Inland Open Work Permit For Couple

Canada’s open work permit pilot has been extended to immigrants who are being sponsored for permanent residency by their spouses or common-law partners.

Immigrants who are living in Canada and those who are yet to apply for a permanent residency status under the spouse or the common-law partner, are now eligible to do so.

All applications submitted to IRCC through the spousal sponsorship program are usually processed within 12 months. So, the open work permit for spouses helps to lessen the emotional and physical stress of a long application process.

In order to apply for an open work permit, the individual must apply for spousal sponsorship from within the country through a process called the inland sponsorship program.


The program which was initially set to expire by January 31, 2019, has now been extended to 31th of July 2020.

The sponsorship program for spouses is a part of the Family Class Immigration Program through which a Canadian or permanent resident can sponsor a partner or spouse for permanent resident status in Canada.

With the inland sponsorship program, couples who are living together in Canada can sponsor one another with the sponsor having permanent residence and the other a temporary resident status.

Obtaining an open work permit

You can apply for an open work permit the same period your sponsorship application and permanent residency application are been submitted.

If you already submitted a permanent residency application and you are yet to obtain a work permit, you can still submit the work permit application separately.

Candidates whose application has been approved in principle that have received an approval letter from IRCC stating they meet all permanent residency eligibility.

However, these candidates are yet to pass the medical background and security checks may still apply for an open work permit online.


  • For individuals who wish to obtain an open work permit, the following must be met:
  • The candidate must reside together with the partner in the same location during the period of application.
  • Must have a valid temporary resident visa either as a visiting student of even worker.
  • The application has to be made by the spouse who is either a Canadian or a permanent resident.
  • All application must be submitted under the Spousal or the common-law partner.

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