Can my spouse work while I study in Canada?

Student Spousal work permit – Canada.

When moving to Canada as an international student, one of the most common questions is how to bring spouse, dependent children and family to the country?

Since we are in Saint Valentine’s week, today we cover the esteemed Student Spousal Work Permit. The topic of bringing dependent children will be covered in future publications (follow us! and we will keep you posted).

When coming to Canada with a temporary residence as an international student, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit.  This is another reason why studying in Canada is so attractive for couples and families. With an open work permit, the spouse may contribute with the family economy, while the student is enrolled in a full-time program that meets the criteria of the CIC.

Being spousal doesn’t mean to be married, a common-law partner can apply as long as the applicant can prove the couple meets the criteria as per the definition of the Common law in Canada. If granted, the partner will benefit from a social Insurance number, being able to work in Canada, and even getting medical coverage while working.

This open work permit usually enables the partner to work when the student’s program has initiated, for the entire duration of the program.

Many international students who have come to Canada with Language Experience, have life partners who are working (or have worked) full-time in Canada with an open work permit. The family can start planning for the permanent residence at this point, as valid education and work experience in Canada are two of the main factors to consider in order to improve eligibility for the Express entry and most of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs). Emigrating as a couple could be the adventure of a lifetime.

“Emigrating as a couple could be the adventure of a lifetime”

Who can get a work permit as the spouse or common-law partner of a student?

The spouse or common-law partner may be eligible if the student has a valid study permit and, is a full-time student at one of these types of schools:

● a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
● a private college-level school in Quebec
● a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, Bachelors, Masters or Doctorate degree)

For more details, visit the “Spouse or Common-Law Partner” page of Immigration Canada website.

If you want to study in Canada, giving the opportunity of a work permit to your life partner, Language Experience can help you find the valid program that best suits your needs.  

I am an experienced engineer with a passion for communications. In every travel, I love to understand the culture, getting to know the people, making new friends, tasting the flavours of the foods and learning new things. Beside blogger , I´ve been international estudent, summercamp counselor, immigrant in Canada, and education advisor. I speak English, French and Spanish.

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