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Canada Spousal Open Work Permit

Canada Spousal Open Work Permit – All You Need To Know!

Last Updated On 16 May 2023, 9:17 AM EDT (Toronto Time)

Family members (Spouses, or common-law partners, or conjugal partners, or dependent children) of international students and work permit holders are eligible to apply for an open work permit.

Note that dependent children are only eligible if they are under the age of 22 and they are unmarried.

Nevertheless, if your family member has a valid status in Canada, whether employed or enrolled in school, you might qualify to apply for their open work permit. 

An open work permit allows you to work for any employer in Canada without many restrictions.

How does a Spousal Open Work Permit work?  

Family members (Spouses, or common-law partners, or conjugal partners, or dependent children) of a foreign national can apply for an open work permit if their work/study permit is approved or if they are already in Canada on study/work permit.

Note that foreign nationals are not permitted to work in Canada without the necessary authorization.

Without the appropriate work permit, it is unlawful to work in Canada and could affect future immigration applications. Below are the steps to apply.

Eligibility requirements for a spousal open work permit 

There are a few minimal requirements you must fulfil to be eligible for a spousal open work permit, including:

  • Sponsoring spouse must have a valid temporary resident status on study permit in Canada. “OR”
  • Sponsoring spouse have a valid work permit (including post graduation work permit (PGWP) and currently working in a TEER 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 occupation.

Note that Spouses and dependent children of TEER 4 or 5 employees working under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program and the Agricultural Stream of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are not eligible at this time.

When should you apply?

Your spouse or partner can apply for an open work permit before or after arriving in Canada.

Typically, the work permit will be granted for the same length as your partner’s (work or study) permit. A job offer is not required for your spouse/partner to apply for a work permit.

In some instances, Canadian visa offices abroad will process applications for spouse work permits simultaneously with those for student/work permits.

In this situation, you must include the additional work permit fees and complete the work permit application for your spouse. 

Additionally, the majority of spouses may first enter Canada as visitors before applying for a work permit.

Therefore, if your spouse or partner doesn’t need a TRV, they might be able to apply for a work visa at the border or airport where they enter Canada.

Full Step-Wise Guide To Apply For Spouse Open Work Permit

Step 1: Sign in to my IRCC using GCKey or a Sign-in Partner 

You must sign up for MyCIC using GCKey or a Sign-in Partner if you have an existing account. If you are a new user, register to create a new account. 

Additionally, remember that you will require your Client ID from your study or work permit to complete registration if applicable.

Step 2: Select “Apply for study/work permit or visitor visa.”

You’ll need to input your unique checklist code. If you do not have your code, select “Determine your eligibility.” Then answer prompted following questions. 

Step 3: Complete the online application form and compile the necessary supporting documents.

Fill out form IMM 5710 for your application. Then, select ‘Validate’ and save a copy that isn’t signed.

Gather the following documents: 

  • Digital photograph (420×540 pixels)
  • Passport with only pages of stamps, visas and photos
  • Proof of funds (bank statements)
  • Your partner’s study/work permit, PR card or Canadian passport 
  • Marriage certificate (translated into English or French)
  • Common in law declaration form IMM5409 (if applicable)
  • Family information form IMM5707 or 5645 (this form is required if mentioned in your checklist)

When you have completed all the paperwork, save it electronically as a pdf, jpeg, or word document. The file shouldn’t exceed 4MB in size.

Step 4: Pay the application fee

Pay the $255 with your credit card online (VISA, MasterCard, American Express). Remember to save or print a receipt.


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