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How to apply for a Canadian Open Work Permit for a Spouse

What is a Canada Open Work Permit visa?

A Spouse Open Work Permit is a temporary residence visa that allows the spouse of a foreign worker to live and work in Canada. Family members of most foreign workers and international students studying at the Master's Level at a University can apply for an open work permit. An open work permit lets your family member work for any employer in Canada.

Who can apply for an open work permit visa?

  1. If  you are the spouse or dependent child of a skilled worker on a Work Permit visa
  2. If you are the spouse of an international student studying for a Masters degree from University in Canada
  3. If you are the spouse of an applicant under the Atlantic Immigration Program
  4. If you are a dependent family member of someone who applied for permanent residence (spousal sponsorship application)

Eligibility requirements for Canadian Spousal Open Work Permit

Specific eligibility criteria must be met to qualify for the Canada Open Work Permit for spouses.

  1. The applicant's spouse should have a valid study or work permit in Canada;
  2. You are in a genuine relationship with the person who is sponsoring you for this open work permit
  3. be in good health and have a medical exam, if needed;
  4. obey the law and have no record of criminal activity (a Police Clearance Certificate may be required)
  5. show that you have enough money to take care of yourself and your family members during your stay in Canada

What is the checklist of documents for a Spouse Open Work Permit?

The document checklist is a vital aspect of the application process. Ensuring that all required documents are included and accurately filled out is essential for a successful application. Also, applicants must be careful about the supplementary documents or specific requirements based on individual circumstances.

The Canada Spouse Open Work Permit application requires a comprehensive set of documents. Each document plays a crucial role in establishing eligibility and supporting the application.


The most important documents include:

  • A Valid passport copy
  • Evidence of relationship
  • Sponsor's Canadian visa status proof
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Medical records from the designated Health Center
  • Documentation demonstrating adequate proof of funds
  • Supplementary documents as needed

Canada Open Work Permit Application Process

The Canada Open Work Permit application process for spouses involves several steps. Applicants must gather required documentation, including proof of marriage or common-law partnership, proof of spouse's Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, and proof of admissibility to Canada. Submission of a complete and accurate application, along with adherence to processing times, is essential for a smooth process.


Here are the steps involved in the application process


  1. Gather all the supporting documents
  2. Submit an online application with the IRCC
  3. Pay the biometrics and application fee online
  4. Give biometrics at the designated centre
  5. Give the medicals at the panel authorized Hospitals upon request
  6. Wait for the decision to be made on your application
  7. Get mail confirmation on the approval of the visa
  8. Submit passport for visa stamping
  9. Fly to Canada on an Open Work Permit

Visa fee for Spouse Open Work Permit Canada




Fee in CAD


Open Work Permit application Fee (processing fee + open work permit holder fee)

C$ 255


Biometrics fee

C$ 85


An additional fee, which you might incur: Medicals and PCC, if applicable


How long does a spousal open work permit take to process?

The time varies depending on which category you have applied for the open work permit. However, processing the spouse's open work permit application will generally take 3 – 6 months. You can check the standard processing time for the application on this official webpage for Canada Processing times here.


How Kansas can help?

Kansas works with IRCC-regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.


Our services:


  1. Profile Assessment:We utilize your individual profile background to align with visa eligibility criteria and provide guidance on your most suitable visa options.
  2. Document Procurement:Assisting you in gathering the required documents before visa application.
  3. Expert Support:We are dedicated to supporting you every step of the way, whether it is offering interview preparation and language courses, providing samples for resumes and cover letters, or aiding with application forms for medical or police clearance certificates.
  4. Assigned Case Manager:We assign a dedicated case officer to provide personalized assistance and to be the primary point of contact between you and our company throughout the process.
  5. Post-Arrival Services:We help you settle into the country following the issuance of your visa. These services are tailored to meet your specific needs, offering a comprehensive solution for all your visa requirements—from initial profile evaluation, documentation, and application preparation to post-visa support, all under one roof with Kansas.

Important Questions:


1. Can a spouse's open work permit be extended?

The Spouse's Open Work Permit is tied to the primary visa holder's validity. If an open work permit visa expires, it can be extended until the principal foreign worker's visa validity.


2. What is the visa fee for the Spouse Open Work Permit visa?

 The visa fee for the spouse's open work permit is c$255. The client also needs to pay a Biometrics and Medical fee.


3. Can I work anywhere in Canada on a spouse-open work permit?

You can work anywhere in Canada on an open work permit visa.


4. Can a spouse of an open work permit holder enter Canada before the principal applicant (work permit holder in Canada)?

No, it is not possible. The principal foreign worker (the work permit holder) must enter Canada first or be with the dependents.

5. What are the essential requirements for a Spouse's Open Work Permit Visa?


In addition to meeting eligibility criteria and providing required documentation, applicants must fulfil critical requirements for the Spouse Open Work Permit in Canada. These may include obtaining a medical examination from a designated health centre, providing proof of financial support, and undergoing a police clearance certificate. Adhering to these requirements is crucial for a successful application.


6. What is the processing time for spouses for the Canada Open Work Permit?


Processing times can vary based on individual circumstances and the volume of temporary resident visa applications. Generally, applicants can expect a processing time of several weeks to months. Usually, it takes around three months to 6 months.


7. What documents are required for the Canada Spouse Open Work Permit application?


Required documents typically include a valid passport, marriage certificate or proof of common-law partnership, proof of spouse's Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, and documentation demonstrating admissibility to Canada. Additional documents may be required for the spouse visa based on individual circumstances.


8. Is there a specific financial requirement for spouses for the Canada Open Work Permit?


While there is no specific financial threshold for the spouse's open work permit, applicants may need to provide proof of sufficient funds to support themselves and their family members during their stay in Canada. This may include bank statements, employment letters, or other financial documents.


9. Can my spouse work in any occupation with an Open Work Permit visa?

Yes, the Canada Open Work Permit for spouse or common law partner allows individuals to work in any occupation in Canada, except certain occupations restricted due to health or security concerns. Spouses are encouraged to explore employment opportunities that align with their skills and qualifications.


10. Can I include my dependent children in my Canada Open Work Permit application?


While dependent children may not be included in the Canada Open Work Permit application for spouses, they may be eligible to apply for their own study permits or work permits, depending on their age and circumstances. It is essential to review the eligibility criteria and options for dependent children separately.


11. How do I get a Canada PR (Permanent Residency) visa through an open work permit?


  • Up to meeting the Canada PR visa requirement, you can submit an express entry application online to be considered for an invitation to apply for a PR visa.
  • If you meet Canada Immigration's Provincial Nominee Program requirement, you can apply for a PR visa under the PNP option.
  • After gaining one year of work experience in TIER 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the National Occupational Classification (NOC code), you can apply for a PR Visa under the Canadian Experience Class visa category.

12. Can a spouse apply for a Canada open work permit if the sponsor is a Canadian citizen?

You can apply for an open work permit visa under the family sponsorship.

13. Can a spouse apply for a Canada open work permit if the sponsor is on a post graduate work permit?

Yes, you can apply for an open work permit if your spouse is on a post graduation work permit issued to a study permit visa holder.

14. Can a foreign worker in Canada bring his spouse to Canada on an open work permit visa?

A foreign worker on a valid temporary resident status can bring a spouse to Canada on an open work permit visa.


15. When will an open work permit holder apply for Canadian Citizenship?

Firstly, the temporary resident permit needs to be converted to a Permanent Resident Visa (PR Visa). After three years of staying in Canada as a permanent resident, a PR holder can apply for Citizenship in Canada with the Immigration Canada office (IRCC).


16. I am on a Bridging open work permit visa, can I apply open work permit for my spouse?

Yes, you can apply for an open work permit for your spouse.

Topics: Migrate, Canada