Spousal Open Work Permit

Foreign nationals being sponsored for Canadian permanent residence by their spouse or common-law partner may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. To apply for an open work permit, the foreign national must be applying for spousal sponsorship from inside of Canada through the inland spousal sponsorship process. As well, applicants should ensure that they meet the full eligibility criteria required for the program.

The open work permit is a type of work permit that allows a person to work for any employer in Canada. There are a few exceptions to this rule, which includes those listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with conditions.


You may be considered eligible for an open work permit if you are:

  • a spouse of a skilled worker in an occupation under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type 0, A or B approved to work in Canada six months or longer,
  • a spouse of a foreign student at a public post-secondary school, such as a college or university or collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec,
  • a family member of a foreign representative, or
  • a family member of a foreign military member who is working in Canada.
Check for Eligibility