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Bringing a Spouse, Common-Law Partner, or Family Members to Canada

Thinking about inviting a spouse or common-law partner, or other members of your family, to join you in Canada?

Canada’s immigration policy allows family members of international students to come to Canada to work and/or study.

Definition of Family Member

For International Students, “family member” refers to a spouse, common-law/conjugal partner, and dependent children. Parents may also accompany you to Canada.

Work Permits for Spouses
International students on a valid study permit, studying full can help their spouse or common-law partner apply for an open work permit. An open work permit will enable the spouse or common-law partner of the student to work, usually for the entire length of the student's study permit. To be eligible for the work permit, the student must be studying full-time, and have a valid study permit at:
  • A public post-secondary institution; or
  • A private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution and receives half of its overall operations budget from government grants; or
  • A private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.

The open work permit allows the bearer to work for any employer across Canada, and does not require a job offer, or a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This open work permit may exclude certain occupations (such as jobs in schools or hospitals) unless medical examination is provided.

Spousal Work Permit application time & Procedure

A work permit application may be made at a Canadian visa office at the same time as the study permit application, in which case the you will require to include the work permit processing fees as well.

Contrarily, the spouse or common-law partner may apply to come to Canada as a visitor and then apply for a work permit after arrival. For citizens of countries that do not require a TRV, this work permit application may be applied for at a Canadian Port of Entry.

Your Minor Children and Canadian Study Permit Rules

Minor children of International students may study without a study permit at the preschool, primary, or secondary level. However, once the child reaches the age of majority in the province they are residing, he or she must apply for a study permit to continue their studies in Canada. This application can be done from inside Canada. If applying from outside Canada, you will need to apply for your child’s study permit at a Canadian overseas visa office.


If you wish to extend or change your conditions while you are in Canada, you will need to submit separate applications. Ensure that the application is made prior to the expiry on your study permit and make the application at least 30 days before that date if you wish to extend your stay.

Free Consultation

Relocating to another country and starting a new life is a challenging decision. Canada is a great country to live in, yet starting up all over in Canada too involves many challenges and uncertainties. The process might be cumbersome and sometimes quite complex that requires expertise to deal with.

At Noaisys we simplify your immigration process to Canada.

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