Spouses of full-time students, who are not themselves full-time students, are eligible for open work permits valid for any employer. Restrictions may apply to those spouses who have not completed an immigration medical exam. Spouses will require a Work Permit before beginning any employment. This can be obtained within Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada currently charges an application fee of $150 for a Work Permit and an additional $100 Open Work Permit fee for total of $255. The fee is payable at the time of application and does not guarantee that a Work Permit will be issued.
Once a work permit is issued to the student’s spouse, it will remain valid and the spouse can continue to work until the expiry date which usually coincides with the student’s study permit. A spouse may continue working with a valid spousal work permit even during the time their student spouse is on a leave of absence from their studies (even though the student spouse would not be eligible to work during this time).
Please note that while the immigration regulations allow employment, there is no guarantee that you or your spouse will find a job. Co-op and Spousal Work Permits Tipsheet (PDF)
International students and members of their families who wish to work must obtain a Social Insurance Number (S.I.N) from the Government of Canada.