Canada is a country that gives the highest priority to families staying together. You can bring your spouse along to Canada when you come to the country on a study permit or a temporary skilled worker visa with the Canada open work permits for spouses. An open work permit is not job-specific, which means neither a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) nor a job offer is necessary.
Who is eligible for an open work permit for a spouse?
You are eligible for an open work permit for spouse/ common-law partner if:
- You are a dependent family member of someone who has applied for permanent residence in Canada.
- You are the spouse or common-law partner of a skilled worker or international student
- You are the spouse or common-law partner of an Atlantic Immigration Pilot applicant.
Eligibility requirements for an international student to obtain Canada open work permit for a spouse
The open work permit for a spouse or common-law partner allows your spouse or partner work full-time on or off the campus while you study. The spouse or partner can apply for an open work permit before or after they arrive in Canada. They do not need a job offer to apply for the permit. Spouse/partner work permit applications may sometimes be processed simultaneously with study permit applications.
In order to apply for an open work permit for a spouse or common-law partner, an international student must be a full-time student at a:
- Public post-secondary school, which can be a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
- private college-level school in Quebec or
- Canadian private school that can legally award degrees
Above all, the international student must have a valid study permit.
Eligibility requirements for a skilled worker to obtain an open work permit for a spouse
In order to be eligible:
- The skilled worker’s occupation must be categorized under NOC O, A or B. They include management, professional, technical or skilled tradespersons occupations.
- The skilled worker must have a valid work permit
- The skilled worker must have a proof of employment
While submitting the application for work permit, proof regarding the principal applicant’s current employment and duties as a skilled worker will have to be submitted. The work permit of the principal applicant will have to be valid for at least six months. Even if the principal applicant is authorized to work without a work permit, they will have to prove that they are working for a minimum of six months.
The validity of the open work permit for spouses or common-law partners will be the same as that of the study permit or work permit of the international student or skilled worker. The processing of the application usually takes 51 days to 108 days. However, it may change according to the schedule of the IRCC.
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