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I am sponsoring my spouse or partner who is in Canada. Can they work while their application is being processed?

Yes, but only if they have a work permit.

If you’re sponsoring your spouse, they can apply for an open work permit.

It will take us about 4-5 months to process the open work permit application.

Remember that while your spouse or partner’s permanent residence application is being processed, they must:

  • maintain legal status as a visitor, student or worker in Canada, and
  • wait for their work permit application to be approved before starting to work.

For the steps to apply, see How to apply for a work permit.

Follow the instructions that match your situation.

If the sponsorship application hasn’t been submitted yet:

  • Put the sponsorship, permanent residence and open work permit applications into one envelope.
  • Make sure to include:
    • all supporting documents for all applications, and
    • proof of payment, for all applications.
  • Send the envelope to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), Ontario.

If the permanent residence application has not been approved in principle:

The time it takes to get your approval in principle depends on your case. Processing times vary.

If the permanent residence application has been approved in principle:


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