Family while studying in Canada

spouse, common-law partner or family member

Canada’s generous immigration policy allows some family members of an international student to come to Canada to work and/or study there.


Citizens of certain countries or territories must have a temporary residence visa for Canada (TRV) to enter Canada as a visitor. A visa cannot be requested as an entry point into Canada and in some cases, a medical examination may be required. This can lengthen the processing time of your application.

Citizens of some countries do not need a TRV, but most of these people must have Electronic Travel Authorization  (EAV) if traveling to Canada by air. The main exemption is for US citizens who do not need a TRV or an AVE.

To determine if you and/or your accompanying family member must have a TRV or AVE, use the Canada Visiting Tool.

Work permit for your spouse in Canada

This permit allows the spouse or common-law partner to work and is usually valid for the duration of the student’s study permit. This open work permit allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada and does not require a job offer or a labor market impact study. Keep in mind that this work permit may exclude certain jobs (such as jobs in schools or hospitals unless a medical examination is provided.

Procedure and time application for the spouse’s work permit

Overseas visa offices in Canada are generally able to process an application for a work permit at the same time as applying for a study permit. In this case, in addition to the processing fee for the study permit application, the applicant must include the work permit fee.

Otherwise, the spouse or common-law partner may come to Canada as a visitor and then apply for a work permit upon arrival. For citizens of a country that does not apply for TRVs, this work permit may be applied for at a port of entry.

Minor Children  Rules in Canada

your minor child can study without a pre-school, primary or secondary school permit. Once your child reaches the age of majority of the province, however, he or she must apply for a study permit to continue his or her education in Canada. This application can be completed in Canada. For more information, see the table below.

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

Apply Together

If you plan to bring your family to Canada during your studies and arrive at the same time, you may consider completing an application for the entire family. If you have a variety of different permit applications (your study permit and a work permit for your spouse or common-law partner, for example) you will need additional documentation and include additional fees additional fees for the work permit)

Extend your stay

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

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