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Obtaining a spouse open work permit in Canada is a great opportunity for spouses of international students and skilled workers to work and live in Canada. This blog will guide you through the essential requirements, ensuring you are well-prepared to navigate the application process smoothly.

What is a Spouse Open Work Permit?

A spouse open work permit allows the spouse or common-law partner of a temporary foreign worker or international student in Canada to work for any employer, without the need for a job offer in advance. This type of permit is a fantastic way to support the economic stability and integration of families in Canada.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a spouse open work permit in Canada, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Spouse of an International Student:
    • The international student must be studying full-time at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada.
    • The study program must lead to a degree, diploma, or certificate that is at least six months in duration.
  2. Spouse of a Temporary Foreign Worker:
    • The temporary foreign worker must be employed in an occupation classified as Skill Level 0, A, or B in the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
    • The foreign worker must hold a valid work permit.

Application Requirements

When applying for a spouse open work permit, the following documents are typically required:

  1. Proof of Relationship:
    • Marriage certificate or proof of common-law partnership.
    • Photographs of the wedding or common-law relationship.
    • Other documents showing joint ownership or cohabitation.
  2. Status Documents:
    • Copy of the spouse’s study permit or work permit.
    • Proof of the spouse’s full-time student status or employment in a skilled occupation.
  3. Supporting Documents:
    • Completed application forms.
    • Passport-sized photos of the applicant.
    • Copy of the applicant’s passport.
    • Proof of payment for the application fee.

Additional Requirements

  • Medical Examination: Depending on the applicant’s country of residence and intended occupation, a medical examination might be required.
  • Biometrics: The applicant may need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo).

Application Process

  1. Gather Documents: Collect all required documents as per the guidelines.
  2. Complete Forms: Fill out the necessary application forms accurately.
  3. Pay Fees: Pay the applicable processing fees.
  4. Submit Application: Submit the application online or by mail to the appropriate Canadian visa office.
  5. Wait for Processing: Monitor the status of your application through the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) portal.

Benefits of a Spouse Open Work Permit

  • Employment Flexibility: The holder can work for any employer in Canada without restrictions.
  • Family Unification: It allows families to stay together and supports the spouse’s integration into Canadian society.
  • Economic Stability: Contributes to the household income, enhancing financial stability during the stay in Canada.


Navigating the application process for a spouse open work permit in Canada can be straightforward if you understand and meet all the requirements. Ensuring that you have all the necessary documentation and following the application steps carefully will increase your chances of a successful application. For more detailed information and to stay updated on any changes, it is advisable to visit the official IRCC website.


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