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March 19, 2024

IRCC updates Spousal Open Work Permit Requirements

Dear future neighbour,

IRCC updated Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) today, March 19, 2024.

Spouses or common-law partners whose sponsors are enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program in a university or polytechnic in Canada are eligible for SOWP.

Spouses of undergraduate students studying any of the professional degrees listed below at a university in Canada are also eligible for a SOWP:

  • 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)

Spouses and partners applying for Spousal Open Work Permit must provide the documents below. A document that shows relationship to the student and proof of their partner’s enrollment in a degree-granting program of study.

  • a valid Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  • a proof of enrolment letter from their spouse or partner’s DLI
  • transcripts from their spouse or partner’s current program

IRCC states that those who applied for a SOWP before March 19 are still eligible if their partner:

  • Has a valid study permit.
  • Is eligible for a post-graduation work permit(PGWP).
  • Is a full-time student at one of these types of schools:
  • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or CEGEP in Quebec
  • a private college-level school in Quebec
  • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree)

These requirements are the same for current SOWP holders who apply to extend their existing permit.

A Spousal Open Work Permit Holder can work for almost any employer in Canada.

Need help obtaining a visitor visa to visit Canada, or professional help putting in a study visa application, work permit application, Expression of Interest, creating an express entry or provincial nomination profile, preparing your application after receiving an invitation to apply or even just reviewing an application you prepared yourself? Book a consultation or send us an email on info@eseumohimmigration.com

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