Working While Waiting for Sponsorship to be Approved
If your sponsorship papers have not yet been approved, that is, you are not a permanent resident, you cannot legally work in Canada without a valid work permit. Whether you are within or outside of Canada, it is important to note that you MUST apply for your work permit BEFORE or AT THE SAME TIME as your sponsorship application. If your husband has already submitted the sponsorship application and you apply for a work permit, it will not be granted and if you do work, you will be working illegally.
Applying Outside Canada
Along with a valid Temporary Resident Visa, the following paperwork is required for a work permit:
Proof of Identity
- A valid passport
- Two photos of yourself
Proof of Employment
- A job offer letter or contract from your prospective employer.
- An HRSDC (Human Resources and Social Development Canada) file number that shows that the job can be filled by someone who is not a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. (Your employer should be able to provide you with this file number).
- Evidence that you meet the requirements for the job (educational credentials, work experience, a résumé).
- Application for a work permit (can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website). The application may either be completed online, or printed, filled out, and mailed in.
Once all of this paperwork has been sent in, you will be notified whether or not your application has been approved. If so, you will receive a letter in the mail and will have to show this letter to an immigration officer when you arrive in Canada.
Applying In Canada
If you are already in Canada on a Temporary Resident visa but your sponsorship papers have not yet been submitted yet, you can apply for a work permit. The same process as Applying Outside Canada applies and all of the same paperwork is required.
Conditions of a Work Permit
In most cases, a work permit is valid for a specific job and for a certain amount of time. That means that you cannot change jobs or extend your employment without notifying immigration authorities. You may have to apply for another work permit if there are changes.
If your husband’s job requires certain skills, or if your husband is a student at a recognized post secondary institution, you may apply for an “open work permit”. An open work permit will allow you to work at any job you are qualified for. Also, this permit will allow you to obtain employment without an LMO mentioned above.
All information on your work permit must be correct. If you move and your address changes, for example, you need to notify immigration authorities.
There is also an application fee of $150 (Canadian) for a work permit.