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 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 dependants (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.
    • Visitor documents may include a stamp/markings in the passport or a visitor record (looks like a study permit).  Your family member(s) might not have received a stamp in their passport.  
  • 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.

Apply for or extend a spouse/common-law partner work permit

Accompanying spouses or common-law partners of full-time international students may be eligible for an open work permit, which means they do not need a job offer or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service Canada.

Your spouse or common-law partner may be eligible for a work permit if:

  • you are a full-time student at attending a designated learning institution (DLI) like SFU
  • you are pursuing a post-graduation work permit-eligible study program and
  • you hold a valid study permit.

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.

Full details of the open work permit eligibilty criteria for spouses and common-law partners of international students in Canada can be found on the IRCC website.

If your spouse or common-law partner has already entered Canada as a visitor, 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.