It is tough to live without our loved ones, especially when residing abroad. Luckily, if you are a study permit holder, the Canadian government allows you to bring your spouse/partner and/or minor children.
After fulfilling the Spousal Visa requirements, you can keep your family close, and your spouse and children may enjoy their Canadian experience. Your children will have free access to Canadian elementary and secondary education until they turn 18 or you finish your studies, whichever comes first.
In Canada, there are different visas with different sets of rules for spouses/partners. Your partner can apply for a TRV (Temporary Resident Visa) or an OWP (Open work permit). Your partner will be able to work full-time (40 hours/week) if they accompany you with an OWP.
To obtain an Open Work Permit your spouse can apply for the visa anytime during your stay in Canada. This visa application can also accompany your study permit application, which means you will be able to fly together to begin your adventure in higher education.
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.
Note: Your partner's work permit will have the same period of validity as your study permit.
Any person under 18 is considered a minor. Minor children, who have at least one parent who is allowed to work or study in Canada, do not require a pre-school, primary, or secondary school study permit.
Find a complete list of application fees for your visa.
Note: If you are married and plan to apply without your spouse, you need to explain why she/he can't/won't join you. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) actively encourage you to apply with your spouse as it will help you better concentrate on your studies and work.
For each dependent applying, you need to show around $6,000 (minimum) extra for your living expenses (the amount depends on the city).
Remember to explain your true intentions throughout the visa documents.
To apply online one needs a gckey account. This account opening process is similar to the usual account opening methods. A single GCKey account can be used for both the study permit and OWP/TRV applications.
After successfully opening a gckey account, you will encountering a few sets of questions. After successfully answering them, a list will be generated. This list will contain different forms and a few empty fields to note your documents in.
Before applying for an Open Work Permit for Canada, a study permit holder needs to prepare the following documents in support of his/her partner:
Forwarding Letter - A letter explaining why a study permit holder wants his/her spouse to accompany them;
Your passport, with nothing removed;
Admission Offer Letter;
Funding Offer Letter (if any);
Supervisor Reference (If you have a supervisor)
You also need the following documents for the OWP applicant:
All the forms generated in the gckey account;
Cover Letter (a letter explaining why an OWP applicant wants the visa);
Partner's passport with nothing removed;
Photographs of Marriage (a few others showing you spending time together is beneficial);
English Language Proficiency Certificate (Not mandatory);
Police Records Check (this must be collected from your home country and also every country that you/they have resided in for more than 6 months);
Birth Certificate and, if possible, their National Identity Card
Spousal visa sponsorship Canada Checklist:
Affidavit of sponsorship declaration
Employment certificate + Salary Statement of the sponsor (If the sponsor is employed at any organization) or Business certificate of the sponsor.
Tax certificate, tax assessment paper, tax return receipt of two years (not mandatory)
Bank statement of the last four months and Bank Solvency Certificate
CA evaluation of all assets / Financial affidavit