March 20, 2024

New Eligibility Requirements for Open Work Permits (Dependent of International Student)

Early this year, IRCC announced changes Canada's study visa program. Included in that announcement is the plan to make some changes in the Open Work Permit eligibility requirements for spouses of International Students. Today, IRRC officially announced the new requirements for Open Work Permits.
New Eligibility Requirements for open work permits

Starting March 19, 2024, your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for an open work permit if you have a valid study permit and you are studying in either: 

  • a master’s or doctoral degree program in a university or polytechnic institution, or 
  • one of the following professional degree programs at a university:
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD) 
  • Bachelor of Law 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, BNSc) 
  • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.) 
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)

For spouses or common-law partners who already hold open work permits or have applied before March 19, 2024, there are provisions to extend their permits under certain circumstances. As long as the international student meets the requirements for a post-graduation work permit and remains enrolled in an eligible program, their spouse or partner may continue to work in Canada.

Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to extend their existing open work permit under this stream if you meet 3 requirements:

  • You have a valid study permit.
  • You’re eligible for a PGWP.
  • You’re a full-time student at one of these types of schools:
    • a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university, or a CEGEP in Quebec
    • a private college-level school in Quebec
    • a Canadian private school that can legally award degrees under provincial law (for example, a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degree)

More information here: