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.  

Post-Graduation Work Permit PGWP: Everything you need to know.

Working in Canada after graduating.

What is a PGWP?

A PGWP is an open work permit, which allows you to work in Canada after completing a valid program at one of the designated learning institutions (DLI), and meeting the eligibility criteria according to the CIC.

Can you work in a province other than where the studies were done?

Yes. The PGWP is an open work permit, which means you can work in another province after graduating and it is valid throughout Canada. 

When is it possible to apply?

Up to 180 days after completion of the studies. 

How many times is it possible to apply for a PGWP?

Only once in a lifetime.  

What is the duration of a PGWP? 

It depends on the duration of the curriculum:

  • Programs from 8 months to 2 years: A PGWP of the same duration of the curriculum can be obtained.
  • Programs of 2 years or more: You can get a PGWP for up to 3 years.
  • More than 1 program: You can get a PGWP that combines the duration as long as both programs are eligible and last more than 8 months. 

What if my passport expires before the estimated duration of the PGWP?

You can get a PGWP that lasts to the fullness of your passport, and if a longer PGWP corresponds, it will be allowed to apply with a new passport for the remaining duration according to the CIC.  

The PGWP and the Express Entry

Having Canadian work experience can help to increase the score on the Express Entry system. Job positions with a NOC 0, A, or B are considered for the skilled workers stream in the Express Entry. In that case, you will add points for both, the studies and the Canadian work experience. Similarly, working in Canada may also help to receive an invitation from a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

How to Dress for Winter in Canada. Tips for staying warm.

Do you know how to dress in layers?

Many students arrive in Canada and the USA during the coldest months of the year, between January and March. For many of them, it is their very first winter (they are snow virgins). This is why we prepared this short guide, to help them face the winter, so they don’t stop enjoying it.

To better understand the traditional adage of dressing in layers, it is convenient to understand the function of each layer:

1. Inner layer (underwear): It keeps your skin dry from your own sweating.

2. Middle layer or insulation layer: It maintains your body heat to protect you from the cold.

3. Outer layer or shell layer: It protects you from wind and rain.

Inner layer (thermal underwear): When it hits several degrees below zero, it is necessary to wear long underwear, a piece of clothing that covers even the ankles. In North America they are popularly called “Long Johns”. Some people use their running tights or sport tights subjectively. Also, there are people who use a comfortable short or a medium-length underwear instead of the long ones. To select this layer, we should consider not only the weather, but our metabolism, and the kind of activities.

Middle or insulation layer. It is convenient to know your piece of clothing’s aimed temperature. You can buy a fleece, a puffer jacket, a large coat with goose feathers, sweaters of polar material, among others. For more insulation you can double this layer with another piece of the same kind. When considering outdoors’s temperature, remember to check the chilling sensation as well, the effect of the added wind and humidity.

Outer layer (Shell): Usually a windbreaker with a hoodie. Many coats have the middle and outer layers in one single piece or in two combined pieces. By itself, this layer will give you little insulation against the cold, but it protects you from the elements: wind, rain and snow. Some coats come with fur around the hoodie to protect your face and neck from the snow, and provide better insulation.

It is not always necessary to wear all layers but remember: it is better to wear all layers and have to take one off, than missing one layer and face a major inconvenience.

It is better to wear all layers and have to take one off, than missing one layer and face a major inconvenience“.

Last but not least, do not forget to use gloves and a scarf for further protection.

By following the aforesaid, you will be prepared to hit the snow and enjoy the many outdoor activities that you can do in winter.

¿How to choose a language school?

Study English Abroad

 When you decide to study English abroad, you may realize there are several schools in the city that you like. You can use these tips to decide whether a school is the right one for you:

  1. International accreditations

You might want to know if the school is accreditedby, or associated to, a recognized organization like Languages Canada, British council, ACCET, among others, which act like the quality stamps admitted by Governments, Colleges, Universities, and High Schools.

  1. Course levels scale and course duration

Do you know how many levels the school has? To get organized, you should know how long will take you to get the level you want. You could get an estimation of the time requiredto achieve your goals.

  1. Nationality mix and average age

The mix of nationalities could be a key point. Perhaps you are looking for a course where few people speak your native language or maybe you are merely looking for a multicultural atmosphere. You could ask about the nationality mix to get an idea of the prospective class.

You could be interested in the class’s average age. This figure could vary much along the year and you could also be in a class with different age than the average age in the school.  Likewise, some schools offer courses by age rank, such as: English for adults, 30 and over, 50 and over, summer camps for kids and teenagers, etc.

  1. Class schedule and electives

You maywant to focus on a specific language skill (speaking, reading, writing or listening) or maybe you feel attracted by a particular topic. That’s why the schools offer core English mixed with a wide variety of electives or workshops like theater, business, phrasal verbs, writing, IELTS, TOEFL, among others.

  1. University Preparation

If your ultimate goal is to get enrolled in a college or university, you may be interested in certain courses offered in partnership with the aimed institutions, called “university pathway”. These programs allow to comply with the language requirement and to get directly enrolled in the partner institution (if all other requirements are met).

Finally, be aware that every school is unique and there are schools to suit everyone. That’s why we recommend speaking with your Student Advisor of Language Experience, who can guide you in the process to make the best decision.