Program delivery update: Public policy exempting certain applicants applying in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class or the family class from work permit requirements

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

May 26, 2023

On May 10, 2023, a temporary public policy came into effect to facilitate the issuance of an open work permit to foreign nationals and their accompanying dependent children who are in Canada and have submitted a complete permanent resident application under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class (SCLPC) or in the Family Class as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner.

The previous pilot program in effect from December 22, 2014 until May 9, 2023, which allowed the issuance of open work permits to applicants in the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class prior to first-stage approval has ended.

Pending applications that were received by IRCC that have not been finalized on May 10, 2023 will be processed under this public policy.

In addition, the instructions related to programs exempt from the in-Canada mandatory online application have been updated. The following in-Canada applicants are no longer exempt from the in-Canada mandatory online application:

Updated instructions

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