On January 22, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced a number of updates and measures to the International Student Program. The complete details can be found on the IRCC website or on our News & Updates page.

When extending immigration documents for your family members (e.g. work permit or visitor status for your spouse; visitor status or study permits for your children), please keep the following tips in mind:

  • All dependant family members, including children, require their own immigration documents.
  • Immigration status documents (e.g. study permit, work permit, visitor record) must be extended before their expiry date
  • If your family member(s) entered Canada as visitors and do not hold immigration status documents, they are still required to apply to extend their stay in Canada before their visitor status expires. Visit the IRCC website for more information.
    • Your family member(s) may hold a visitor record confirming their visitor status in Canada (looks like a study permit).  
    • Your family member(s) may also have a stamp/markings in the passport from when they initially entered Canada.
      • Your family member(s) might not have received a stamp in their passport when they entered Canada.
  • You can apply to extend yours and your family members' immigration documents online via the IRCC website
  • Pay the appropriate fee for each family member.

Spouses and Common-Law Partners

Apply for or extend a  work permit under Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) exemption C42

As of March 19, 2024 an open work permit under LMIA exemption C42 may be available to:  

  • Spouses and common-law partners of full-time students in graduate degree programs (Master’s and Doctorate) 
  • Spouses and common-law partners of full-time students in professional degree programs in a university.  IRCC recognizes the below as professional degree programs:
    • 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 (BEd)
    • Bachelor of Engineering (BEng, BE, BASc)
  • Spouses and common-law partners of full time SFU students who already hold a valid open work permit under the C42 category and wish to extend their work permit under the same category
    • This also includes spouses and common-law partners of current undergraduate students who already hold this open work permit.  

Visit the IRCC website to review the eligibility criteria for the C42 open work permit.  

If your spouse or common-law partner has already entered Canada as a visitor, and are eligible under the C42 category, they may apply for an open work permit online from inside Canada.  For details of the application process and documents required, please review our "Work Permits for Spouses/Common-Law Partners" available on our website.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada defines common-law partners as people of the same or opposite sex who currently cohabitate and have cohabitated in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.