News & Advice
International Students: Bring Your Spouse-Common-Law / Children with You to Canada
Spouse or Common-Law Partner
The spouse or common-law partner of an international student may apply for an open work permit. The student must be studying full-time at:
- A public post-secondary institution; or
- A private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution and receives half of its overall operations budget from government grants; or
- A private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees.
An open work permit allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada, and does not require a LMO (Labour Market Opinion ) or job offer. The work permit will usually have the same period of validity as the study permit. However, the open work permit may exclude certain occupations in which the protection of public health is essential, unless the applicant undergoes an immigration medical examination.
In this way, not only can the spouses or partners of international students gain valuable Canadian work experience, but also can help support their families financially.
Any person under the age of majority is considered to be a minor child. The age of majority varies by province. In Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Saskatchewan, the age of majority is 18, while in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut and Yukon it is 19.
Minor children who are already in Canada with at least one parent who is allowed to work or study in Canada do not require a study permit to attend school at the pre-school, primary, or secondary levels. There is no tuition fee for those students. However, once the child reaches the age of majority in their province, he or she must apply for a study permit to continue their studies in Canada.
Service Links Canada office in Bangkok helps international student to bring his or her dependents to Canada by one of two following routes.
One possible route is for the student and dependent family members to submit their visa applications concurrently. Another option is for the student to wait until he/she has received a study permit, and then submit applications for his or her accompanying dependents. Our office in Bangkok/Vancouver can help to arrange Study permits along with dependent work or study permits. We do normally follow 2nd route
A spouse or common-law partner who plans to work while in Canada has the option to apply for his or her Open Work Permit before entering the country, upon arrival to Canada, or after entering the country. We do normally when our clients enter in Canada.
Oftentimes, minor children entering Canada may receive a visitor record, even if the child will be studying in Canada. This is because minor children in Canada may study at the pre-school, primary or secondary levels without needing to secure a study permit.