If you are an international student studying full-time with a valid study permit, your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit. Having an open work permit enables your spouse or partner to work on or off campus full time while you study. See also Documentation for your family.
Work permit for your spouse or partner
About the Spouse/Partner Work Permit
When should I 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.
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 Temporary Resident Visa, they might be able to apply for a work permit at the border or airport where they enter Canada.
Spousal Work Permit
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International Student Guide
Find everything you need to know about life as an international student at UBC's Vancouver campus.
The information on this page may change
The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) in compliance with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Regulations. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information.
International Student Advising
Talk to an advisor
International Student Advisors are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) who can help.
When emailing us, include the following information in the email:
- Your student number in the subject line
- Your name
- Your citizenship(s)
- All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
- Currently in Canada (YES or NO)
- If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents, such as a rejection letter