International students  can bring their spouse or common-law partner and dependent children  to join them in Canada?

Work Permits for Spouses

Spouse of the international student in Canada can apply for open work permit if the international student is having a valid study permit and is studying full-time 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 usually for the duration of the Study permit of student.

Spousal Work Permit Timing and Application Procedure

Canadian visa offices overseas are generally able to process an application for a work permit at the same time as the study permit application. In such cases, in addition to the study permit processing fees, the applicant(s) must also include work permit processing fees.

Conversely, the spouse or common-law partner may come to Canada as a visitor and then apply for a work permit after arrival. For citizens of countries that do not require a TRV, this work permit application may be done at a Canadian Port of Entry. In some cases, citizens of visa-required countries may also contemplate a Port of Entry application.

Minor Children and Canadian Study Permit Rules

If you or your spouse or common-law partner is already in Canada, your minor child may study without a study permit at the preschool, primary, or secondary level. Once the child reaches the age of majority in their province, however, he or she must apply for a study permit to continue his or her studies in Canada. This application can be completed from inside Canada. Please consult the table below for further information.

When applying from outside Canada, you will need to apply for your child’s study permit at a Canadian overseas visa office.

Applying Together

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).


If you wish to extend or change your conditions while you are in Canada, you will need to complete a separate application. Make sure to check the date of expiry on your study permit and apply at least 30 days before that date if you would like to extend your stay.

Does a child need a study permit?

Children accompanying an adult who is in Canada on a work or study permit may study in Canada without a study permit at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels.

If the child is… Documents needed Study permit required
a Canadian citizen Passport, citizenship card, or birth certificate No
a Canadian permanent resident Record of Landing (IMM 1000), Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292) or Permanent Resident Card No
a foreign national accompanied by a parent with Visitor status Stamp on the child’s passport or on the father’s or mother’s passport on which the child is listed as a son or daughter Yes
alone, or with a parent who is a temporary resident and has a study or work permit Child’s passport or child listed on the parent’s passport. The child may have a visitor record. The parent has a study or work permit. (See note below) No
a refugee claimant, whether accompanied by a parent or not Determination of Eligibility letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or any available travel or identity documents. May also have an expired IRCC document. No
in Canada without status Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or any available travel or identity documents. May also have an expired IRCC document. No

Note: The child may have either a visitor record or a study permit when entering Canada. The child is authorized to study without a study permit if he or she has only the visitor record or a Canadian entry stamp on his or her passport.

Can I bring my parents while on a study 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.