Inland Spousal Sponsorship: Open Work Permit

Inland Spousal sponsorship: Open Work Permit

Inland Spousal Sponsorship: Open Work Permit

Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are already living with their spouse or common-law partner in Canada can apply to sponsor them through the inland spousal sponsorship stream of the family sponsorship program.

Inland Spousal Sponsorship Requirements


In order for a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to be deemed eligible to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, they must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada;
  • be at least 18 years of age at the time of submitting their sponsorship application;
  • not have received spousal sponsorship to Canada within the last five years;
  • not be bankrupt, in prison, or charged with a serious offence; and
  • not be under a removal order, if they are a Canadian permanent resident.


Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (also called the 'sponsor') and the foreign national (the 'sponsored person') must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly CIC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa.



There Are Two Parts to the Spousal Sponsorship Application:


  1. The Canadian or permanent resident applies to sponsor his or her spouse or common-law partner, and
  2. The spouse or common-law partner applies for permanent residence.


Under the Inland sponsorship category, the foreign spouse/common-law partner must hold valid temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. If the sponsored person already has a work or study permit, he or she may continue to work or study as long as the permit is valid, however, it is important to note that working and studying in Canada without valid status is illegal and may result in serious consequences for the sponsored person.

Spousal Open Work Permit


Applying for spousal sponsorship within Canada can be difficult on family finances if the sponsored person holds only a temporary visitor’s visa that restricts them from working in Canada. To take some of the stress out of long processing times, some applicants may be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit at the same time they submit their sponsorship application. This will allow applicants to legally work for any employer in Canada while waiting for their sponsorship application to be processed.


To qualify for a spousal open work permit, the sponsored applicant must hold a valid temporary visa and reside at the same address as their spouse or common-law partner, while meeting all of the eligibility requirements listed above.


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