IRCC Announces Changes to Spousal Open Work Permit Eligibility Criteria


Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has recently announced major changes to the Spousal Open Work Permit (SOWP) program, regarding the eligibility of spouses of students from other countries. 

Starting on March 19, 2024, only the spouses or partners of students enrolled in master’s or doctoral programs at recognized Canadian universities or polytechnics can apply for SOWP.

Spouses or partners of undergraduate students who are enrolled in certain professional degree programs at universities are excepted from this rule and are eligible to apply for a SOWP. 

Among the programs that qualify are:

✅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 those who are not eligible under the new SOWP guidelines, alternative pathways are also available to unite with their spouse in Canada.

Connect with CanApprove to arrange a free consultation right now! Get in touch with us to learn more about the Canada Spousal Open Work Permit.


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