Foreigners who are in Canada waiting for their spouse or common-law partner’s sponsorship application to be approved can apply for an open work permit. As part of the Outback Sponsorship Program, a Work Permit (SOWP) is issued to Outback Sponsor applicants, enabling them to obtain work between immigration applications. Obtaining SOWP has the following benefits:
You Live With Your Partner
SOWP allows couples to live together while their sponsorship application is pending, which is not possible without SOWP or other forms of temporary status.
Find A Job While You Wait
Spousal sponsorship applicants through SOWP can remain in Canada while their immigration application is being processed. During this time, foreigners may be allowed to work in Canada through the Spousal Sponsorship Program (SOWP). Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) can take 12 to 18 months to process a spousal sponsorship application.
Build Your Canadian Resume
You can support your career development in Canada by gaining Canadian work experience prior to becoming a permanent resident. Research shows that more work experience in Canada is associated with higher earnings if you gain permanent residency. Plus, in Canada, you have the opportunity to explore new opportunities, build lasting relationships, and learn a new language when needed.
Unlimited Job Opportunities
Open work permits allow foreigners to work in Canada for any employer, while closed work permits allow foreigners to work for one employer or only one occupation. Employers who hire SOWP holders do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
Eligibility for SOWP
Applicants for inland sponsorship must already be living in Canada as a spouse or common-law partner and have temporary status in Canada as a worker, student or visitor. Sponsor candidates must meet the following requirements to be eligible for an open work permit:
Make sure to apply for permanent residence under the spouse common-law partner category.
Must be sponsored by the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
The applicant must live at the same address as the sponsor, as living apart would make the applicant ineligible.
Have a valid temporary resident status in Canada or have successfully applied for restoration of status and have the right to work there.
Those wishing to become permanent residents through spousal sponsorship and apply for an open work permit can do so at the same time.
SOWP applications can be submitted online by applicants who have previously had their permanent residence application approved. Even if a spouse or partner receives an approval-in-principle letter from IRCC, they still need to pass a medical, security, and background check. When the SOWP expires, a decision on immigration may not have been made. SOWP holders must apply for a license extension before the license expires.
Why SWOP Is Important
Obtaining a SOWP can be of great benefit to you, not only because you can stay in Canada with your partner, but also because you can get a job and start a new career.