Sponsored Spouses – Extension of Interim Work Permit Program


Sponsorship of spouses or common-law partners for permanent residence in Canada may be carried out either inland, or overseas, depending on various circumstances. Where the inland process is available and utilized, total processing time can be well over two years.

In December 2014, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) introduced a pilot project whereby spouses or common-law partners of Canadians being sponsored inland, could seek work permits while their cases were processing. This program has now been extended to December 21, 2016. (This program does not impact overseas sponsorships in any way.)

Under this program, where an application for open work permit is made with or after the filing of the sponsorship application, CIC will process the work permit application. The processing time for these work permits is typically about 4 months. In considering the work permit application, the officer will conduct a systems check to identify any adverse information on either the sponsor or the applicant that would render the applicant ineligible. The officer will further consider whether the specific program requirements have been met, most notably, the existence of a valid sponsorship, valid status for the sponsored spouse/partner, and the fact that the sponsor and applicant both reside at the same residence. If there is no bar to the granting of the permit, the officer will issue it for a two-year period.

This program is of great assistance to many sponsored spouses/partners physically in Canada, who have otherwise been unable to work. While it is hoped that the program become permanent, it is at least at this time available for one further year.

This post originally appeared on Kranc Associates. Reprinted with permission.

About The Author

Benjamin A. Kranc

Benjamin A. Kranc is senior principal of Kranc Associates, a leading Canadian corporate immigration law firm. He has many years of experience assisting clients in connection with Canadian immigration and business issues. Ben is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Immigration Law. He is also on the ‘Who’s Who Legal’ list of foremost practitioners in Canadian corporate immigration, as well as rated as AV Preeminent® in a Martindale-Hubbell peer review. Ben has spoken at numerous conferences, seminars, and information sessions – both for professional organizations and private groups – about issues in Canadian immigration law, and has also taught immigration law at Seneca College in Toronto. In addition, Ben has written extensively. He is the author of a leading text on Canadian immigration law entitled “North American Relocation Law” (Thomson Reuters) and contributing immigration author to the “The Human Resources Advisor” (First Reference Books). Ben can be contacted at (416) 977-7500 ext. 226, or bkranc@kranclaw.com.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.