About spousal open work permit

Join your partner at Spouse Open Work Permit in Canada

Canada allows Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWP) to individuals who have a legal spouse relationship with a Canadian student or citizen. The eligible applicant can be the spouse or common-law partner of the principal candidate living in Canada. This common-law partner or spouse is allowed to work and live anywhere in Canada with limited restrictions, regardless of their field of study or occupation. A principal applicant who has a valid study permit and still awaiting permanent residency status in Canada may request for SOWP to sponsor his/her partner. A principal applicant must be a full-time student of a public post-secondary school, a private college-level school, or a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees.


Spouse open work permit requirements

  • The Principal applicant must have a valid study or work permit, or be approved for Permanent residence in Canada.
  • The applicant must have been studying a full-time course at one of the following school
  • Government postsecondary school
  • Private school equivalent to college level in Quebec
  • A Canadian school offering a degree program under state law
  • The spouse of the principal applicant should meet all standard criteria to become eligible to come to Canada.
  • The Spouse must have a valid passport.
  • The principal applicant must be in Canada with valid status at the time of application for SOWP (Spousal Open Work permit).
  • Are not medically or criminally inadmissible to Canada
  • Additional criteria are based on the SOWP categories you are applying for.


Spouse open work permit document checklist

  • Proof of spousal relationship
  • Current Passport with validity
  • Application form
  • Acknowledgment of Receipt
  • Letter from spouse employer demonstrating labor market Benefits
  • Supporting documentation required by CIC
  • Fee Documents for an open work permit


Principal applicant’s Obligation as a sponsor

When you have enough funds to sponsor your partner, you must agree to sign a document illustrating your consent and vowing to fulfil the basic needs of the dependent.

Basic needs involve:

  • meals, clothes, accommodation and other day-to-day needs of living
  • medical care, such as dental care, eye care, and other health issues not covered under government policy.


The agreement cannot be cancelled, even if:

  • your partner becomes a Canadian citizen
  • you take divorce or get separated
  • any of you move to another state or country
  • you are going through a financial crisis.


How to apply: Open work permit for the spouse of an international student


Gather the required Documents mentioned by the immigration officials: To apply for a spouse open work permit immigration, you will need to provide documents that prove the following: -

  • A copy of the marriage certificate/ or documents to prove that you are the spouse of your sponsor to prove a common law relationship.
  • The main applicant (sponsor) meets the income requirements.
  • Your spouse is a Canadian citizen or Permanent resident.


Fill out the Application:

You need to fill out an application form that includes information about you and your sponsor. Additional forms may require as per the situation, such as police or medical certificates.


Pay Fees:

There is a processing fee for the application. You must have to pay biometric fees and the right of permanent residence fees.


Submit the Application:

Now, the completed form will submit either by mail or online portal with supporting documents. Be sure to make a copy for yourself before sending it.


Wait for a Decision:

This process will take several weeks to several months. You have to wait for the decision from immigration, IRCC (Refugees and Citizenship Canada). It almost depends on the processing time in your region.


How to filing the application online helps students

  • No courier expenses or mail delivery time – the applications get processed instantly.
  • It supports students in making sure their application is complete with no errors before they submit it.
  • They can instantly send more documents online requested by the embassy.
  • Students have the authority to track the applicaiton status in no time.


How long does a spouse's open work permit take to process?

The length of time it takes to process a spousal open work permit varies on the specifics of the application. It also depends on the time frames in the particular area from where it is applied for. Generally, it takes up to three to six months or more in other cases.


How long is the Spousal open work permit valid?

A spousal open work permit is valid for as long as the main applicant’s permit. You can request an extension permit for your partner's stay in Canada when you try for PGWP. But before the existing status expires, they can apply separately. Please ensure that you include all the appropriate documentation for spouse open work permit extension.


Spouse open work permit fees

The cost of a spouse sponsorship application is CAN $75. Along with the application charges, there are also the principal applicant processing fees, which are $490. It costs you CAN $565 to bring your spouse to Canada on a work permit.


Reasons spouse open work permits are rejected

  • Inadequate Supporting documents: These documents may include proof of identity, proof of funds, approval from LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment), or confirmation of valid immigrant status.
  • No qualifying work: Sometimes the intended occupation doesn't match the eligibility criteria of an applicant, then the application may be rejected.
  • Unavailable jobs: Applications may reject sometime if there is no job available for them in Canada. Before applying for a permit the applicants must check the job market to determine whether suitable opportunities exist for their field and location.
  • Inadmissibility issues: If the candidate has some criminal record or another issue such as health or security concerns. So, SOWP may be denied due to these issues.


Need help applying for Spouse Open Work Permit

Western Overseas is the place you must first prefer to visit. Our transparent and genuine approach to proceeding with the different visa or work permit categories makes us a trusted brand. Our continuous effort to provide the best immigration services to the clients portrays a good image in overseas education. Visit our office to get the answer to every visa query.     



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