Spousal Work Permit



As Canada sees the need to ensure that families are together, this work permit has been created to allow spouses or partners of people working or studying in Canada to have their spouse or partner with them in Canada while giving them the ability to work and access basic services. This open work permit is generally granted for up to 2 years to the spouse where the holder of the permit can work for any employer or in any profession (unless it is regulated) without having to go through the process of getting approvals for a particular job.

This is an excellent opportunity for the person who is accompanying their spouse or partner in Canada to gain valuable Canadian work experience while helping with the household finances and not being separated from their family.


To apply, some general eligibility requirements are that:

  • You are in a marriage or common-relationship and your spouse or common-law partner is in Canada. You will need to show proof of your relationship, such as a marriage certificate
  • Your spouse or common-law partner has a study permit and studies on a full-time basis in a post-graduation work permit-eligible study program
  • You are applying under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class and maintain legal status as a temporary resident in Canada, such as a visitor
  • Your spouse or common-law partner has a valid open work permit, and they are working in a NOC 0, A or B occupation


This permit allows you to work in Canada and gain valuable Canadian experience while working to support the person who is either working or studying. As a worker in Canada on an open work permit, you can gain relevant work experience to qualify for permanent residence and easily change employers without needing an LMIA. The program allows family members to stay in Canada together allowing for easier support. This can aid the person in obtaining Permanent Residency should they wish to permanently settle in Canada later. You can also use this extra time as a temporary resident in Canada to qualify for Citizenship, once all the residency requirements are met.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

To be considered common-law partners, you must have cohabited for at least one year in an interdependent relationship – like a married couple. You will need to show the declaration form for common-law and then any documents as proof of joint dwelling, affairs, and finances. Some documents for examples can be joint bank statements and bills. There can be confusion as to whether relationship will be considered common-law, as it will depend on the relationship. This can be challenging for some people, and you should not take for granted this status as they may not choose to accept your partner, and this may thwart your plans.

Not necessarily. Depending on the type of work permit you were issued, there might be limits on how you can work. For example, while you can work for any employer, if you didn’t do a medical exam, you may be restricted with certain jobs that require that done, such as childcare or medical related fields. Furthermore, some work permits have a specific location on them, so you can only work in that area or city. If you want to work in another province, you will need to apply for a change of condition.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out like that, and your application will be assessed independently. As there are different requirements for a spouse’s application, if the eligibility is not met, your file may not be approved, so it is very important that you still not take this as a given as many people often do and could encounter issues.

Under [C41], you will need to show your eligibility requirements and show the genuine relationship with your spouse or common-law partner. Under these requirements, you must show that you are working a skilled job.

Spouses may be eligible if their spouse/partner is a study permit holder if they can meet the eligibility requirements under [C42]. You will need to show evidence that they are studying at a full-time DLI.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
  • Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration consultant who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.


A: We do not provide jobs and can’t provide employers with job offers in Canada. We help provide immigration guidance and consultations for those who want to immigrate to Canada.

A: Yes. This can be applied for in conjunction or afterwards. However, you will need to show proof of the Sponsorship file and your relationship.

A: Yes, it will be the same validity as you are tied to their status and this is the reason that the permit is being issued in the first place.

A: As you no longer have a spouse, you will not be able to extend using this pathway. You will need to find another way or program to apply to if you want to stay in Canada.

A: In most cases, YES, due to Maintained Status. Under maintained status, a temporary resident can continue to work in Canada under the same conditions without a permit [R186] while they are waiting for the decision of their submitted application.

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