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Spouse Open Work Permit Extension

March 29, 2020BY Immigrationincanada

Every year thousands of international student comes to Canada to complete their under-graduation and post-graduation degrees. The majority of them are married and interested in bringing their spouse to Canada.

Having loved ones beside in a completely unknown country certainly gives mental strength. Canadian government actively supports this family reunification. Not only that, but the country also allows the spouse to work in Canada and support their partner.

Many of you have asked, can I extend my spouse’s open work permit after it expires? This is what we’ll be discussing in this article. Let’s get started.

Spouse Open Work Permit Extension Process

The spouse of international students in Canada can work in Canada with the spouse’s open work permit. Unlike student work permits, this allows the spouse to work for an unbounded time in a day or week. So, they can support their living.

The government of Canada allows working with this permit as long as their partner’s study permit is valid. Now comes the main concern that is about spouse open work permit extension.

Spouse Open Work Permit

An open work permit is permission given to foreign nationals to work under a Canadian employer for a specific period. Most spouse applies for an open work permit to work in Canada after their arrival.

The application can be made from inside and outside of Canada. This permit is not job-specific which means you don’t need to do the following;

  • Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)
  • Evidence of the offer of employment

Though an open work permit allows working for any job under any employer, there is some restriction. Some permits may confine the type of work or place where the spouse can work.

A foreign national can only get the permit when their partner is a full-time student and holds a valid study permit. You may need to do an additional medical exam if you are working in public health-related fields. Such as; school, daycare, agricultural sector, health-services field, etc.

Read Also: A Newcomer’s Guide to Getting Settled in Canada

How to Apply for Spouse Open Work Permit?

As mentioned earlier, one can apply for spouse open work permits from both inside and outside of Canada.

If you are applying in two ways from outside of Canada.

1st Way:

  • At first, the spouse has to apply to enter Canada as a visitor. Some people can apply to get a Temporary Resident Visa or eTA. Once the application is accepted, the spouse can come to Canada with visitor status.
  • After getting visitor status, the spouse has to apply for an open work permit online. Or you can apply for the paper that has to be submitted to the IRCC office. When the application for an open work permit is approved, the spouse can start working.

2nd Way:

  • The spouse applies for an open work permit at their respective country’s visa office. When the application is granted, the visa officer will issue a letter of introduction for the open work permit. They may also issue an Electronic Travel Authorization or Temporary Resident if needed.
  • Then, the spouse comes to Canada and gets an open work permit.

If you are applying from inside of Canada, follow the instruction below.

  • The spouse first enters Canada as a visitor. Then, they have to apply for the permit online or on paper through the IRCC office. Once the open work permit is issued, the spouse can start working.

Spouse Open Work Permit Extension

Generally, an open work permit is issued to the spouse for the same period as the student’s valid study permit. However, some students can apply for a further degree after finishing their current one.

For example, some student applies for a post-graduation work permit after their under graduation/diploma degree. If the student switch to a Post-graduation work permit, the spouse MAY NOT be qualified to extend an open work permit.

But there is a way. The spouse can extend their open work permit; only when their partner obtains a full-time job categorized under the NOC 0, A, or B. To apply for extending an open work permit, the spouse must show proof of employment. It must include three pay periods.


The spouse can obtain a spouse open work permit extension only when the partner holds a job under NOC 0, A, or B. Many students in Canada are working successfully in classified jobs. They are also living with their families where their spouse is supporting them actively.

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