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Jaco Grobbelaar

Open Work Permits

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Jaco Grobbelaar

Hi everyone,

I am busy with the process of moving to Canada. My partner has already been employed there with an international company and now I am trying to get over myself. 

We are both accounting professionals with designations to be added to our names pretty soon. 

Whilst looking at Visa Application options, I noticed an Open Work Permit. I understand it as being a work permit that does not need a letter of employment to accompany the application, and I can go job hunting in Canada with this permit? Am I understanding it incorrectly? If so, can anyone shed some light on the topic please?

Thanks in advance.

Edited by Jaco Grobbelaar

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AnelleR2008

Jaco, has your partner already applied for their workpermit?  The open WP is usually applied for at the same time for the spouse/common-law spouse. 

You are correct that you can come over and look for work on the Open WP and you don't need a job to come over as your open WP is linked to the primary applicant (holder of the WP)

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Nelline

Hi Anelle, you're correct in that the OWP is usually applied for at the same time as the "employer specific" WP as the OWP is issued on the basis of the latter, however this is not always the case. For example, my husband went over first and I applied for mine (with copies of his paperwork in hand) when I entered Canada for the first time a few months later. I also know of spouses who accompanied their WP partner on visitor's visas and then applied for an OWP after a few months here in Canada.

You are also correct, to my knowledge, in that Jaco should qualify for an OWP provided the partnership can be proved and that his partner is legally working in Canada on a government issued WP.

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Jaco Grobbelaar

Hi Annelle and Nelline. Yes my partner has already applied for her Work permit through her company. She should be in Toronto by mid to end of November. Unfortunately we wont be able to prove a common-law partnership as we have not stayed together for longer than 12 months (that is my understanding of the rule?). My name is not mentioned on her application in any capacity unfortunately. I assume her valid work permit would be a good start for me to have for my application? What is the timeline normally on a OWP application given that she has a valid work permit? Also I am planning on coming over with a visitors visa at first, would I then have to fly back to SA in order to activate the OWP ? Thanks for all the answers so far.

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Nelline

No, you won't need to fly back, you should be able to apply electronically from within Canada (turnaround time of about 2 weeks on average) - however it may be an issue if your name is not mentioned anywhere and you would have to prove a common law relationship or get married. The latter really probably being the easiest option :P

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