IRCC Updates Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility Requirements

Not all spouses and common-law partners of international students will be eligible for a spousal open work permit now, according to the latest updates by IRCC. The open work permit lets a person work for any employer in Canada except for those who are on the list of ineligible employers or who regularly offer services such as striptease, erotic dances, etc. 

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An international student’s spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit if the student has a valid study permit and is studying in a master’s or doctoral program in a university/polytechnic institution. Or the student is studying one of the following professional degree programs:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
  • Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
  • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)

The spouse or partner of the foreign student would only be able to receive an open work permit if the student is enrolled in a degree-granting program. To prove this, the spouse must provide one of the following documents:

  • A letter of acceptance from a DLI
  • Transcripts from the student’s current program of study
  • Proof of enrolment provided by the DLI

Further, the spouse or partner might need to prove their relationship to the international student. 

If the spouse or partner of the student applies for a spousal open work permit on or after 19th March 2024, these eligibility requirements apply to them. 

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Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati Chaurasia

Niyati’s specialty lies in Canadian immigration matters along with crafting helpful, user-oriented content.

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