There are many cases where you would like to sponsor your spouse for permanent residency in Canada but are not sure how your spouse can work in Canada. It is best to determine which route your spouse will take in terms of working in Canada prior to sponsoring them to Canada. There are requirements and procedures that they must go through prior to being able to work in Canada as well. As a result, it is best for you and your spouse to fully understand what is required of you prior to applying for a work permit. Furthermore, in this article, I will explain the ways in which your spouse can work in Canada as well as the different options available to your spouse if they intend on working in Canada.
Open Work Permits for Inland Spousal Sponsorships
When sponsoring your spouse through the Inland Spousal Sponsorship, thankfully, they are processed in two different stages. For instance, in the first stage, the Immigration officer examines the Canadian spouses’ ability and eligibility to sponsor their spouse. If and once the application is approved, the Immigration officer will then examine the foreign spouses’ admissibility to enter Canada. After this happens, the first stage will have been complete and then the foreign spouse may be eligible to apply for an Open Work Permit.
An Open Work Permit allows the foreign spouse to work for any Canadian employer, anywhere in Canada. Additionally, for any foreign spouse that is self-employed, you may also be self-employed in Canada under the open work permit. This can be extremely beneficial for the spouses as the foreign spouse will be able to work while the spousal sponsorship application is processing.
If you’re wondering how you will know whether you are eligible or not to apply for an open work permit, the Immigration officer will duly notify you ahead of time in regards to applying for the open work permit. Keep in mind, if you are under tight time constraints, you may also apply for the open work permit at the same time as your application for permanent residency, which is the second stage of the spousal sponsorship. If you decide to do this, you may be approved for the open work permit at the first stage, instead of applying for it at the second stage in the spousal sponsorship application process. Applying in the first stage can be extremely useful for foreign spouses who are already residing in Canada and are temporarily working. Consequently, their pending open work permit application essentially permits them ‘implied status’ and they can continue working in Canada, even if their current work permit expires. In other words, the foreign spouse may continue to work until they receive a decision for their Open Work Permit.
Work Permits for Overseas Spousal Sponsorships
There is a major difference between the Inland Spousal Sponsorship and the Overseas Spousal Sponsorship application processes. The biggest difference is that the Overseas Spousal Sponsorship, unfortunately, does not guarantee an open work permit after the first stage is finalized of the spousal sponsorship application process. As a result, the foreign spouse that is currently residing outside of Canada may still be eligible to apply for a work permit; however, it would have to be the regular work permit instead of the open work permit.
The eligibility requirements and conditions for a work permit are different than the open work permit. Therefore, in order to apply for a work permit, the foreign spouse must first obtain a valid job offer from an employer inside Canada. In almost all cases, the Canadian employer must also obtain a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) before the foreign spouse can request the work permit. Another option for the foreign spouse may be to apply under one of the Federal immigration programs, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Program; the Federal Skilled Trades Program and/or the Canadian Experience Class. However, this entirely depends on the foreign spouses’ age, profession, language ability, education and nationality as this will affect their score.
It is important to note that foreign spouses that apply for a work permit should remember that temporary work permits are only permitted to individuals who intend on exiting Canada at the end of their authorized period of stay in Canada. Ultimately, if the Immigration officer believes that the foreign spouse is only travelling to Canada to stay with their spouse and does not intend on leaving at the end of their stay, they may refuse the application because the foreign spouse was not able to accurately show they would leave Canada.
There are prevention measures that can be made beforehand to avoid this from happening. The foreign spouse can formally address “dual intent.” The meaning of dual intent is that it can be possible to obtain a temporary resident visa, or in this case a work permit, while waiting for the permanent residency application to process. Yet, there is still a chance that this alternative may not be successful and the work permit application may be refused. It is important to note that this will not affect the permanent residency application moving forward.
Contact Akrami & Associates
If you are a foreign spouse and wish to work in Canada, Akrami & Associates can definitely help you with the process and determine which work permit is best for you. Determining which work permit option is best for your particular circumstance may seem like a complicated procedure. This can be especially the case if you decide to proceed with the application process alone; therefore, it is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to apply for a work permit or an open work permit. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients work in Canada and contribute to the Canadian economy alongside their Canadian spouse. If you believe that you might be eligible, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.
With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!