Your spouse or common-law partner maybe eligible to apply for the Spouse Open Work Permit
(SOWP) if you are a skilled worker on work permit or an international student on study permit in
Canada. Having an open work permit enables your spouse or partner to work on or off campus
full time while you study or work here.
Your spouse/partner can apply for a work permit before or after they arrive in Canada. The work
permit will be issued for the same length of time as your study or work permit. Your
spouse/partner does not need a job offer to apply for a work permit. Your spouse/partner may
be eligible for an open work permit if you:
In case of Spouse of international student
In case of Skill Worker on a work permit
You can also apply for the SOWP for your spouse when you are on your work permit. If you are
working under the National Occupation Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B approved to
work in Canada six months or longer.
Processing an open work permit usually takes several months. There are many factors that can
affect the processing time. Your spouse or common law partner’s work permit will be valid for
the same period of time as your study or work permit.
In most cases, your spouse or partner must apply online for a work permit.
Step 1: Make sure they have what they need
Step 2: Read the instruction guide
Even if they apply online, they should read the instruction guide before they complete their
application. The guide will explain how to complete each field on the form.
Step 3: Prepare their answers for the online tool
Before they can upload their forms, they must answer some questions. We use their answers to
create a personalized document checklist for them.
Step 4: Know the fees you have to pay
In most cases, their fees will include processing fees for them and anyone they include on their
We’ll ask them to pay their fees at the end of their application.
Step 5: Create their online account or sign in
They need an account to apply online. They can use their account to:
Most people already in Canada have to apply online for a work permit. However, there are some
people who may not be able to apply online. They may apply offline if they are unable to apply
online due to a disability of there is a problem with the online application.
Step 1: Get the application Package
Step 2: Prepare the application package and fill in all the required details to avoid any delays.
Depending on the situation they may need to pay third party fees for medical exams and police
Step 3: Pay the application fees
Step 4: Submit the application
For any assistance during any time of the application or you would like us to ensure the smooth
process, please get in touch with our team of professionals.