A Spousal or Partner Work Permit is an open work permit issued to you by the Government of Canada. It allows you to work on or off-campus while your partner is studying in Canada. Your partner must be an international student, studying in Canada full-time with a valid study visa. The issuance of the open work permit is for the duration of your partner’s study permit. This means that your open work permit will expire when your partner’s student visa expires.

Eligibility criteria for the Partner Studying in Canada

If you are an international student living in Canada, your spouse or life partner can get an open work permit, if you meet the following qualifications. 

  • A valid study permit is a must-have.
  • You must be a full-time student
  • You must be studying in a public post-secondary educational institution like a college or university or a private Canadian school that is legally authorized to award a degree or a diploma or certification by the Provincial Law once you complete your study program. 
  • If you are studying in Quebec, it must be from a CEGEP or a private, post-secondary institution in Quebec.

How to apply 

In most cases, you will submit your application online. The authorities urge you to fill out the online application form for several reasons.

  • You save on mailing and courier fees.
  • Your application processing time will be reduced.
  • You will be certain of your application if it is completed before even submitting it.
  • For any requirement of additional documents, it can be quickly fulfilled online. 
  • You can keep a check on the updated status of your application process more easily through your online account. 

If you are a spouse or common-law partner of an international student in Canada with a valid study permit, here are some of the steps you can follow for your application process. 

Step 1 :

Ensure that you have whatever you will need while applying online. This includes a scanner or a camera to create electronic photocopies of the travel documents you need to submit. A valid payment card (credit/debit) is a must-have.

Step 2 :

Carefully read the instruction manual provided with your application package. Even though you may be submitting the application online, you need to read the instruction guide as it contains explanations of how each field in the visa application form is to be filled out. 

Step 3 :

Before you submit your online application, you will go through a set of questions that you would answer. These are used by the program authorities to create a personalized document checklist for your application process.

Step 4 :

You must be aware of the Visa fees you will be required to pay for this permit. The fees will include the processing fee for your application as well as anyone else applying with you. It would be needed for you to pay the fee for your application at the end of the processing. 

Step 5 : 

Create an account online or sign in to your online account. An account is necessary for submitting your application online. This account will be used for payment of fees, submitting the application, and checking the updated status of your application. 

You will be allowed to submit a paper application if you cannot apply online due to a disability or if there is a problem with the online visa application forms 

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When you should apply?

You can apply for this visa before and after you arrive in Canada. The work permit is issued for the same time period as that of your partner’s study permit. It is not required to have an offer letter of the job from a Canadian employer to apply for this visa. 

If you apply before coming to Canada, your work Visa application will be processed along with your partner’s study visa. Your partner must submit the additional fee for your work visa with the complete application for the work visa along with their study permit application. 

You can enter Canada with a Visitor’s Visa and later apply for a work permit. If you do not need a temporary resident visa, you will be able to apply for the work visa at the border or airport or your port of entry to Canada. 

Supporting  documents

Here are some of the required documents you will need to apply for your Visa. 

  • A copy of the student’s study permit.
  • A copy of the partner’s study permit or work permit, and Visitor Visa.
  • Letter of Enrollment into an educational institution of Canada.
  • Photocopy of the marriage certificate or common-law declaration.
  • Proof of financial stability showing that you have enough funds to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada. 
  • Photocopy of your valid passport. This must include your bio-data, page of stamps, visa, or other important markings. 

The processing time of an open work permit is estimated to take several months as it is affected by many factors. The spouse or life partner’s work permit remains valid for the duration as long as the study permit. 

The provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, and Saskatchewan have streams or pathways in their Provincial Nominee Program to allow postgraduates for international students who studied from their provinces to apply for permanent residence in Canada and even gain Canadian citizenship. 

Don’t wait any longer. Ask your Immigration consultant if you are eligible for a Partner Open Work Permit and a Canadian visa by the Canadian Immigration Law and visit Canada today!!