Full-time students who have a valid study visa may apply for an open work permit on behalf of their spouses or common-law partners. The spouse or common-law partner of the international student may work if they have an open work permit.

Your spouse or partner can apply without a job offer, and his or her permit will be good for the same amount of time as your study permit. This is a great way for your spouse or common-law partner to get involved in the neighborhood, obtain useful work experience, and make some additional cash. After you arrive in Canada, your spouse or common-law partner can submit an application for a work visa.

It is also feasible to apply for your initial study permit outside of Canada and your spouse's or common-law partner's employment permit at the same time. Your minor child(ren) may also pursue studies at the preschool, primary, or secondary levels without a study permit. Please be aware that children attending preschool, primary, or secondary school with an adult who is in Canada on a work or study permit do not need to have a study permit.

Your spouse or common-law partner may apply for an open work permit if you:

  1. Are a full-time student at a:
    • Public post-secondary schools, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
    • Private college-level school in Quebec or
    • Canadian private schools that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelor, Masters, or Doctorate degree) and
  2. Have a valid study permit.