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 Spousal 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, 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.
Spousal Work Permit
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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 Development
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 your student number in the subject line and the following in the email body:
- Your name
- Your citizenship(s)
- All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
- Currently in Canada (YES or NO)