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I have Canadian citizenship and my wife is a Chinese citizen on a study permit, studying in a college. I am looking to apply for inland sponsorship for her. At the same time, because of our financial situation, we were considering if it could be possible for her to stop studying for a while until (hopefully) she becomes a permanent resident, so that we don't have to pay the high international student tuition fees.

The question I have is, how to maintain her legal status in Canada if we submit a sponsorship application in the next couple of months and if she doesn't return to school in September?

My assumptions so far (from my very limited knowledge of the law) are as follows:

  • She might get "implied status" after I submit the sponsorship application package, but the implied status would still have the conditions of her original study permit (i.e. she needs to study at a DLI). Therefore, she would be in violation of her study permit conditions if she doesn't show up to school, even despite that there is a PR application in progress for her at the IRCC.

  • She might not even get implied status right away, until I am approved as a sponsor, because until that time, neither her PR application, nor her application for an open work permit ("change conditions of stay ... as a Worker") are even considered

  • She must have a valid immigration status, as the CBSA will deport her even despite her having a PR application in progress (i.e. it is allowed to submit a PR application as part of a sponsorship even without a status, but it is still not allowed to stay... and as soon as she leaves the country and not allowed back, the inland sponsorship is refused automatically)

I know there is an application to "change conditions of stay as a Visitor" (IMM 5708). I was wondering if this is something anyone ever had to do, or if it sounds too unusual and likely to fail. Also, do any of my assumptions look incorrect, in your opinion?

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What you want to do is something called Inland Spousal/Common-Law Partner Sponsorship: Open Work Permit Pilot Program. This is what they used to call it earlier. I don't know what the current term is as of now.

According to this page, you can apply for an open work permit. To do so, you/your spouse has to apply for an Application to Change Conditions or Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Worker.

The first step to do here would be to determine your eligibility, to know if you can apply for sponsoring your partner.

Once that is done, you can sponsor your partner and apply for a work permit at the same time.

To do so, you must do the following:

If you have not submitted your sponsorship application:

  • Put the sponsorship, permanent residence and open work permit applications into one envelope.
  • You must also include: all supporting documents for all applications, and proof of payment, for all applications.

Send the envelope to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M), Ontario.

You can find more information and requirements at this unofficial website (no affiliation)

Good luck.

  • Thanks! However, my worry in this case would be about how to maintain her legal status after the sponsorship package is submitted, but before the Open Work Permit is granted. – user56828cc2 Jun 12 '17 at 23:47
  • She would have an implied status I think. She cannot work during that time. You might want to confirm this with CIC customer service. – Dipen Shah Jun 13 '17 at 0:05
  • That's the problem - what would be the conditions of that implied status? Currently, her study permit requires her to study. If she gets implied status, would the same condition still apply? (i.e. if she stops studying on "implied status", she would violate the conditions of that implied status and be deported). – user56828cc2 Jun 13 '17 at 0:06
  • She could take a drop from her semester for 1 semester / 4 months. That's legally allowed. By that time the work permit might get approved. Like I said the best thing to do would be ask CIC. They are generally helpful. – Dipen Shah Jun 13 '17 at 0:09

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