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Time for Canada Open Work Permit Pilot Scheme for Sponsored Spouses & Common-Law Partners Lengthened

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Are you in Canada and have sponsorship from your spouse or common law partner, who is either a citizen or permanent resident in the nation, and interested in doing a job while you cool heels for the sanction of your application, filed under the Open Work Permit Pilot Scheme? If yes, this news is for you!

In a fairly important development, Ottawa has extended a pilot scheme that allows the overseas people residing in the Maple Leaf Country--who have submitted an application to move as either a spouse or common-law partner of a person with citizenship or Permanent Residency (PR) rights--to do a job while they are cooling their heels for the petition to be duly processed. The validity of the Open Work Permit Pilot Plan--which was earlier set to come to an end on December 22, this year--has now been lengthened until December 21, next year.

Under the category of the Spouses or Common-Law Partners in Canada (SCLPC), component of the Family Class immigration class, it is possible for a person, with either citizenship or PR to proffer sponsorship, to a spouse or common-law partner for the prized and the much sought after PR in Canada.

Through the Open Work Permit Pilot Scheme, spouses and common-law partners--who are getting sponsorship for PR from either a citizen or permanent resident of the Maple Leaf Country--may get an open Work Permit, to allow them to do a job anywhere across the nation, for any specific recruiter/job-provider.

The pilot work permit plan was launched in December, 2014, to allow the spouses and common-law partners to do a job in the country through the processing time. Significantly, the validity of the same has already been lengthened on one occasion, in December 2015 to be precise.

The news of the extra time arrives as John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), made public a decrease in the processing times for the petitions submitted under the SCLPC category. The present average processing time for a spousal sponsorship petition, made inside the Maple Leaf Country (an inland petition), is 26 months.

The minister has reportedly proclaimed that as of December 7, 2016, the IRCC is planning to process the petitions filed for the spousal sponsorship inside just a year. Thus, the petitions that have already been presented as of December 7, 2016, are likely to be duly processed by the end of next year.

Lessons for Candidates

  1. With a view to be qualified for an Open Work Permit, it is mandatory for the applicants to possess a legally valid temporary resident position as either a guest, student, or employee, and reside at the similar address as their sponsoring spouse or common-law partner. Those--who have already put forward a petition for the PR under the SCLPC category and who have not obtained sanction in principle, or who have not still submitted a petition for an Open Work Permit--can present a petition for an Open Work Permit. It is compulsory for the aspirants, who got an Open Work Permit under the initial pilot scheme, to present an application for a Work Permit addition prior to their present permit comes to an end.
  2. Approval in principle denotes that though the applicant has obtained a letter from the IRCC ratifying that he fulfills the terms &conditions for eligibility for PR, he (and any escorting family members, in case pertinent) has not still sailed through the security, medical, &background checks.
  3. It is possible for the applicants, who have already obtained endorsement in principal for their PR petition, to submit an application for an Open Work Permit online. It is conceivable for the aspirants presenting new applications to put forward a petition for a Work Permit simultaneously as the petition for sponsorship and the application for the PR.


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