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Can my spouse come with me to Canada?

Q. I will be working in Canada for the next two years as a Pork Production Technician. Can my spouse come with me? Submitted by Alvin Z.

Thank you for your questions! Spouses and common-law partners can work while in Canada if they have a work permit. They will need to apply and be approved for an open work permit. With an open work permit employment can be accepted from any job and any employer.

What are the benefits of a work permit?

The benefits to having a work permit include the ability to financially contribute, be active in the economy, and support a spouse or common-law partner while they are working in Canada.

What are the eligibility requirements?

You may be eligible for an open work permit if you are:
  • a spouse of a skilled worker in an occupation that falls under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B and you are approved to work in Canada six months or longer

  • a spouse of someone applying for the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program in a job under NOC 0, A, B or C

  • a spouse of a foreign student at a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university

  • a family member of a foreign representative, or

  • a family member of a foreign military member who is working in Canada

If your spouse has an open work permit (e.g. post-graduation work permit), you must attach a copy of your spouse’s work permit to your application for an open work permit, along with:

  • a letter from your spouse’s current employer that confirms they work there in a NOC 0, A or B occupation, or a copy of your spouse’s employment offer or contract, and

  • a copy of your spouse’s recent payslips

Your permit will not be valid longer than your spouse’s work permit. Be sure to have passport validity that is longer than you intend to work in Canada. Your work permit not be issued for longer than the validity of your passport.

You also need to meet the general eligibility requirements for a work permit.

Regardless of where you apply or which type of work permit you apply for, you must

  • prove to an officer that you will leave Canada when your work permit expires;

  • show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada and to return home;

  • obey the law and have no record of criminal activity

  • not be a danger to Canada’s security;

  • be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;

  • not plan to work for an employer listed with the status “ineligible” on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;

  • not plan to work for an employer who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages; and

  • give the officer any other documents they ask for to prove you can enter the country.

How can my spouse or common-law partner apply?

Work permits can be applied for online or by working with an immigration professional like us.

The benefits of working with immigrant professionals are that they can help you navigate all necessary steps in the filing processes, advocate for you, and support you while you reach your goals.

Whether you are looking for long-term or short-term support to reach your dreams, we are sure to help!


About Us

Immigration Station Canada is a dedicated, professional Canadian Immigration firm practicing out of Northumberland County, just east of Toronto, in Canada. We serve clients from Kingston, Belleville, Brighton, Cobourg, Oshawa, the GTA, Guelph, Milton, Stratford and St. Catharines and around the world. Our Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant, Anne C. McCaughey (Annie) is an experienced immigration services provider and a fifth-generation Canadian who values the immigration process and the unique individuals who immigrate to Canada to become part of the fabric of this wonderful country. If you would like to submit a question to Ask Annie, use the link located at the top right of the page.

How Can We Help?

We do work permits, study permits, visitor visas, Express Entry, spousal sponsorship, family class sponsorship, and Canadian citizenship with expertise in Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) applications and Global Talent Stream applications.

Please contact us if you would like assistance with your immigration application or to book an appointment.

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