Success Stories Courses

The Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has provided further information regarding modifications to the eligibility criteria for Spousal Open Work Permits (SOWP).

Effective January 22, 2024, the department implemented various adjustments to Canada’s international student program. Notably, IRCC announced that spouses of international students enrolled in undergraduate and college programs will no longer qualify for SOWPs.

As of March 19, partners and spouses of international students are eligible for a SOWP only if their sponsor is enrolled in a master’s or doctoral degree program at a university or polytechnic institution in Canada.

Exceptions apply to spouses or partners of undergraduate students enrolled in specific professional degree programs at a university, who are also eligible to apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP). These programs include:

When applying for an SOWP, spouses and partners must provide documentation proving their relationship to the student and one document demonstrating proof of their partner’s enrollment in a degree-granting program of study. Acceptable documents include:

For those who applied for an SOWP before March 19, eligibility remains if their partner:

The same requirements apply for current SOWP holders seeking to extend their existing permit.

If spouses or partners of international students are no longer eligible for an SOWP, they can apply for another type of work permit or a visitor visa (TRV). However, individuals arriving in Canada as visitors are not permitted to work. SOWP holders have the flexibility to work for nearly any employer in Canada, supporting IRCC’s goal of promoting family reunification.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *