Canada Work permits for spouses and partners of foreign workers and students

Who is it for?
Spouses and common-law partners of certain foreign workers and international students in Canada.


How does it work?
You may be eligible for an open work permit if you’re:

  • a spouse of a skilled worker in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B approved to work in Canada six months or longer, or
  • a spouse of a foreign student at a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university or collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec.


What’s the advantage?
An open work permit allows you to work for any employer and to change employers for the duration of the validity of the work permit. Moreover, work experience gained may assist in an eventual application for permanent immigration to Canada.


How much does it cost?
Work permits cost $155.


How long does it take?
Applications can be made online or at a port of entry. Port of entry applications may be processed immediately. Online applications are submitted to IRCC, the federal department overseeing immigration to Canada, and processing times may vary, but typically take a few weeks.


Other considerations
The work permit will not be valid longer than the foreign worker or student’s work permit.


Where can I learn more?
See here for spouses and partners of students, and here for spouses and partners of foreign workers.

Assessment Form: