Family Sponsorship in Canada: Open Work Permits Now Available for Outland Applications

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Canada has taken a significant step toward promoting family reunification by introducing a new measure that offers Open Work Permits to spouses, partners, and dependents of permanent residents, Canadian citizens, temporary workers, and students. This policy expansion allows individuals applying from outside Canada to obtain open work permits, thereby providing enhanced opportunities for families to reunite and build their lives together. In this article, we will explore the eligibility criteria, application process, benefits, and implications of this new policy.

Eligibility and Application Process

Under the recently implemented measure, family members such as spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, and dependent children over 18 years old are eligible to apply for the Open Work Permit. This means that individuals who meet these relationship criteria and have a close connection to a permanent resident, Canadian citizen, temporary worker, or student can now seek employment in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed.

To initiate the application process, interested individuals need to submit their sponsorship application, along with the Open Work Permit application, to the Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The IRCC aims to process all spousal sponsorship applications within 12 months, demonstrating the government’s commitment to expedite family reunification and reduce processing times.

Benefits and Implications

The introduction of Open Work Permits for family members seeking reunification in Canada brings forth numerous benefits and implications for both the applicants and Canadian society as a whole. Let’s delve into some of the key advantages:

1. Timely Family Reunification

Allowing family members to obtain open work permits facilitates quicker reunification of families. This initiative recognizes the importance of keeping families together, ensuring that loved ones can support and care for each other during the immigration process.

2. Empowerment and Integration

The availability of Open Work Permits empowers spouses, partners, and dependents to actively contribute to the Canadian workforce and society. It enables them to seek employment opportunities that align with their skills and expertise, facilitating their integration into the local community and fostering a sense of belonging.

3. Economic Growth

Canada has a strong tradition of welcoming immigrants who significantly contribute to its economy. Granting open work permits acknowledges the potential of newcomers to make valuable contributions to various sectors. Their skills, knowledge, and diverse perspectives can stimulate economic growth, innovation, and entrepreneurship, benefiting both local and global communities.

Commitment to Family Reunification

The introduction of Open Work Permits for family reunification aligns with Canada’s broader commitment to fostering a welcoming and inclusive society. Immigration Minister Sean Fraser emphasizes the positive impact of reuniting families quickly. By reducing processing times for temporary resident visas, dedicating resources to streamline application processes, and offering open work permit extensions, the government aims to ensure that newcomers can fully realize their potential while positively contributing to Canada’s economy and society.


Canada’s introduction of Open Work Permits for spouses, partners, and dependents of permanent residents, Canadian citizens, temporary workers, and students signifies a significant step towards promoting family reunification. By extending eligibility to outland sponsorship and facilitating quicker processing times, the Canadian government demonstrates its commitment to keeping families together. This policy not only benefits the individuals seeking reunification but also contributes to Canada’s economic growth, integration, and the development of a diverse and vibrant society. The introduction of open work permits reflects Canada’s progressive approach to immigration and its determination to provide equal opportunities for all, fostering an inclusive nation where families can thrive and contribute to the fabric of Canadian society.

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