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Navigating Changes: Updates to Spousal Open Work Permits in Canada

Posted by AKM Law on 22 March 2024
Navigating Changes: Updates to Spousal Open Work Permits in Canada

Effective January 22, 2024, IRCC announced several amendments to Canada’s international student program. Notably, IRCC has stated that spouses of international students enrolled in undergraduate and college programs will no longer qualify for Spousal Open Work Permits.

As of March 2024, only partners and spouses of international students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree program at a recognized university or polytechnic institute in Canada, are eligible for a Spousal Open Work Permit. However, there are exceptions for spouses or partners of undergraduate students, if they are pursuing one of the following professional degree programs at a university:

·       Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)

·       Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)

·       Doctor of Medicine (MD)

·       Doctor of Optometry (OD)

·       Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)

·       Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

·       Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)

·       Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)

·       Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)

Those who are indeed eligible, must furnish documentation verifying their relationship to the foreign student, along with proof of the student’s enrolment in a degree-granting program. Here are a few documents to name:

·       Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)

·       Proof of enrolment letter directly from the partner or spouse’s DLI

·       Transcripts from the current program of study of the partner or spouse (foreign student)

Those who have already applied for a Spousal Open Work Permit before the changes came into effect on March 19, 2024, are still eligible if their partner meets the following criteria:

·       Is a full time-student at a public college, university, CEGEP in Quebec, private college-level school in Quebec, or a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law.

·       Is eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP)

·       Has a valid study permit

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for a Spousal Open Work Permit under these new changes, there may still be alternative options available to you, such as another type of work permit or a visitor visa (not work permitting). Contact us today to assess your eligibility and explore potential avenues to join your loved one during their studies in Canada. We are here to help you navigate the process and reunite with your partner or spouse in Canada.

AKM LawAuthor:AKM Law
About: AKM Law is a Toronto Immigration law firm focused on exceptional legal guidance, excellent client relations and customized service. We create a low-stress, results oriented experience by taking an aggressive approach with the confidence obtained from years of legal Immigration experience.
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