Spouse Open Work Permits for International Students’ Partners

Visa team - IMM newsletter (1)

Effective March 19, 2024, spouses of international students are only eligible for Spouse Open Work Permits(SOWP) if their spouse is enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at a designated university or polytechnic institution. This change means that SOWPs are no longer available for spouses of international students in undergraduate or college programs. However, spouses of students in specialized degree programs such as Medicine, Law, Dentistry, etc., can still apply for SOWPs.

Already Applied?
If you submitted an SOWP application before March 19, 2024, you may still be eligible if your spouse meets the following criteria:

  • Holds a valid study permit.
  • Is eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP).
  • Is a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI)

Who can extend a SOWP?
Additionally, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to extend their existing open work permit under this stream if you meet the following three requirements:

  • You have a valid study permit.
  • You’re eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
  • You’re a full-time student at one of the following types of schools:
    • A public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or a CEGEP in Quebec.
    • A private college-level school in Quebec.
    • A Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (e.g., a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree).

Not sure if you are eligible or how to apply? We are here to help!

Reference: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/study-canada/work/help-your-spouse-common-law-partner-work-canada.html

Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from IRCC. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.