Spouse Open Work Permit

Spouses of full-time students, who are not 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 require a Work Permit before starting any employment. This can be obtained within Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada currently charge an application fee of $150 for a Work Permit and an additional $100 Open Work Permit fee, for a total of $255. The fee is payable at the time of application and does not guarantee a Work Permit will be issued.

Once a work permit is issued to the student's spouse, it remains 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 when 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 Tip Sheet (PDF)

International students and members of their families who wish to work must obtain a Social Insurance Number (SIN) from the Government of Canada.

Your spouse or partner may be eligible for an open work permit as the spouse or common-law partner of an international student at a public post-secondary institution.

See more information from the Government of Canada (IRCC).

Visit the International Services Centre for more information and details.

Tips on how to apply
Spousal Open Work Permit

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