Last December, CIC, now known as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), created an avenue for in-Canada spousal applicants to apply for a work permit simultaneously with their permanent application. In fact what used to take over 18 months for issuance of a work permit was reduced to about 4 months so that the in-Canada spouse did not have to wait as a visitor for over one and a half years before being able to work or obtaining health coverage.
The pilot project was initially introduced for one year and has now fortunately been extended for another year and has been proven to be extremely popular for obvious reasons. In the past other similar pilot projects have often been tested for a number of years and usually become established policy.
The government announcement issued December 17th, 2015 states…
“The instructions for the delivery of open work permits to eligible applicants under the spouse or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class have been updated to reflect that the one-year pilot project put in place on December 22, 2014, has been extended for another year and will expire on December 21, 2016. This pilot project allows the issuance of open work permits to SCLPC class applicants at an earlier stage in processing.
After one year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will assess the pilot project and determine how to process open work permits most effectively for SCLPC class applicants moving forward.”