Canadian government to offer help for spouses

The Canadian government has launched a new pilot programme that will help immigrant spouses of Canadian citizens to work in Canada while their application for permanent residency is being processed.

Foreign spouses of Canadian citizens are not automatically entitled to permanent residency, but can apply for a visa while living in Canada. However, due to a huge backlog of applications it is currently taking well over a year for spousal residency applications to be processed – meaning the spouse can’t work without applying for a work permit; another lengthy process.

Under a one-year pilot program launched yesterday, the federal government will now start issuing open work permits to all immigrants spouses living in Canada.

“As we promised, Citizenship and Immigration Canada is launching a pilot programme that will allow spouses being sponsored under the Inland Spousal Sponsorship program to receive their work permits much sooner while we process their applications,” a spokesman for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander told CBC News on Monday. “This ensures that they can provide for their families and contribute to Canada’s economy at the same time,”

An open work permit will allow an applicant to work for any employer for a specified period of time while their permanent residence applications are processed.

It would also allow the applicants to receive provincial health coverage while awaiting permanent residency.

Article published 23rd December 2014