How To Apply Open Work Permit For Spouse Outside Canada

Since the dramatic changes introduced by Harper’s administration and their ever-evolving “Working Outside Canada” policies (which are proposed to be changed again sometime in the future), there has been confusion on how to apply for an open work permit if you’re a Canadian resident who is married to a non-Canadian citizen and you’re inside Canada when your spouse is issued a work permit.

The government of Canada has accepted the recommendation that allows open work permit for the spouses of all skilled workers who were admitted under express entry system. The spouse could now accompany his or her partner and adjust to a full-time job on a permanent basis without having to wait for an approval from CIC.

The Canadian Immigration policy provides an opportunity to get a permit (and hence a status) to your spouse if you are living in Canada, irrespective of the fact that s/he is not the citizen or permanent resident of Canada. But the question is whether you can work in Canada or not? If yes, then how? And when? Let us find out.

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?

Yes, in most cases, your spouse or common-law partner can work in Canada. However, they will usually need a work permit to work in Canada. They must apply for their own work permit.

In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an open work permit—allowing him or her to accept any job with any employer. For more information, see Who can apply for an open work permit?

In other cases, your spouse or common-law partner must apply for a work permit for a specific employer. The employer may have to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). An LMIA allows an employer to hire someone for a specific job. Find out if your spouse or common-law partner’s employer needs an LMIA to hire them.

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