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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 your spouse or partner has a work permit.

If your spouse applied, or wants to apply, under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in-Canada class, he or she can apply for an open work permit.

Remember that while your spouse or partner’s permanent residence application is being processed, he or she 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.

To apply for an open work permit, use this application package: Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Worker.

Depending on your situation, follow these instructions.

If you have not submitted your sponsorship application:

If your permanent residence application has not yet received approval in principle:

If your permanent residence application has been approved in principle:


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