If your partner is studying in Canada and you would like to work, there are visas available to you. The study and work permit allows spouses or common-law partners to enjoy the many job opportunities in Canada. Foreign workers with work experience and the right qualifications can apply to work in Canada for the duration of their partner’s studies.
To qualify for this permit, both partners must reside in Canada. The partner who wishes to study must possess a valid study permit as well as acceptance as a full-time student at a tertiary institution. The partner or spouse must be in possession of a valid work permit in a skilled or semi-skilled occupation for 6 months. A job offer is not necessary for applicants. Working or studying in Canada allows applicants the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience while settling into the country.
Once you have graduated from college or university, it is possible to extend your stay in Canada. This is usually open for a period of 8 months up to 3 years.
If you are an international student bringing your spouse or partner with you to Canada, they may be eligible for an open work permit that will allow them to work on or off-campus full-time while you study.
An open work permit is a work permit that is not job-specific. It allows your spouse or common-law partner to accept any job with any employer. If your spouse or partner gets an open work permit, it is normally valid for the same period as your study permit is. In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner will need a medical exam.
Who Is Eligible?
If you are an international student studying full-time and have a valid study permit, your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit. Your spouse or partner will not require a job offer to apply, and his or her permit will be valid for the same period as your study permit.
About the Spousal Work Permit
If you are an international student studying full-time with a valid study permit, your spouse or common-law partner can apply for an open work permit. Having an open work permit enables your spouse or partner to work on or off-campus full-time while you study.
When Can You Apply?
Your spouse or partner can apply for a work permit before or after they arrive in Canada. The work permit will usually be issued for the same length of time as your study permit. Your spouse or partner does not need a job offer to apply for a work permit.
In some cases, Canadian visa offices abroad will process spouse's or partner's work permit applications at the same time as study permit applications. In this case, you will need to include the additional fee for the work permit and complete the work permit application for your spouse or partner, which is available on the consulate's website.
Most spouses and partners come to Canada as visitors first and apply for a work permit after they are in Canada. If your spouse or partner does not require a temporary resident visa, they may be able to apply for a work permit at the border or airport where they enter Canada.
Work Permit Conditions
Work permits issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada may be subject to restrictions. International students who were not required to undergo an immigration medical examination before coming to Canada may be asked to acquire one if they work in:
- A health care setting;
- Child care; or
- Primary and secondary educational facilities
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