Apply For Canada Spouse Open Work Permit 2024

The spouse or common-law partner of an individual who is a temporary Canadian permit holder can apply for SOWP or Spouse Open Work Permit in Canada. This allows them to work with any employer, anywhere in Canada with a few restrictions. The application procedure and requirements for a spousal open work permit can vary depending on your spouse’s current status in Canada or on the progress of their PR application. This article will give you all the details regarding SOWP and the latest changes in the eligibility requirements for the Canada Spouse Open Work Permit 2024. 

Spousal Work Permit Canada 2024- Latest Changes

The Canadian government has introduced some new reforms for the spousal open work permit. The Department of Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) brought some changes to the international student program, on January 22, 2024. The most important one among them was the change in the eligibility of SOWP Canada

As per the new rule, to be eligible for a spousal sponsorship canada open work permit, your sponsor must be enrolled in a master’s or doctoral-level degree program in a Canadian university. The spouses or common-law partners of international students pursuing undergraduate programs will not be eligible for spouse work permit. However, the spouses of undergraduate students enrolled in one of the following professional degree programs are exempted and are eligible to apply:

  1. Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  2. Doctor of Veterinary Medicine 
  3. Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
  4. Doctor of Optometry 
  5. Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
  6. Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)
  7. Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
  8. Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)
  9. Bachelor of (Science) in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)

The new rules will apply to Canada spouse open work permit applications submitted after March 19, 2024. Spouses or Partners who have applied before March 19th, 2024, will still be eligible for an open work permit if their partner has a valid study permit and is eligible for a PGWP(post-graduation work permit) in Canada. Additionally, the sponsor  must be a full-time student at any of the following institutions:

  1. Public university or college in Canada(post-secondary school)
  2. CEGEPs or private college-level schools in Quebec
  3. Private institutions or universities that award degrees under provincial law

Eligibility Criteria for SOWP Canada

Couples in Canada

A Common-law partner, Spouse, or Conjugal partner of international students or temporary foreign workers is eligible to apply for a Canadian Spouse open work permit. You must be in a genuine relationship, that is: must be legally married or should have lived together in a wedded relationship for at least a year. Additionally, Your common-law partner in Canada should have one of the following:

  • A valid work permit or job offer categorized as skilled occupation under the National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  • A study permit or enrolled as a full-time student at a designated learning institution(DLI).

You must also submit proof or evidence of having sufficient financial resources to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Canada. Moreover, To be eligible for spousal sponsorship in Canada, both the applicant and their spouse must pass a criminal background check and undergo a medical examination that meets Canadian health requirements.

Canada Spouse Open Work Permit: Documents Required

You will have to submit some or all of the following documents to apply for a Spousal open work permit in Canada. You will need documents to prove:

  1. Spouse’s or partner’s status in Canada
  2. Applicant’s status in Canada
  3. Relationship with your spouse or common-law partner
  4. Copy of a valid passport
  5. Proof of application Fee payment
  6. Acknowledgement of Receipt
  7. Provincial Nomination Certificate
  8. The medical examination report and other relevant documents as applicable. 

Processing Time, Renewal, and Other Facts on SOWP Canada

A Canadian Spousal Open Work Permit will allow you to work for any employer at any location across Canada. The validity or duration of your open work permit depends on your spouse’s status in Canada. Generally, the SOWP in Canada is valid till your spouse or common-law partner’s work permit or study permit is valid. There is no provision to extend or renew spousal open work permits but you can reapply for the same. 

How long does it take to get a spousal open work permit in Canada?’ is a common question asked by many aspirants and here is the answer. Ideally, IRCC processes spousal open work permit applications within six months. If your application is complete and submitted with all relevant documents, the processing time will be somewhere between three to four months. These estimated processing times may vary depending on various factors like accuracy of application, number of applications received, and other circumstances. You can always check the status of your application online through the official website of IRCC by providing the application number.

Reasons for Refusal

If the applicant is unable to submit a valid proof(marriage certificate or other valid document) of their relationship with the spouse, their application will be rejected. The partner of an international student applying for a Canadian spousal work permit should submit the evidence to prove that their spouse is actively enrolled in a class at a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) in Canada. Your application may be rejected if you fail to submit the same. These are some of the reasons that may lead to refusal of SOWP application in Canada. 

You may have several other doubts and confusions regarding the application procedure, eligibility criteria, and other terms and conditions. To solve your doubts you can either research online and get updated information published on official websites or apply for Canada spouse Visa like Universal Migration. Experienced consultants exclusively offering Canada visa application assistance can provide you with the latest information and changes in the rules related to SOWP Canada. 

Key Benefits

The Canadian spousal open work permit gives you the flexibility to search for jobs under any employer anywhere in Canada. It also allows you to easily switch jobs to ultimately land a career of your choice. It is one of the best ways to acquire valuable Canadian work experience which can lead you to better opportunities in the Future. The spouse’s open work permit can benefit those interested in applying for a Permanent Residency in Canada. Relevant Canadian work experience can increase your chances of getting a PR in Canada. SOWP can ultimately bring financial stability, improve quality of life, and contribute to the overall well-being of your family. Another attractive factor is that the Spousal open work permit opens up opportunities for the spouses of both temporary foreign workers and international students in Canada. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Canada spouse open work permit

Navigating the application process for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) in Canada can be straightforward if you follow these steps:

  • Create an Online Account on IRCC Portal
  • Fill Out the Application Form
  • Upload Required Documents
  • Submit Your Application
  • Pay the Application Fee
  • Track Your Application Status
Couples Spouse Visa

Following these steps carefully will help ensure a smooth application process for Canada  Spousal Open Work Permit.

Spouse Open Work Permit Canada Requirements

To be eligible for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) in Canada, the applicant must be the spouse or common-law partner of a temporary resident, such as an international student or skilled worker. The relationship must be genuine, supported by proof such as a marriage certificate or evidence of cohabitation. The sponsor must hold a valid study or work permit and be enrolled in a master’s, doctoral-level, or specified professional degree program if an undergraduate student. Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their dependents. Both the applicant and their spouse must pass a criminal background check and complete a medical examination that meets Canadian health standards. The sponsor must be a full-time student at a designated learning institution (DLI) in Canada. Required documents include proof of the sponsor’s status, the applicant’s status (if applicable), a valid passport, and payment of the application fee.

Impact of the SOWP on PR Applications

Obtaining a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) can significantly impact your Permanent Residency (PR) application in Canada. The SOWP allows spouses of international students or temporary workers to gain valuable Canadian work experience, which is a crucial factor in PR applications. Under the Express Entry system, Canadian work experience can increase your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, making you a stronger candidate for PR. Additionally, the Spouse Open Work Permit Canada requirements ensure that applicants are well-integrated into the Canadian labor market, further enhancing their PR prospects. The work experience gained through a SOWP not only boosts your CRS score but also provides an opportunity to build a professional network in Canada. This network can be beneficial for securing a job offer, which can further enhance your PR application. Overall, meeting the Spouse Open Work Permit Canada requirements and gaining Canadian work experience can be a strategic pathway to achieving permanent residency.

Final Takeaways

As mentioned above, obtaining a Canadian spousal open work permit has numerous benefits. This article might have given you an overall idea about the Canada Spouse Open Work Permit. If your doubts persist or need personalized consultation and assistance in applying for SOWP in Canada, then get help from well-experienced visa and immigration consultants in Kerala. They will assist you in checking your eligibility, preparing documentation, and submitting complete and error-free applications on time.


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