IMMERGITY Immigration Consultant
Mar 25, 2023
4 - 6 Months
*Processing time and fee are variable
Documents Required for Spousal Sponsorship and How to Obtain Them
Applying for a spousal open work permit allows the spouse or common-law partner of a temporary foreign worker or international student in certain eligible programs to work in the destination country. This guide provides a comprehensive list of the necessary documents and steps to obtain them, ensuring a smooth application process.
List of Documents (this list is not comprehensive)
Proof of Relationship
Passport and Travel Documents
Proof of Spouse's Work or Study Permit
Proof of Financial Support
Language Test Results (if applicable)
1. Proof of Relationship
Provide evidence to establish your relationship with the temporary foreign worker or international student. Examples of such documents include:
Statutory declaration of common-law union
Evidence of cohabitation (e.g., shared bills, lease agreements)
2. Passport and Travel Documents
You'll need a valid passport or travel document for the entire duration of your stay in the destination country. Ensure that it has:
A minimum validity of 6 months from the date of application
At least two blank pages for visa stamps
3. Proof of Spouse's Work or Study Permit
Submit a copy of your spouse's valid work or study permit. In case they are applying for a permit renewal, include a copy of their current permit and the renewal application's proof of submission.
4. Proof of Financial Support
Demonstrate your financial ability to support yourself and your spouse during your stay. Acceptable documents include:
Employment letters with salary details
Evidence of scholarships or financial aid (if applicable)
Supply two recent passport-sized photographs that meet the destination country's specifications. These typically include:
Dimensions: 35mm x 45mm
White or light-colored background
Neutral facial expression
No headwear or eyeglasses
6. Medical Examination
In some cases, you may be required to undergo a medical examination from a designated panel physician. This requirement depends on the destination country and the duration of your stay.
7. Police Certificates
Obtain police certificates from every country where you have lived for six months or longer since the age of 18. This document verifies your criminal record, if any, and helps assess your admissibility to the destination country.
8. Language Test Results (if applicable)
If the destination country requires proof of language proficiency, submit valid language test results (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL) that meet the minimum score requirements.
Remember to check the specific requirements for the country you are applying to, as they may vary. Good luck with your spousal open work permit application!
Open Work Permit Application
Once you've submitted your spousal sponsorship application, your partner can apply for an open work permit. The key documents they need to provide include:
Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295)
Offer of Employment form (if applicable)
Copy of your sponsorship application (including proof of relationship and police certificates)
Remember, providing accurate and complete documentation is crucial for a successful spousal open work permit application. By gathering all the necessary documents and submitting them on time, you can help ensure that your application is processed smoothly and quickly. Additionally, make sure to keep copies of all documents for your records and reference.
Here are some of the key benefits of SOWP:
Ability to work in Canada: With a spousal open work permit, an individual can legally work in Canada. This can provide financial stability and independence, as well as opportunities to gain Canadian work experience.
Flexibility: A spousal open work permit is not tied to a specific employer, which means that the individual can work for any employer in Canada. This can provide flexibility in terms of job opportunities and the ability to switch jobs without having to apply for a new work permit.
Faster processing times: Spousal open work permit applications are typically processed faster than other types of work permit applications. This can allow individuals to start working in Canada sooner.
Path to permanent residency: Having a spousal open work permit can be a step towards obtaining permanent residency in Canada. This is because having Canadian work experience can increase an individual's chances of qualifying for programs such as the Canadian Experience Class.
Family reunification: A spousal open work permit can help reunite families by allowing the spouse of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to work in Canada. This can help ease the financial burden of living in a new country and allow families to establish roots in Canada.
When can I apply for an open work permit if my spouse or partner has applied to sponsor me?
If your spouse or partner has applied to sponsor you for permanent residency in Canada, you can apply for an open work permit at the same time as the sponsorship application or at any time before a decision is made on the sponsorship application.
If you apply for an open work permit at the same time as the sponsorship application, you must include your open work permit application with the sponsorship application package. This way, both applications can be processed together.
If you choose to apply for an open work permit separately from the sponsorship application, you can do so at any time before a decision is made on the sponsorship application. In this case, you must include a copy of the sponsorship application package or the sponsorship application number with your open work permit application.
It's important to note that if you're applying for an open work permit separately from the sponsorship application, you may need to provide additional documentation to prove your eligibility for the open work permit. Make sure to check the requirements for the open work permit application and provide all necessary documentation to avoid delays or refusals.
What is Approval in Principle for Spousal open work permit?
It refers to a stage in the processing of a spousal sponsorship application where the application has been reviewed and assessed by immigration officials, and a decision has been made on the eligibility of the applicant and the sponsor.
In the case of spousal open work permits, Approval in Principle means that the applicant's eligibility for the spousal sponsorship has been determined and that the application is in the final stages of processing. Once the Approval in Principle has been granted, the applicant can then apply for an open work permit to work in Canada while their permanent residency application is being processed.
It's important to note that the Approval in Principle stage is not a final decision on the spousal sponsorship application. The final decision is made once all required documentation and information have been reviewed, and the applicant and sponsor have met all eligibility criteria.
Can I work while waiting for my SOWP in Canada?
The purpose of the SOWP is to allow the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to work in Canada while their permanent residency application is being processed.
To work while waiting for your SOWP, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as being legally allowed to work in Canada and having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer. You can also work as a self-employed person or start your own business in Canada.
It's important to note that you cannot work in Canada until you have received your SOWP. You must wait until your application has been approved and you have been issued a valid work permit before you can start working in Canada.
Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that processing times for SOWP applications can vary, and it may take several months to receive your work permit. Make sure to plan ahead and budget accordingly while waiting for your SOWP.
Do I require an LMIA to apply for SOWP?
No, you do not need a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) in Canada. The purpose of the SOWP is to allow the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to work in Canada while their permanent residency application is being processed.
Unlike other types of work permits, such as those obtained through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the SOWP does not require an LMIA. This is because the SOWP is considered a benefit of spousal sponsorship and is not subject to the same requirements as other work permits.
However, to be eligible for a SOWP, you must meet certain criteria, such as being legally allowed to work in Canada, having a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, and being sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is your spouse or common-law partner.
It's important to note that while an LMIA is not required for a SOWP, you may still need to provide other documentation to prove your eligibility, such as proof of your relationship with the sponsor, police certificates, and medical exams.
Make sure to check the requirements for the SOWP application and provide all necessary documentation to avoid delays or rejections.
Can I work anywhere in Canada with a SWOP?
Yes, you can work anywhere in Canada with a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP).
Once you have received your SOWP, you are legally authorized to work in Canada, and you can work for any Canadian employer in any occupation or industry, as long as your work permit remains valid. You can also work as a self-employed person or start your own business in Canada.
It's important to note that while you can work anywhere in Canada with a SOWP, you must still comply with Canadian immigration laws and regulations. This includes maintaining your legal status in Canada, abiding by the conditions of your work permit, and complying with Canadian labour laws and employment standards.
Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that the SOWP is a temporary work permit, and its validity is linked to the processing of your permanent residency application. Once you have received your permanent residency, you will no longer need a work permit to work in Canada.
Want to apply for SOWP? Book an appointment now.