Canadian Immigration Questions and Answers with Attorney David Cohen

CIC News
Published: July 5, 2016

Every month, Attorney David Cohen will answer a few general Canadian immigration questions submitted by our readers. These questions cover immigration programs, eligibility, processing, language requirements, investing in Canada, landing, admissibility, studying in Canada, working in Canada, and much more.

Here are this month's questions and answers.

1. My fiancé and I have been living together in Toronto for the past two years. He is from Sweden and has a temporary work permit that will expire in 2017, while I have Canadian permanent resident status. I have heard about a work permit option for him if I apply to sponsor him via the Inland spousal/common-law sponsorship route. Can you tell us more about this?

The pilot program you appear to be referring to allows spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to be granted an open work permit while an Inland sponsorship application for permanent residence is being processed.

To be eligible for an open work permit, the sponsored person must be a spouse or common-law partner living in Canada who is being sponsored under the Inland Spouse or common-law partner in Canada (SCLPC) class. The sponsored person must have valid temporary resident status (as a visitor, student or worker) and live at the same address as the sponsor.

 2. What does it mean that a program is ‘first-come, first-served’? And what would a program that is not ‘first-come, first-served’ look like?

In Canadian immigration terms, ‘first-come, first-served’ simply means that eligible applications are processed in the in order in which they are received. Over recent years, an increasing number of Canadian immigration programs have moved away from this model in favour of ‘Expression of Interest’ systems, which typically follow a two-step process; individuals interested in a particular program first express their interest, then the relevant government (be it federal or provincial, depending on the program in question) chooses from a pool of eligible candidates by issuing invitations to apply on a priority basis.

The most renowned Canadian economic immigration program that currently retains a ‘first-come, first-served’ system is the Quebec Skilled Worker Program. However, the government of Quebec has introduced plans to change this to an ‘Expression of Interest’ system in the future.

3. Many of the Provincial Nominee Programs seem to require potential applicants to obtain a job offer, a factor that is also clearly important when it comes to Express Entry. Where can I see the latest job openings in my field? For the record, I am an architect and am interested in working in Toronto or Vancouver. These are big cities experiencing construction booms.

The Canada Job Search tool provides the latest job listings across Canada and across all industries. Users of this tool can search by job title or location, or a combination of both. To begin using the tool, click here.

If you would like your general immigration question to be featured in our newsletter, please email your question to

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