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Canadian Open Spousal Work Permit

by | Jun 18, 2021

If you are planning to immigrate to Canada as a student or as a worker, it is possible to do so together with your partner under Canadian immigration law. In other words, you may be able to take your partner with you to Canada. Your partner may qualify for an open spousal work permit. 

Notably, eligibility for an open spousal work permit, especially if you are planning to move to Canada to work, is not assured. It depends on the type of work you intend to do in Canada. Therefore this is an important factor to consider if you want to apply for a work permit in Canada and wish to bring your spouse with you.

Who Is A Spouse?

Spouses in this case could either be your married partner or common-law partner. A common-law partner is a person with whom you have been living together in a conjugal relationship, that is, a relationship which is similar to that of a husband and wife, for at least 12 consecutive months. In such a circumstance, your relationship may qualify as a common-law relationship and your partner may be able to immigrate with you even though you are not legally married.

Work Permit Option Eligibility Criteria

Your ability to take your partner with you to Canada if you are immigrating on a work permit is dependent on the type of work permit that you obtain. The type of work permit is also dependent on the type of work that you will be doing in Canada.

Specific Job Types

All jobs in Canada have a specific code assigned to them that is known as the National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code. A managerial job type is categorized under type “O” or “Zero” type NOC code. The managerial NOC Code is for job types that entail functional management roles within an organization such as leading a team, recruitment, performance evaluation among others. If you fall under a managerial NOC code then your partner would be eligible to apply for an open spousal work permit.

Similarly, if your job type fits under a NOC “E” type role, which is a category for professional job types, then your partner would also be eligible to apply for an open spousal work permit. In addition, professional jobs that typically require you to have at least a university undergraduate degree are categorized under NOC “A” type roles which also allow your partner to be eligible for an open spousal work permit. 

Another category of jobs that may allow your spouse to be eligible to apply for an open spousal work permit is high-skilled type jobs such as electricians. If you are immigrating to perform other job types, you would not ordinarily be able to take your partner or family along with you to Canada. Therefore, the job type is an important factor to consider if you wish to move with your partner or family generally. 

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

In addition to the categories above, it is worth noting that if you are applying under a very specific program known as the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and the duties you will be performing is in the NOC “C” type, which is a category for even lower-skilled types jobs, you may also be able to take your partner with you as they would be eligible to apply for an open spousal work permit if you have been successful with your work permit application.

In a nutshell, so far as work permits are concerned, those are the job types that would allow your partner to be eligible to apply for open spousal work permits. 

Student Permit Option Eligibility Criteria

If you are immigrating to Canada as a student, your spouse may be able to apply for an open spousal work permit as well. Under the student permit option, there are some very specific categories of spouses who would be able to apply. 

If you immigrated to Canada as a student and you have completed your studies and you have also applied for a post-graduate work permit, your accompanying spouse who would have perhaps been with you in Canada during the course of your studies would in most circumstances be able to apply for an open spousal work permit based on your post-graduate work permit. 

Similar conditions relating to work permits and job types would therefore apply. Basically, the job type you are engaged in would need to fit in one of the NOC codes which allow your spouse to apply for an open spousal work permit. 

Other General Requirements

Importantly, there are other general requirements that all work permit applicants to Canada must meet. The immigration officer assessing your application must be convinced that you will leave Canada upon the expiry of your work permit. Further, you and your family should have enough finances to take care of yourselves while in Canada. 

There must not be any kind of criminal activity record while in Canada. Also, there must not be any kind of health condition that may cause you to be found to be a danger to Canada. Lastly, there are certain ineligible employment types that you would not be able to engage in as a holder of an open spousal work permit. 

Let Us Help

We are available and happy to assist you to put together the required documentation for your open spousal work permit application to enable you to immigrate with your spouse to Canada. 

Should you also need any professional advice or have any questions concerning open spousal work permits in Canada, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Book a call with us today!

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