An open work permit will provide your spouse or your common-law partner with an opportunity to work full-time while you study. This is an excellent way for your spouse or your common-law partner to connect with the local community, gain valuable work experience and earn extra money.

Please note, as of June 27, 2023, a temporary public policy allows foreign workers to study without a study permit. Please review the policy to get more information. If you have more questions or unsure whether you are eligible for this policy, please contact . 


The spouses and common-law partners of some international students may be eligible for an open work permit. To check the eligibility criteria, please consult this information: Help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada - . 

Your spouse or your common-law partner does not have to have a job offer to apply for a work permit.


Your spouse or common-law partner can apply for a work permit:

  • At the same time you apply for your study permit before coming to Canada; or
  • After you arrive in canada and receive your study permit and before they come to Canada; or
  • From within Canada.

To apply for the spouse/common-law partner open work permit at the same time as you apply for your initial study permit from outside of Canada, visit your nearest Visa Application Centre (VAC) for the most up to date information and guidelines on the application process. 

Your spouse or your common-law partner can apply for a work permit after they are already in Canada. To apply, get the application package from IRCC and use the Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker [IMM5710]. In this scenario, your spouse or common-law partner would likely have entered Canada as a visitor which, depending on their country of nationality, requires a TRV or eTA.

It is your and your spouse’s / common-law partner’s responsibility to always carefully read and follow the instructions on how to complete and submit a work permit application. 

After they get their work permit

After your spouse or your common-law partner get their work permit, they need to:

To help your spouse who is in Canada find a job once they have obtained their work permit, start by visiting the Canada-Saskatchewan Career and Employment Services Office at 225 1st Avenue North, Saskatoon and check out their career and employment website.

Get in touch with the Newcomer Information Centre or visit them upon your arrival for additional support and resources on how to successfully settle your family in Saskatoon.

 Your spouse’s or your common-law partner’s work permit is valid for the same period as your study permit.

Keeping the spousal work permit valid

Every work permit has an expiration date identified on the document. If you spouse wishes to remain in Canada beyond the expiry date of their work permit, they must extend their work permit before it expires.

Applying to extend the work permit

Remember: the work permit eligibility is based on being the spouse or common-law partner of a student. As such, before or at the same time you renew your work permit, your spouse/ common law partner must renew their study permit.

You may apply from within Canada Online, either:

  1. In your spouse or common-law partner’s IRCC Account if they are renewing their study permit at the same time; Or
  2. In your own IRCC Account if your spouse/common-law partner has already renewed their study permit.

Cost: $255 total ($155 work permit processing fee and $100 open work permit holder fee). There may be additional fees, such as, for a medical exam, or additional application requirements depending on the applicant's individual situation. 

Processing time: You can check processing times online

Required documents

You will need the follow general supporting documents:

  1. Proof of spousal or common-law relationship (eg. translated marriage certificate, Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union)
  2. Proof your spouse is a student (eg. Letter of acceptance or confirmation of enrolment from the University of Saskatchewan)
  3. Copy of your passport
  4. Passport-size photo
  5. Copy of your spouse or common-law partner’s current study permit (applicable if they have already renewed their study permit and you are applying for your work permit in your own IRCC Account)

Implied Status

If IRCC receives your renewal application BEFORE your current work permit expires, you have implied status. Under implied status, you may continue working under the same conditions pending a determination of your application for renewal, as long as you remain in Canada.

Upcoming events


The immigration information on this page has been reviewed and endorsed by an immigration lawyer in compliance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. However, this is not a legal document and information may change without notice. Always refer to for the most up-to-date information, or contact ISSAC.

Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.