Student 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. In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner will need a medical exam.If you are an international student bringing your spouse or partner with you to Canada, they may be eligible for an open work permit that will allow them to work on or off campus full-time while you study.
Who can get a work permit as the spouse or common-law partner of a student?
Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit if you:
have a valid study permit
are eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) and
is a full-time student at one of these types of schools?
a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
a private college-level school in Quebec
a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters, or Doctorate degree)
How long it takes to get an open work permit
Processing an open work permit usually takes several months. There are many factors that can affect the processing time.
How long is the open work permit valid?
Your spouse or common-law partner’s work permit will be valid for the same period of time as your study permit.
When should you apply?
Your spouse/partner can apply for a work permit before or after they arrive in Canada. The work permit will usually be issued for the same length of time as your study permit. Your spouse/partner does not need a job offer to apply for a work permit.
In some cases, Canadian visa offices abroad will process spouse/partner work permit applications at the same time as study permit applications. In this case, you will need to include the additional fee for the work permit and complete the work permit application for your spouse/partner, available from the website of the consulate.Most spouse/partners come to Canada as visitors first and apply for a work permit after they are in Canada. If your spouse or partner does not require a TRV, they may be able to apply for a work permit at the border or airport where they enter Canada.
How to apply
- Make sure they have what they need
- Read the instruction guide
- Prepare their answers for the online tool
- Know the fees you must pay
- Create their online account or sign in
Work Permit Conditions
Work permits issued by IRCC may be subject to restrictions. International students who were not required to undergo an immigration medical examination before coming to Canada may be subject to the following occupation/workplace restrictions that require an immigration medical examination:
- Health care setting
- Primary and secondary educational facilities