How to apply for a Spouse/Partner Work Permit from within Canada

Overview of the application process

When to apply

After arriving in Canada as a visitor

Cost $255
Processing time Check for a weekly update of how long it will take
How to apply
  • Online
  • or by paper - fill out the form and send to CIC Case Processing Centre (Edmonton, Alberta)
  • or in person at a Canadian port of entry (border or airport) if you do not require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or a medical exam
Application form

Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM 5710]

Note: Make sure you use the newest form. If applying online, log in to the IRCC website before starting your application.

Supporting  documents
  • Copy of student's study permit
  • Copy of spouse/partner's study/work permit, visitor record or visa (if applicable)
  • UBC Letter of Enrollment
  • Copy of marriage certificate or common-law declaration
  • Proof of funds
  • Copy of spouse/partner's passport (include bio-data page plus any pages with stamps, visas or markings)

Additional documents may be needed

    Understanding the form

    What is a UCI?

    UCI field on the application form

    UCI stands for “unique client identifier,” also known as “Client ID.” It is an eight-digit number that appears on your study permit (and work permit, if you have one).

    What type of work permit should I select?

    Field where users select their permit options

    Most spouses/partners should select “a work permit with a new employer.”

    How do I fill out my mailing address?

    Mailing address field

    A “street no.” is the main number on the outside of a building. Some “street names” also contain numbers.

    What is a document number?

    A document number appears on official immigration documents, e.g. study permits. It is usually printed in black ink as a letter (an "F" for study permits) followed by 9 numbers.

    Document number field

    How do I fill out the Details of my prospective employer section if I don’t have a job?

    Details of intended work screenshot for spouse or partner work permit

    Although you do not need a job offer to apply for a spouse/partner work permit, you still must complete this section. You do not need to attach an offer of employment or list an LMO.

    How do I fill out the Employment section?

    Employment section screenshot for spouse or partner work permit

    If you do not have a job, you may describe your current situation, such as “accompanying spouse/partner.”

    How do I answer Duration of expected employment?

    Duration of employment field

    Write “from” today’s date and “to” the expiration date of the spouse/partner’s study permit.

    How to answer question 2(c) "Background information: Have you previously applied to enter or remain in Canada?"

    Background information screenshot for spouse or partner work permit

    If you have applied for a study permit, a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), or a work permit, you must report that to IRCC. Check the box "Yes" and write down when you applied for each type of document in the box provided for details.

    Do I need to upload proof of a medical exam?

    Most students in Canada do not need proof of a medical exam unless:
    (1) you lived in certain countries for more than 6 months in the past 12 months, or
    (2) you want to work in certain health-related occupations; see this page. You can click “modify my answers” at the top of the document upload screen to review/change answers.

    How can I sign the form if I apply online?

    You cannot sign the form if applying online; upload the form without signing. After uploading all your documents, you will later be asked to electronically sign your application by typing your name.

    Take screenshots as you apply

    Sometimes applications are refused because the online tools and systems may not have uploaded required documents completely. You may be able to convince IRCC to change the decision if you have proof showing that your required documents were submitted as part of your application.

    Take screenshots at these 3 stages of your application

    1. The Document Checklist page after all documents have been successfully uploaded
    2. The Final Submission page after the application has been submitted
    3. After uploading/submitting anyafter-the-fact’ documents that an IRCC officer has requested after the original application has been submitted

    Save the images to a safe and accessible place on your computer, or cloud-based storage.

    How to take screenshots

    Tips

    • If you see a “Please wait…” message when trying to download an IRCC form, click on the download arrow at the top right to save the file onto your computer. Then open it with Adobe Reader. (If you don’t see the arrow, move your cursor to the top part of the screen and it will appear.)
    PDF download screenshot
    • If you answer "Yes" to any question in the "Background information" section - other than 2(c) - come see an International Student Advisor.
    • The student must be enrolled in full-time studies at the moment of spouse/partner’s application.
    • Work permits for a spouse or common-law partner are usually valid for the same period of time as the student’s study permit.
    • The spouse/partner does not need a job offer to apply.
    • Need help scanning your documents? Go to the Irving K. Barber Chapman Learning Commons.
    • Press the “Validate” button to ensure your application is complete. The validate button does not send any information to CIC, so you may edit and validate as many times as you need.

    After you get your permit

    1. Apply for or renew your Medical Services Plan (MSP) coverage.
    2. Apply for or renew your Social Insurance Number (SIN). You need a SIN to work in Canada.
    3. Apply for a new Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to re-enter Canada (if applicable).
    4. Every time you enter Canada, you must be able to provide evidence that you can support yourself financially for the duration of your stay (e.g. proof of a Canadian job offer or signed employment contract, updated bank statements, etc.). If you do not have a job in Canada but are intending to work once you are there, bring proof of your intent to work such as your resume, list of jobs you have applied for, etc.

    Contact us

    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:

    1. Your student number in the subject line
    2. Your name
    3. Your citizenship(s)
    4. All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
    5. Currently in Canada (YES or NO)
    6. If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents, such as a rejection letter
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