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In an effort to bolster the Family Class Sponsorship program in Canada, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will implement a new public policy by the close of May. This innovative policy is designed to grant Open Work Permits to certain foreign nationals, enabling them to work in Canada while their applications are under review.
This transformative move will extend the scope of Open Work Permits, previously exclusive to the inland spousal sponsorship program, to those applying from outside Canada. IRCC maintains that this policy will not only fortify the financial security of these families and enhance their integration into the community, but it will also help to bridge the acute labor gaps in professions outlined in the Canada In-demand Occupation List.
Eligibility Criteria for Open Work Permits:
To be considered for the Open Work Permit under this new policy, foreign nationals must satisfy either of the subsequent eligibility prerequisites:
A foreign national must:
- Have lodged a permanent residence application as a spouse or common-law partner in Canada or as a spouse, common law, or conjugal partner under the family class, which has been accepted for processing by the IRCC.
- Have filed a work permit application with a maximum requested duration of two years.
- Be a part of a sponsorship application submitted by their Canadian citizen or permanent resident spouse, common law, or conjugal partner.
- Share the same residential address with their sponsor in Canada when applying.
- Possess valid temporary resident status in Canada or be eligible for and has applied for status restoration.
A foreign national must:
- Be a dependent child included as an accompanying family member in the permanent residence application.
- Have submitted a work permit application with a maximum requested duration of two years.
- Share the same residential address with the principal applicant and their sponsor in Canada at the time of the application.
- Have valid temporary resident status in Canada or be eligible for and has applied for status restoration.
Family Reunification Measures Unveiled:
On May 26, 2023, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), announced a series of measures aimed at enhancing Family Class Immigration in Canada. These include:
- Accelerated temporary resident visa (TRV) processing for spousal applicants.
- Innovative processing tools specifically for spousal TRV applicants.
- Introduction of an open work permit for spousal and family class applicants.
- Extensions of open work permits for holders whose permits expire between August 1 and the end of 2023.
These initiatives, coupled with the new policy, underscore the significant role of immigration in addressing Canada’s severe labor shortages across numerous sectors. More importantly, these changes will fortify family reunification efforts by providing temporary resident status and job opportunities for spouses, partners, and dependent children as they wait for their permanent residence.