Skip to content
new open work permit for spouses

New Open Work Permit Eligibility For Spousal & Family class Applicants

Last Updated On 27 May 2023, 9:06 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Today, immigration minister Sean Fraser announced a new temporary public policy offering an open work permit for spousal and family class applicants.

INC – Immigration News Canada provided live updates and extensive coverage of new announcement by immigration minister on family reunification.

Eligibility Criteria For Open Work Permit For Spousal & Family Class Applicants

The new public policy signed by Sean Fraser facilitates the issuance of an open work permit to foreign nationals applying under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class or the Family Class.

This also includes family members, who have a valid temporary resident status, have maintained their status, or are eligible for and have applied to restore their status, and have the same residential address as their sponsor in Canada when they apply for an open work permit.

You are eligible to apply for an open work permit (less than 2 years), if either 1 of the following applies to you:

  1. The foreign national is
    • a principal applicant who has submitted an application for permanent residence under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class or as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner under the Family Class that has been accepted for processing by IRCC after meeting the requirements for a complete application.
    • the subject of a sponsorship application that was submitted by their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
    • having the same place of residence in Canada as their sponsor at the time that the application is submitted;
    • possesses either a current and active status as a temporary resident in Canada or the ability to apply for restoration of status and has done so.


  1. The foreign national is:
    • a dependent child and has been included as an accompanying family member in the application for permanent residence
    • meet all the requirements mentioned in first part

How To Apply

After receiving Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) for permanent residence application under spousal or family class, eligible spouses and dependent children will need to apply online for an open work permit.

Applicants will need to sign in to their GCKey or create a new one (if they don’t have it).

After signing in, applicants will have to answer certain questions to get a personalized documents checklist.

Furthermore, answer “Yes” to the following question in the work permit application form.

open work permit

Also select “open work permit” in the section where it asks “What type of work permit are you applying for?

Additionally make sure that you enter below code for job title and description of duties.

  • Job Title: Enter “SCLPC – FC OWP”
  • Brief Description of duties: Enter “SCLPC – FC applicant in Canada public policy.”

What about 18-month spousal open work permit extension?

Please don’t confuse above information with 18-month spousal open work permit extension announced today.

As of now our sources reveal as immigration minister said, spousal open work permit holders eligible for a 18-month extension are expected to get an automatic extension option in their online IRCC secure account.

Furthermore, they may need to apply for an open work permit citing this new temporary public policy.

More clarity is expected to come along as we approach June 7 implementation of new 18-month open work permit extension.

Who is considered as dependent child for Canada family sponsorship applications?

A dependent child for matter of Canada family sponsorship include:

A person who is less than 22 years old and do not have a spouse or common-law partner


A person who is older than 22 years old, but has relied significantly on the financial assistance of the parent since before the age of 22, as well as being unable to maintain oneself financially owing to a physical or mental ailment.


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

new open work permit for spouses
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on