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“Why was my Spousal open work permit refused?”

Foreign residents studying or working in Canada may be able to help their spouse get a work permit in the country through a Spouse Open Work Permit. As per Canadian immigration rules, spouses are eligible for an open work permit and work in the country full-time. However, applying for this special work permit can be tricky, and it’s not uncommon for applicants to be rejected for various reasons.

This article has compiled many of the top reasons why Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) rejects Spouse Open Work Permit applications. We have also discussed potential workarounds for the Spousal open work permit refusal.

  • Relationship Proof Failure: Applicants must show a real relationship with their spouse in Canada. Marriage certificates, photos, proof of children, and other evidence are needed. Common-law partnerships need more proof.
  • Lacking Funds Proof: Proof of enough funds for the stay in Canada is needed. Financial documents, like bank statements from the last six months, are required. Keeping a minimum of $13,000 CAD in the account is advised.
  • Failure to Prove Intent to Leave: Applicants must show the plan to leave Canada after their stay. A strong cover letter detailing family ties, business, or property ownership in the home country is critical. Supporting documents, like proof of business or property ownership, help the case.
  • No Spouse’s DLI Enrollment Evidence: Spouses of students must prove enrollment in a DLI. Acceptance letters, transcripts, and program end-date confirmation are required.
  • Missing Spouse’s Employment Proof: Proof of the spouse’s employment in Canada is needed. Documents include a copy of the spouse’s work permit, pay stubs, and an employer confirmation letter.
  • Previous Sponsorship Rejection: Previous sponsorship rejection may lead to SOWP rejection. A support letter explaining the change in circumstances and eligibility is required.
  • Spouse Got a Government Loan After Permanent Residence: A spouse getting a loan from the Canadian Government may result in rejection. Proof of loan repayment, an explanation letter, and employment documents can help.
  • Previous Sponsorship Failure to Support: Previous failure to support someone may impact the application. Providing evidence of improved financial circumstances, including bank statements and pay stubs, is crucial.

What is the Spouse Open Work Permit?

The Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP) is a type of work permit allowing holders to work for any employer in Canada. It is typically issued to spouses or common-law partners of temporary workers and international students in Canada. This work permit is also available to individuals sponsored for permanent residence by a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants should prove they will leave the country when their work permit expires.
  • Applicants must have sufficient funds to take care of their financial requirements in Canada, such as rent, food, general medical expenses, transportation from work to office, etc.
  • There should not be any criminal history in their native lands.
  • Applicants must undergo medical examinations to prove their sound health.
  • Applicants must not work for any businesses with the status “ineligible.”
  • A passport must be valid for at least 6 months on the principal foreign national’s current immigration documents or the time being sought.

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Why is it Difficult to Receive a Spouse Open Work Permit?

Tens of thousands of foreigners apply for Canadian work permits each year. IRCC has made the eligibility criteria for a Spouse Open Work Permit strict to limit the number of people who apply. Many of these criteria are implemented to ensure applicants have a legitimate reason to come to Canada and work. Applicants who do not meet IRCC’s requirements are typically rejected.

Let’s look at some common Canada Spousal Open Work Permit rejection reasons.

1. Failure to Prove Genuineness of Relationship

Spouse Open Work Permit applicants must prove they are in a genuine relationship with their spouse working or studying in Canada. Presenting a marriage certificate may be sufficient in some cases, but it is best to provide additional evidence if you have only recently married.

If you are in a common-law partnership with a partner working or studying in Canada, you must provide additional evidence as you won’t have a marriage certificate.

This evidence can include:

  • Photographs of you and your spouse or common-law partner. These photographs should include other family members and friends to demonstrate that the relationship is publicly known.
  • Proof of children together. This can be provided as birth certificates confirming the child’s parents’ names.

2. Lacking Proof of Funds

You must also demonstrate that you have enough funds to support your stay in Canada. You can provide this financial proof through financial documents such as bank statements from the last six months.

Applicants who fail to provide proof of funds and those with little money in their bank accounts will likely be rejected. This is because IRCC wants to ensure the people who come to Canada can support themselves and won’t become a burden on the country’s welfare system.

IRCC has not disclosed the minimum amount of funds applicants require. However, it is best to maintain a minimum of $13,000 CAD in your account before applying for a SOWP.

3. Failure to Prove You Will Leave Canada at the End of Your Stay

If you have a spouse working or studying in Canada temporarily, you must demonstrate that you intend to leave Canada at the end of your stay. IRCC put this requirement in place to avoid having people stay in Canada after their work permit expires or after their spouse’s work or education has ended. Many people have their Spouse Open Work Permit rejected for failing to prove they will go home once their status expires.

You can demonstrate your intent to leave Canada by providing a strong cover letter. This cover letter can discuss your family ties to your home country. It should also include information about any businesses or properties you own there. Each factor shows you have a reason to leave Canada and return to your home country.

You should also provide supporting documents to show proof that you own a business or property in your home country.

Related Topic: 11 Canada Study Permit Rejection Reasons

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4. No Evidence that Your Spouse is Currently Attending a DLI

If your spouse or common-law partner is studying in Canada, you must show proof that they are attending a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). IRCC rejects people who fail to provide this proof to ensure that international students are abiding by their study permit’s terms when they bring their spouses to Canada to work. These Canada student spouse visa rejected applicants won’t be able to obtain work permits, so it is vital to provide appropriate proof.

You can provide this education proof in the form of a University or College acceptance letter. If your student spouse or common-law partner has already completed one or more semesters at the DLI, they can obtain a letter and transcripts as proof they are still attending the institution as students. This letter should include their program’s end date.

5. Missing Proof of Employment

If your spouse or common-law partner is working in Canada, you must show proof that they are employed in the country. This proof can be provided with the following documents:

  • A copy of the spouse’s work permit.
  • Pay stubs from the spouse’s employer.
  • A letter from the spouse’s employer confirming that they are employed at the company.

Applicants to fail to offer this proof will be rejected. This Spouse Open Work Permit rejected reason may also damage your future prospects of working in Canada. Therefore, you should ensure your initial application contains the proper supporting proof.

6. If You're Sponsored by a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen in the Past

IRCC may also reject your SOWP application if you were sponsored by a Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen in the past but failed to meet the minimum requirements.

In this situation, you should provide a support letter with your new application. This support letter should explain the reason for your previous rejection. It should also include information on how your circumstances have changed and that you are now eligible for an open work permit.

This letter must be convincing, so it is best to hire a Regulated Canadian Immigration consultant to help you with creating it.

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7. If Your Spouse Received a Loan from the Government After Getting Permanent Residence

IRCC may also reject your application if your spouse received a loan from the Canadian Government after they received their permanent residence.

Taking a loan from the Canadian Government gives IRCC the impression your spouse was not in a good financial position and that they would have trouble supporting you in Canada. You may be able to avoid being rejected by providing proof your spouse paid back the loan.

You should also include an explanation letter and employment documents to demonstrate they are earning well and are in better financial standing now. This proof doesn’t guarantee your application will be approved. However, it is the best course of action for applicants in this situation.

8. If You Had Sponsored Someone Before and Failed to Support Them

IRCC also rejects applicants sponsored by someone who failed to support them in the past. This issue can be corrected by providing proof your spouse’s financial circumstances have improved.

In this scenario, you should provide copies of your spouse’s bank statements and pay stubs. You should also include a “letter of explanation” describing how their financial circumstances have improved.

Difference between Refused and Returned Application

Your application will be rejected if the immigration authority assigned to it finds that it has not fulfilled the abovementioned requirements. In addition to all the above-mentioned reasons, the application can be denied for medical or criminal reasons. In the case of rejection, your application fee will not be refunded.

On the other hand, your application can be returned, implying that you have not provided sufficient evidence of your eligibility. Also, if the quota for the program is filled up, your application package will be returned to you. If the application is rejected because of inadequate or incorrect paperwork, you will get quickly approved by simply applying again.

How the Global Case Management System Notes Can Help You?

If your Spouse Open Work Permit application has been rejected in the past, you can deduce the reason for this Spouse Visa rejection in Canada using the Global Case Management System (GCMS). This is a special tracking system that keeps important information about your applicants with IRCC.

Need help?

As you can see, IRCC has many reasons to reject a Spouse Open Work Permit application. It can be difficult to obtain an open work permit after having your application for spousal sponsorship rejected. Therefore, it is best to submit an optimized application the first time you apply for one.

Our Regulated Immigration Consultants understand the various requirements for an open work permit. They are also familiar with each spousal sponsorship refusal reason mentioned above. You can contact our experts here if you wish to start working in Canada under a Spouse Open Work Permit.

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