8 Reasons Why Your Spousal Open Work Permit Refused? (2023)

“Why was my Spousal open work permit refused?”

Foreign residents studying or working in Canada may be able to help their spouse work in the country through a Spouse Open Work Permit. However, applying for this special work permit can be tricky, and it’s not uncommon for applicants to be rejected for various reasons.

In this article, we have 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.

What is the Spouse Open Work Permit?

The Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP) is a special type of work permit that allows 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 who have been sponsored for permanent residence by a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

8 Reasons Why Your Spousal Open Work Permit Refused? (1)

(Video) TOP 5 Reasons: Why your Spousal Sponsorship is rejected

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 put in place 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 that they are in a genuine relationship with their spouse who is 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 gotten married only recently.

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 in the form of 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 in the form of 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 are likely to 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.

(Video) Rejection reasons of SOWP | Why spouse open work permit rejected | Spousal Work Permit to Canada

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 provide sufficient proof 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 of these factors shows that 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

8 Reasons Why Your Spousal Open Work Permit Refused? (2)

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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.

8 Reasons Why Your Spousal Open Work Permit Refused? (3)

(Video) 3 Big refusal reasons of Spouse open work permit |Canada visa 2022

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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 who have been 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.

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.

(Video) 10 Reasons Why your Canadian Spousal Sponsorship is Rejected

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.


8 Reasons Why Your Spousal Open Work Permit Refused? ›

Your application will be rejected if the visa officer assigned to your application finds that it fails to meet the basic requirements for the work permit you are applying for. Additionally, they may deny your application for criminal or medical reasons; in any case, this is an uncommon event.

Why my open work permit is rejected? ›

Your application will be rejected if the visa officer assigned to your application finds that it fails to meet the basic requirements for the work permit you are applying for. Additionally, they may deny your application for criminal or medical reasons; in any case, this is an uncommon event.

What if spousal open work permit is rejected? ›

If your spousal open work permit is refused, you may be eligible to re-apply. You should only re-apply if you can provide additional information or documentation to address the reason or refusal.

Can an open work permit be refused? ›

The reasons for work permit refusals often depend on the applicant's circumstances. However, generally speaking, refusal letters can be issued for the following reasons: You were not able to demonstrate that you will be able to adequately perform the work you seek.

What is the success rate of spouse open work permit? ›

SOWP has gained 100% success rates for clients whose partners are in Canada now! With a Spousal Open Work Permit Visa or spouse visa one can: Work without restrictions.

How long does it take to get spouse open work permit? ›

Generally, it will take anywhere between 1 and 4 months to process your spouse's open work permit application.

Can USCIS deny work permit? ›

A case denial means that USCIS has reviewed your application and determined that you're not eligible to receive a work permit. If you receive a denial, you may need legal help to appeal your case or find another pathway to an EAD.

What is the reason for spouse visa rejection? ›

Insufficient Evidence of Relationship

If you are trying to secure a spouse visa, the most common reason for denial is insufficient evidence of your relationship. You must prove to the Home Office that your relationship is genuine and subsisting.

Can I work while waiting for my spousal open work permit? ›

If you held a valid work permit at the time you applied for the spousal open work permit, then you can continue to work while you wait for the new permit to be issued. (This includes holders of IEC work permits and international students holding a post graduation work permit).

Can my spouse get a work permit while waiting for green card? ›

Keep in mind that you cannot submit a work permit application until you've filed the green card application (Form I-485). Relatives of green card holders must wait for a visa number before filing the I-485.

How do I appeal a rejected work permit? ›

Below are the steps that you can do:
  1. Call the MOM Hotline 6438 5122, give them your WP online application number or your FIN will do.
  2. Ask them what is the reason why the application was rejected.
  3. Ask them what are the documents needed to rectify or provide proof for the missing piece so you can apply for Appeal.

How long does it take to reapply for visa after refusal? ›

The application must be delivered to the embassy / consulate General of that decision on the claim within 15 days of receipt of the decision to refuse the visa. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will re-examine the request within the 30-day period from the date of submission of the application for review.

What are open work permit options? ›

There are 2 types of open work permits:
  • unrestricted.
  • restricted, which can mean. occupational restrictions, for example, depending on the applicant's medical status [R185(b)] or work permit category.
Dec 16, 2022

What percentage of spouse visas are approved? ›

Petition approval rates

The spouse visa is considered more “secure” because of its statistically higher approval rates during the interview process and visa approvals. According to USCIS reports, 90% of the I-130 petitions are approved, and about 75% of the I-129F are approved.

How do I get my spouse a work permit in USA? ›

You must file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to request employment authorization as an H-4 dependent spouse. You must receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD/Form I-766) from USCIS before you may begin working.

How long does it take to get spouse work permit for H1B? ›

The H1B processing time varies because all cases are different. Generally it takes between three to six months to process an H-1B visa. You must wait at least two weeks after you send in your application for a receipt from the USCIS and another two weeks before you call the USCIS to check the status.

How long is open work permit processing time? ›

This may take up to 30 business days (6 weeks).

What is first stage approval spousal sponsorship? ›

At the first stage, the sponsor's eligibility is defined that whether the sponsor is eligible and he/she meets the eligibility requirements for spousal sponsorship, technical at this stage the sponsor is called applicant, and once that stage clearly and Approval in Principle (AIP) issued the application is moved to the ...

Can I sponsor someone for a work visa? ›

How can I get sponsorship for a US work visa? Before you can even apply for a US work visa, you must have a job offer from a specific US employer. The employer will then sponsor your visa by filing a petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Does USCIS check with your employer? ›

Does USCIS Check Your Work History? The USCIS will check an applicant's work history. With that, you will need to provide certain information for each employer—whether you have worked abroad or in the United States for the past five years.

What is the denial rate for EAD? ›

I-765 employment authorization document (EAD) applications: Though there was a slight drop in the denial rate between FY 2016 (6.0%) and FY 2017 (5.4%), there has been a substantial increase in FY 2018, with a current denial rate of 9.6%.

Can I leave the US while waiting for work permit? ›

NO!!! You can only leave the US after your advance parole is approved. If you leave the US before your advance parole is approved, regardless of whether or not you wait for it to be approved before returning, your application will be deemed abandoned and denied.

How many spouse visas are rejected? ›

According to those statistics, approximately 20,000 K-1 fiancées/fiancés every year are denied visas when they go to their interviews at the embassy. This is nearly 40% of the total number of K-1 visa applicants. And while eventually many of them are able to overcome the initial denial, some do not.

How many US spouse visas are rejected? ›

On average, one in every five applications is refused.

What is the most common visa rejection? ›

Common Reasons for Visa Rejections
  • Incomplete Application. Your visa application will be rejected if all the mandatory fields of the form are not filled. ...
  • Violation of Rules. ...
  • Insufficient Travel Insurance. ...
  • Unclear Purpose of Travel. ...
  • Passport Issues. ...
  • Application Timings. ...
  • Insufficient Funds. ...
  • Crime History.
Mar 12, 2023

What is open spouse work permit? ›

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. It allows your spouse or common-law partner to accept any job with any employer. If your spouse or partner gets an open work permit, it is normally valid for the same period as your study permits.

What can I do while waiting for my work permit? ›

We've compiled a list of ideas you can use to keep busy until you're legally allowed to work in the US.
  1. Take Up A New Hobby/Craft. ...
  2. Get Moving. ...
  3. Practice English (If Necessary) ...
  4. Prepare Yourself For A Job. ...
  5. Explore Your New Community. ...
  6. Work On Your Family Tree. ...
  7. Start a Bucket List/ Focus On Your Goals.
Jan 31, 2018

Can I bring my spouse to work? ›

An F-2 dependent who would desire to pursue any employment, paid or non-paid, in the U.S. would need to find an employer willing and able to sponsor them for an employment visa. J-2 dependent (spouse) visa holders are eligible, after entry to the US in J-2 status, to apply for a work permit from USCIS.

Can you work while I-765 is pending? ›

Applying for a Green Card & Form I-765

Once your application is approved, USCIS will send you an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) that you can use to work in the U.S. while awaiting the approval of your green card. EAD is valid for both full and part-time work.

Can my spouse work while waiting for I-130? ›

In other words, yes, you can work while I-130 is pending as long as you obtain an EAD. Obtaining an EAD card after marriage can take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. The EAD is valid for 2 years for marriage based green card. There is no premium processing available.

Can my wife stay in U.S. while waiting for green card? ›

In general, yes, it is possible to visit your spouse in the United States while your marriage-based green card application is pending. Depending on which country you're from, you would need to apply for a B-2 tourist visa first.

What does permit denied mean? ›

Permit denial means a written denial with prejudice (see 33 CFR 320.4) of an individual permit application as defined in 33 CFR 325.5(b).

What do you say in an appeal letter? ›

What to include in an appeal letter
  1. Your professional contact information.
  2. A summary of the situation you're appealing.
  3. An explanation of why you feel the decision was incorrect.
  4. A request for the preferred solution you'd like to see enacted.
  5. Gratitude for considering your appeal.
  6. Supporting documents attached, if relevant.
Mar 10, 2023

What is a rejected appeal? ›

If you reject something such as a proposal, a request, or an offer, you do not accept it or you do not agree to it.

What is the difference between refused and rejected visa? ›

Visa refusal means you did something wrong and that went on your permanent record, leading to visa refusal. While the visa rejection means something is missing from your application and you have to resubmit your paperwork.

Is visa refusal the same as denial? ›

A visa “refusal” is not a denial of the visa application.

Additionally, for cases placed in 221(g) administrative processing, applicants will typically undergo additional background checks, and during this process the case will remain refused until the Consular officer is prepared to make a final decision.

How do you answer have you ever been refused a visa? ›

Have you ever been refused a U.S. Visa, or been refused admission to the United States, or withdrawn your application for admission at the port of entry? You have to answer “YES” if your US visa has been denied at the US embassy. You have to answer “NO” if the denial was made by USCIS and not the US embassy.

What is the difference between a work permit and an open work permit? ›

An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. Because it is not job-specific, you will not need the following when you apply for your work permit: a labour market impact assessment from Employment and Social Development Canada.

Which is better open or closed work permit? ›

A closed work permit is issued to a foreign worker to work in a specific position and for a specific employer that is listed on the LMIA. An open work permit, on the other hand, lets foreign workers work in any position, for any employer, anywhere in Canada.

What is the difference between work permit and work authorization? ›

A US work permit is a legally authorized document issued by USCIS. It endorses an individual already in the US to work, usually without restriction. It does not grant you entry or leave to the US. Another term for a US work permit is an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).

What is the fastest spouse visa in USA? ›

If the couple gets married outside the United States, and the foreign spouse then enters the United States on a CR1 spousal visa, they will obtain their green card immediately after entering the U.S. For this reason, if your primary concern is for your fiancé to get a green card as quickly as possible, the CR1 spousal ...

Which spouse visa is faster? ›

Application Process and Timeline for Fiancé(e) and Spousal Visa. If your main goal is to get to the U.S. as quickly as possible, then the K-1 fiancé(e) visa is likely the fastest option.

Which U.S. visa has highest approval rate? ›

Percentage of B1/B2 Visa Approval Rate

According to the U.S. Department of State, in FY2022, the overall approval rate for the B1/B2 Visa was one of the highest in the last three years. However, citizens of some countries had higher approval rates than others.

What documents are required for spouse work permit? ›

Document checklist
  • A copy of your student permit.
  • Letter of enrollment to a study program.
  • A copy of your marriage certification in English or French. ...
  • Proof that you have enough available funds.
  • A complete copy of your spouse's passport that contains all pages that have stamps, visas, and other notes.

What questions are asked in a spouse visa interview? ›

77 Common Spousal Visa Interview Questions
  • What's your spouse's full name?
  • When and where did you both meet?
  • How long have you been in contact with your spouse?
  • What do you both like to do for fun?
  • What does your spouse do for a living?
  • How much does your spouse make?
  • What's your occupation?

How long does it take for a U.S. citizen to sponsor a spouse? ›

Spouses of U.S. Citizens

If your spouse is a U.S. citizen and you currently live outside the United States, it takes on average 13-15 months to get a spousal visa.

How much does H-1B spouse visa cost? ›

H1B Visa Filing Fees

As of 2023, the basic filing fee for an H1B petition is $555, and an additional $500 anti-fraud fee is also required. However, some employers may expedite their applications by paying an additional fee for premium processing, which currently costs $2,500.

Can I restore my open work permit? ›

You can apply to restore your work permit in the first 90 days after it expires. If you do this, you can stay in Canada until you get further instructions, but you must stop working until you receive your restored work permit. There is no guarantee that your application will be approved.

How do I fix my work permit? ›

Preparing Form and Letter to Request a Correction From USCIS

The letter should be sent to the address on your approval notice (I-797 Notice of Action). Next, prepare any supporting documentation showing the correct information as you want it entered on the revised version of your EAD.

Can I get a job while waiting for my work permit? ›

Unless you have some other immigration status that allows you to work (e.g. H-1B), it's important that you don't do any kind of paid work until your work permit has arrived.

What does refused under R205 C II mean? ›

Refused under R205(c) (ii).” What does this refusal mean? - Open in App. “You do not qualify for the IMP Public Policy as you provided insufficient information to demonstrate that your spouse is a full-time student in a qualifying program at a DLI in Canada.

Can I apply for open work permit after closed work permit? ›

Losing your job with a valid closed work permit

If you want to start a new job, you must qualify for and apply for a new work permit. You are not allowed to start working a new job for a new employer before you get a new work permit with new conditions of employment. You may also apply to switch to an open work permit.

How long is an open work permit? ›

Work permits are usually valid for 1-2 years.

How long does it take to restore status? ›

Applications for restoration of status are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and are ineligible for accelerated processing. In some instances, it may take several months to receive a response, and during that time, you are not allowed to continue to study or work, although you are allowed to stay in Canada.

Can I work with SSN without EAD? ›

Can You Work Using an SSN but Without a Work Visa? As an international individual, working in the U.S. requires a valid nonimmigrant work visa in addition to an SSN. Working solely with an SSN and without a valid visa is an immigration violation.

What is the processing time for I-765 in 2023? ›

How long does it take to get the I-765 approved? The processing time for the I-765 is generally around 4 months. It can vary depending on several factors, such as the applicant's eligibility category, the workload of the USCIS processing center, and whether the application is complete and filed correctly.

How many times can you renew a work visa? ›

There are over 60 different types of work visas, most of which can be renewed once or twice. To ensure that you can continue working in the United States, you should renew your employment visa on time to prevent delays. You can't apply for an EAD renewal 120 days before the current one expires.

How do I get a work permit through my marriage? ›

After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, with a USCIS Lockbox based on your place of residence. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé(e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry.

Do you get interview before work permit? ›

You work permit will come in the mail in 90 days or so after filing.In some states the interview may be scheduled before the work permit arrives. If this is the case and you are approved on the day of the interview, the work permit will no longer be required as you will receive the Green Card.

Can I speed up my work permit process? ›

You can generally request expedited processing by calling the USCIS Contact Center at 800-375-5283 (TTY 800-767-1833) or by asking Emma after you have obtained a receipt notice.

What does refused mean Uscis? ›

If a consular officer finds you are not eligible to receive a visa under U.S. law, your visa application will be denied (refused), and you will be provided a reason for the denial. There are many reasons a visa applicant could be found ineligible for a visa.

What does refused mean in CEAC? ›

A visa “refusal” is not a denial of the visa application.

Instead, a “refusal” means that the case will remain on hold until the case goes through further processing. This means that the Consulate will place your case on hold until the documentation or information it has requested from you has been received.

What is the difference between visa status refused and rejected? ›

Visa refusal means you did something wrong and that went on your permanent record, leading to visa refusal. While the visa rejection means something is missing from your application and you have to resubmit your paperwork.


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