandemic.

Canadian Immigration Minister, Sean Fraser, recently announced key measures regarding the implementation of accelerated processing for temporary resident visas (TRVs) and more considerate application procedures. These measures are intended to bring families together more quickly while they await the finalization of their permanent residency status.

Key measures announced for family reunification

Among the significant measures announced are:

  • Quicker processing times for temporary resident visas (TRVs) for spousal applicants, ensuring quicker access.
  • Introduction of dedicated processing tools exclusively for spousal TRV applicants, streamlining the application process.
  • Employment of a new open work permit precisely tailored for spousal and family class applicants, facilitating employment opportunities.
  • Open work permit extensions for those holding expiring open work permits between August 1 and the end of 2023, providing continued work authorization.

Canada now offers open work permits to spousal applicants and their dependent children who stay with their sponsor in the maple leaf country and hold temporary resident status.

Spouses, partners and dependants are now able to apply for and get an open work permit once they submit a complete PR application under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class (SPCLC) or other family class programs.

Minister Fraser also announced that spousal applicants, along with other open work permit holders, whose open work permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023, will be able to extend their work permits for an extra 18 months. A similar alternative was recently offered to many with expiring post-graduation work permits.

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