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Canada Broadcasts New Guidelines, Eligibility for Spousal Open Work Allow



In a current announcement, the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) unveiled important modifications to Canada’s worldwide college students and adjustments to the eligibility of their spouses and companions for a Spousal Open Work Allow (SOWP) as of March 19, 2024.

These adjustments goal to boost alternatives for spouses and companions of worldwide college students, notably in accessing work permits. Listed below are the important thing highlights:


What Is Spousal Open Work Allow (SOWP)?

A Spousal Open Work Allow (SOWP) permits the partner or accomplice of a short lived resident in Canada to work and reside within the nation without having a selected job provide. It promotes household reunification and permits spouses to contribute to the Canadian workforce. Candidates should meet eligibility standards and supply proof of their relationship and their accomplice’s standing in Canada.

Eligibility Enlargement

Below the most recent amendments, spouses and companions of worldwide college students are actually eligible for a spousal open work allow (SOWP). This allow permits them to work and reside in Canada alongside their companions.

New Eligibility Standards

IRCC has refined the eligibility standards for SOWP candidates. Beforehand restricted to companions of scholars enrolled in grasp’s or doctoral applications, the eligibility now extends to companions of scholars enrolled in skilled diploma applications.


This contains varied fields similar to dentistry, engineering, nursing, regulation, optometry, schooling, pharmacy, medication, and veterinary medication.

Listed below are the eligible skilled diploma applications for making use of for a Spousal Open Work Allow (SOWP):

  • Physician of Dental Surgical procedure (DDS, DMD)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
  • Bachelor of Legislation or Juris Physician (LLB, JD, BCL)
  • Physician of Optometry (OD)
  • Bachelor of Training (B. Ed.)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
  • Physician of Drugs (MD)
  • Physician of Veterinary Drugs (DVM)

Earlier Eligibility No Longer Legitimate

Purposes submitted earlier than March 19, 2024, will nonetheless be thought-about if the worldwide scholar partner meets the earlier eligibility standards. This contains having a sound examine allow and being enrolled full-time at a chosen studying establishment (DLI).

  • Possession of a examine allow in good standing
  • Enrollment as a full-time scholar at a public post-secondary establishment, school, or college, together with CEGEP in Quebec, or a non-public college-level establishment in Quebec
  • Attendance at a Canadian non-public faculty licensed to confer levels below provincial laws, similar to bachelor’s, grasp’s, or doctoral levels

Paperwork Required for SOWP Software

To use for an SOWP below the brand new guidelines, spouses and companions might want to submit paperwork proving their relationship with the scholar and the scholar’s legitimate enrollment in a grasp’s or doctoral program. This will embrace:

  • A sound Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from a DLI for the scholar’s program
  • Proof of enrollment letter from the scholar’s DLI
  • Transcripts from the scholar’s present program

Essential Word: Spouses and companions of worldwide college students in undergraduate or school applications stay ineligible for SOWP below these new laws.

Contemplating Learning in Canada?

In case you’re a global scholar planning to pursue a grasp’s or doctoral diploma in Canada, this replace offers a welcome alternative to your partner or accomplice to work and contribute to the family earnings whilst you full your research.


For additional data on SOWP eligibility and software procedures, go to the IRCC web site.

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