Open Work Permit Pilot Extended for Sponsored Partners

April 21, 2021


  • Robynn Farrell

Due to the program’s popularity, the Open Work Permit Pilot has been extended for the fourth time since 2014! The Canadian government has extended the program for all partners living in Canada who are currently applying for permanent residency through the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class. Originally the program was meant to expire by 31 January 2019, but now it has been extended till 31 July 2020! This extension gives applicants an additional 19 months to apply! 

What Is a Sponsored Partner?

When you immigrate to Canada, you have the chance to sponsor your spouse or partner to the country for permanent residency. As a sponsor, you must be prepared to look after your partner financially while they live in the country. Your partner must also be over the age of 18 and your relationship must be genuine for a successful application. The documents you must supply for the application process depending on where your spouse was born, where they have lived, their family background and whether they are immigrating with any dependants (unmarried persons aged under 22 who are children of the applicant). Essentially you are promising to be responsible for the person’s:
  • Health care that is not covered by the local government services;
  • Everyday care such as food, clothing and housing;
Even if you and your partner's relationship ends, you will still be responsible for them as their sponsor regardless if they move to another province or become a Canadian citizen. If you run into financial issues, you will still be held financially responsible for your partner or ex-partner. Please note that the sponsorship program steps differ in Quebec since the province uses its own immigration system.

Requirements for the Sponsorship Program

The documents you need to apply as a sponsor depend on a number of factors. This can be based on:
  • Who is sponsoring you;
  • What country the sponsored person is living in;
  • Where the documents for the application will be handed in
If, for instance, your partner is from India and is currently living there, you would need to supply the following documents for the sponsorship application. As the sponsor:
  • The Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM 1344)
  • Sponsorship Evaluation and Relationship Questionnaire (IMM 5532)
As the sponsored: Generic Application form for Canada (IMM 0009)
  • Additional Dependants Declaration (IMM 0008DEP)
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
  • Schedule A Background Declaration (IMM 5669)
Because your sponsored partner is from India, you would need to submit additional documents like the:
  • Supplementary Information (IMM 5562);
  • Birth Certificates issued by the country;
  • Identity documents for an adopted child; and
  • Divorce papers

Open Work Permit

What is an open work permit? This document allows you to work in a number of industries and for multiple employers. Please note that this open work permit does not however let you work in employment fields related to child or healthcare or in any occupation that requires medical clearance. For your partner to qualify for this document they must have temporary resident status as a:
  • Student;
  • Visitor; or
  • Worker
Your partner must also live at the same address as you do. The IRCC (Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada) stated that extending this pilot ensures applicants are able to work, provide for their families and contribute to the Canadian economy while waiting for their permanent resident applications to be processed. Let us help with your sponsorship application. Discover how you can sponsor your loved ones to Canada.