Spouses of common-law partners may be eligible for open work permits if:

  • you are a full-time student at:
    • a public post-secondary institution, such as a college or university or collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (CEGEP) in Quebec
    • a private post-secondary institution that operates under the same rules and regulations as a public institution, and receives at least 50 percent of its financing for its overall operations from government grants (currently, only private college-level educational institutions in Quebec qualify) or
    • a Canadian private institution authorized by provincial statute to confer degrees
  • you have a valid study permit work permits are valid for the same period of time as your study permit.

Note: Accompanying spouses or common-law partners of foreign students are eligible for an open work permit, which means they do not need a job offer or a labour market opinion from Service Canada.


In some cases, minor children do not need a study permit to study in Canada. These cases include:

  • minor children attending kindergarten;
  • minor children who are refugees or refugee claimants, or whose parents are refugees or refugee claimants; and
  • minor children who are already in Canada with parents who are allowed to work or study in Canada, and who want to attend pre-school, primary or secondary school.

NOTE: Children who reach the age of 18 or 19 who is studying without a permit must apply for a new study permit if they want to continue studying in Canada.