New updates for spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders

Author: Admin | | Categories: Study in Canada, Work in Canada

partners of study permit holders

On March 19, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) updated rules for spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders. The changes apply to: partners of full-time students (designating the work performed by them as necessary) in graduate programs, professional degree programs, and those with a valid open work permit under the C42 category extending their permit as partners of students in a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligible program at a designated institution. 

On January 22, 2024, the department made several changes to Canada’s international student program. IRCC stated that spouses of international students enrolled in undergraduate and college programs will no longer be eligible for SOWPs.

As of March 19, partners and spouses of international students can only apply for a SOWP if their sponsor is pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree at a Canadian university or polytechnic institution. Applications received before March 18, 2024, are unaffected by this change.

Eligibility for Spouses and Common-law Partners of Study Permit Holders

To be eligible under administrative code C42, the principal foreign national must fulfill all of the following requirements:

  • Have a valid study permit or have been provisionally approved for one (if applying as a family group from outside Canada).
  • be a full-time student or have proof of enrollment in full-time courses at a designated learning institution.
  • be accepted or enrolled in a post-graduate study program and institution that is eligible for a work permit.
  • be physically present in Canada or provide proof that they intend to reside there while studying physically

Sponsor your Family for Canadian Immigration

Some exceptions apply to undergraduate students’ spouses or partners. Spouses of undergraduate students in one of the following professional degree programs at a university may also apply:

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS or DMD)
  • Bachelor of Laws 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, or BNSc).
  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, or BASc).

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If you want to know more details about IRCC announced new updates for spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders” you can contact one of our immigration specialists at  Gunness & Associates.


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