Spouses and Family of International Students Studying in Canada: What Can Happen

If you are coming to Canada on a study permit, you may be able to bring your spouse or common-law partner and dependent children with you. They may be eligible for a study or work permit, or a visitor visa. You must submit their applications online when you apply for your study permit. Learn how to submit spouse and family applications with your study permit application.

Do you want to know your eligibility for the Spouses & Family of International Students on a Canadian Study Permit?

Call us toll-free or take less than a minute to fill our Online Assessment for Your Visa Options.

Are you an international student studying in Canada and have a spouse and/or dependent children?

You can bring your spouse and/or dependent children along while studying in Canada. Study permit applications allow you to include family members that will accompany you during your stay. 

However, you will be required to explain why you want to have your spouse/children accompany you during your study program. 

A ‘family member’ refers to a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent children.

If your study permit application is approved, then your spouse may apply for a spousal open work permit if they want to work.

Who is Eligible for a Spousal Open Work Permit?

A spousal open work permit allows the spouse of an international student to work full time with any employer in Canada. For your spouse to be eligible for this open work permit, you must be enrolled in a full-time study program at a:

  • Public post-secondary university
  • Private post-secondary school that functions under similar rules and regulations as a public institution and gets 50% of its operational budget from the government
  • Private institution allowed to grant degrees by provincial statute

Your children who are minors will not require study permits to enroll at a preschool, primary, or secondary level. However, once they reach the age of majority in their province, they will be required to apply for a study permit to continue their studies. 

What is the Process for Requesting Authorization for Accompanying Family Members?

You must include the reason for requesting authorization for accompanying family members in your study permit application. 

However, if you fail to do so at the time of your application, you can not amend the application to include the request. This may be considered misrepresentation (providing false information), which may result in a 5-year ban from Canada.

If you are requesting a variety of different permits like a spousal open work permit, then you will need to provide extra documentation. 

Scroll to Top