Top 3 Spousal Canada Work Permit Options

April 28, 2023


  • Sinethemba Phongolo

Canada has much to offer for those wanting to create a brighter future, start a successful career, or even advance in their current field. The country is known to pay competitive salaries and has incredible employee benefits, even for immigrants.

You can obtain a work visa by simply being the spouse of a successful applicant in several Canadian programs. The following presents the top 3 spousal Canada work permit options Canada offers immigrants with spouses they want to bring to Canada.

Programs for Spouses to Work in Canada

Foreign nationals may qualify for an open work permit if their spouse is an international student. The applicant can join their spouse in Canada if the principal foreign worker can show that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and their partner.

Having an open work visa in Canada means that the spouse is free to work for any employer in Canada and in any location.

Post-Graduation Work Permit

The Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) creates a pathway for international graduate students to work and live in Canada. The work permit will allow graduates to work full-time, part-time, or be self-employed for any employer anywhere in Canada. The permit can be valid for up to three years long, this all depends on the length of the applicant’s study program.

What are the requirements for the PGWP?

  • Complete an academic, vocational, or professional training program at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) in Canada for at least eight months leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate;
  • Be a full-time student;
  • Have a transcript and official letter from an eligible DLI confirming that you have met the requirements of the program; and
  • Have or had a valid study permit or authorization to study without a study permit.

What is a Designated Learning Institution?

A Designated Learning Institution (DLI) is an institution that is approved by the provincial or territorial government to host international students. Any foreign national who wants to study needs to ensure that the school is a DLI.

How to Apply

The 3 Steps Needed to Apply for a Postgraduate Work Permit.

Step 1: Check Your PGWP Eligibility

You are eligible to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit if you graduated from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) and intend to live and work temporarily in Canada. Work permits allow recipients to work full-time in Canada after completing their studies. This allows foreign graduates to gain valuable Canadian work experience and assist in exploring job opportunities in their chosen field of study.

Your studies must be full-time for at least eight months and your tuition fees must be completely paid. Check your PGWP Eligibility must be your first priority or else you cannot apply for this program.

Step 2: Apply Within The Timeframe

Apply within 180 days of your graduation and before the expiration of your study visa. The permit takes time to arrive, so you will get implied status during your waiting period. This permits your stay in Canada even after your study permit ends.

You’re allowed to continue working as per the conditions of the study permit you received before the results of your application are issued. PGWP application processing times vary, so apply immediately after graduating.

Step 3: Provide The Correct Documentation

Submit the following supporting documents with your application:

Documents for PGWP
What you need to prove Supporting documentation
Complete your program of study and graduate Degree or Diploma
The name of your study program Transcript
The length of your study Official letter from your tertiary institution

Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program

If the applicant is a spouse of or common-law partner of an applicant of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), they will be eligible for an open work permit. An open work permit allows the spouse or partner to work for any employer in Canada except for ineligible employers.

What is the Atlantic Immigration Pilot?

The AIP is designed for immigrants who want to become permanent residents in Atlantic Canada. This refers to Canada’s four Atlantic provinces, they are:

The three programs applicants can be hired through the AIP are Atlantic International Graduate Program, Atlantic High-Skilled Program, and Atlantic Intermediate-Skilled Program. For spouses to be eligible for a visa, the principal applicant needs to be successful in either the Atlantic High-skilled Program or the Atlantic Intermediate-skilled Program.

Spouses or common-law partners can apply to work in Canada under this category if a principal foreign worker.

  • holds a work permit valid for a period of at least 6 months, or
  • is authorized and will be working for at least 6 months in Canada without a work permit, and
  • is employed in occupation of National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER 0, 1, or 2; and
  • physically resides or plans to physically reside in Canada while working.

What are the Requirements for the Atlantic High-Skilled Program?

To apply for this program, the applicant must:

  • Have at least 1 year's experience working in a position that requires a high school education or job-specific training;
  • Have a high school diploma equal to a Canadian credential, for which you will need an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA report);
  • Have an approved language test to prove you are proficient enough in English or French to live and work in Canada; and
  • Have proof of funds that meet the minimum required amount to support yourself as well as any dependents regardless of whether they are joining you in Canada or not

This is one of the top 3 spousal Canada work permit options as this program has offered Canada permanent residency visa invitations to 2,500 primary applicants along with their accompanying family members.

Spousal and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

Receiving a visa through spousal sponsorship is one of the best ways to work in Canada as the spouse will not even need a work visa because the spouse will receive permanent residency.

Being a Canadian permanent resident will allow the foreign national to work and live in Canada permanently and reap all the benefits including free public education for your children and universal healthcare.

Family Sponsorship allows Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Canadian Indian Act, and permanent residents of Canada to sponsor their family members. Let us take a closer look at spousal sponsorship.

Who is Eligible to Sponsor Their Spouse?

Persons are eligible if:

  • They are 18 years and older;
  • They are a Canadian citizen, persons registered under the Canadian Indian Act, or permanent residents of Canada;
  • They can prove that you aren’t receiving social assistance unless it’s for a disability; and
  • They can provide for the basic needs of whoever they are sponsoring

Please note the difference between a spouse and a common-law partner: A spouse is a partner that is legally married to the principal applicant, while a common-law partner is not legally married to the applicant.

To qualify as a common-law partner, the individual must have been living with the principal applicant for at least 12 consecutive months. This means they have been living together continuously for one year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart.

How to Apply

The Sponsorship Application Process involves the following steps:

Step 1: Apply to Sponsor

The sponsor must download, sign, and fill in the packaged application forms issued by the Canadian government website. The package includes:

  • A document checklist
  • Application forms
  • Instruction guide with regard to how to fill out and complete your application forms

Step 2: Apply to Be Sponsored

When your sponsor fills out the application forms completely, upload them to your online application profile and electronically sign them. Then download, fill out, and reupload these forms:

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669)
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
  • Supplementary Information - Your travels (IMM 5562)

Step 3: Pay Your Application Fees

For family sponsorship programs, the application fees are as follows:

Sponsorship Fees for family members CAD
 Sponsorship fees per person 75
 Right of permanent residence fees 515
 Principal applicant processing fees 490
 Principal applicant processing fees if the applicant is under 22 75
 Inclusion of a sponsored spouse or partner processing fees 570
 Inclusion of dependent child fees per child 155

Step 4: Submit Additional Information

IRCC will process your application only when your fees have been paid. During the period of processing your application, the following documents will be requested:

  • Medical exam clearance certificate
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Biometrics testing results

Your family members are also required to submit these documents.

Step 5: Submit Your Application Online

Before submitting your application, ensure you fill in and sign all your required documents. Should your documents be incomplete, the IRCC won't accept them.

Top 10 Occupations in Canada

To understand the degree of your spouses' eligibility to apply for a Canadian work permit, look at the following in-demand occupations and their average yearly salaries according to

Top Canadian Occupations
Occupation Average Salary (CAD)
 Web Developer 69,305
 Human Resources (HR) Managers 89,003
 Electrical Engineer 91,832
 Veterinarians 95,804
 Human Resources and Recruitment Officers 65,292
 Financial Advisor 62,971
 Pharmacist 89,314
 Welder 73,504
 General Labourer 47,678
 Aerospace Engineer 98,347

The Benefits of Working in Canada

Canada has an ever-growing economy, even the pandemic has not managed to slow down the growth as much as other countries have faced. There are plenty of great job opportunities in the job market for foreign skilled workers.

There are over 1,000,000 million jobs available in Canada and with over 100 immigration and visa options, the chances of finding the top 3 spousal Canada work permit options that work for you and your spouse are high

Take Steps To Live Your Best Life With Your Spouse in Canada Today!

With the sheer amount of immigration visa programs to choose from, the application process can be confusing and overwhelming. This doesn’t have to be the case. Certified Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) can increase the probability of your application's success.

RCICs are qualified and given legal licenses by the CCIC to help prospective immigrants with their eligibility assessments, document reviews, application forms, and timely submission of the application to the IRCC.


What is the Best way to Move to Canada With Your Spouse?

The Spouse/Partner Sponsorship Program was created specifically to assist immigrants with spouses to bring them to Canada on a permanent basis. Therefore it is the best way to bring your spouse to Canada.

Which City in Canada is the Most Suitable for Settlement With a Spouse?

Canada has no generally accepted best place to settle with a spouse. This is highly determined by subjective needs, wants, and criteria.

Which City in Canada is Most Affordable for People With Spouses and Common-law Partners?

Based on your needs and wants, there are multiple Canadian cities that can be affordable for you and your spouse. Generally speaking, Toronto can be cited as the most affordable place to move to Canada with a spouse or partner due to the extensive number of institutional incentives networks that support young immigrants intending to start families in the country.