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Bringing a Spouse, Common-Law Partner, or Family Members to Canada
Citizens of some countries and territories require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) in order to enter Canada as visitors. A visa cannot be applied for at a Canadian Port of Entry, and, in some cases, a medical examination may be required. This can add significant processing time to your application.
Citizens of certain countries do not need a TRV, but, as of November 10, 2016, most visa-exempt persons require an electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). The main exception is U.S. citizens, who require neither a TRV nor an eTA.
To determine whether you and/or your accompanying family members require a TRV or an eTA, use the Visiting Canada Tool.
Work Permits for Spouses
Full-time students with a valid study permit can help their spouse or common-law partner apply for an open work permit. An open work permit will enable the spouse or common-law partner of the international student to work, and is usually valid for the entire length of the student’s study permit.
To be eligible for this program, the student must be studying full-time, and have a valid study permit 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.
This open work permit allows its bearer to work for any employer in Canada, and does not require a job offer, or a Labour Market Impact Assessment. Bear in mind, this open work permit may exclude certain occupations (such as jobs in schools or hospitals) unless medical examination is provided.
While applying for a spousal open work permit, dependent children may also accompany the permit holder by applying for a visitor record.
if you are planning to bring your family to Canada while you study, and you’ll be arriving at the same time, you may consider filling out one application for the entire family. If you have a variety of different permit applications (your study permit and your spouse or common-law partner’s work permit, for example) you will need extra documentation and will need to include additional fees (such as the additional fee for the work permit).
While on a study permit, international students can invite their parent(s) to visit on a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), which allows the parent (s)to travel to Canada.