International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

Work Permit for your Spouse or Partner

An accompanying spouse or common-law partner of a full-time international student holding a valid study permit may apply for a work permit from abroad or from within Canada if they wish to work in Canada during their stay. The work permit will be valid for the same duration as the study permit of the principal temporary resident (the student at Western). In some cases, the Canadian visa office abroad will process the work permit application concurrently with the principal applicant’s study permit application.

The work permit will be an “open” work permit, meaning there are no restrictions in terms of place of employment, location of employment, or type of employment (aside from standard restrictions that are issued on open work permits).  Your spouse or common-law partner does not need a job offer in order to apply. A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from an employer is also not needed in order to apply. Your spouse or common-law partner will be authorized to work in Canada while that permit is valid, as long as the principal temporary resident (the student at Western) maintains full-time student status.

For further information on family members working in Canada, please visit:

Application to Work in Canada – Work Permit (application made from outside of Canada)

Application to Change Conditions or Extend your Stay in Canada as a Worker  (applications made from INSIDE Canada – for extension of existing permits, and for those who meet the exception for applying for an initial work permit from within Canada)