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Can I bring my family to Canada with my work permit?

Can I bring my family to Canada with my work permit?

Can I bring my family to Canada with my work permit?

For many foreign nationals, Canada represents a land of opportunities, a chance to start a life in a new country with a host of exciting experiences awaiting them. Of course, in order to live well it is essential to be able to work in Canada, and this means obtaining a Canadian work permit

But what about those who have already built a life for themselves in their home country, and have a family to think about as well? At Desjardins Lawyers, this is a primary concern facing many of our clients enquiring if their spouse and children can accompany them should they decide to come to Canada and work. 

The short answer is no. Your application for a Canadian work permit does not automatically include your spouse, common-law partner, or any dependent children. In order to come along with you to Canada, your family members will each need to apply for their own permits. With this in mind, there are several options you may want to considerif you would like your spouse and children with you in Canada.

Applying for a Canadian open work permit

If you have found a job through a Canadian employer and subsequently been approved for a work permit in the suitable NOC category, your spouse may be eligible to apply for an open work permit. Contrary to your closed work permit, an open permit is not tied to a specific job or employer, giving spouses the opportunity to explore their options and get hired by any Canadian employer once arrived in Canada. It is assumed that you will be supporting your spouse and any dependent children upon arrival in the country, or at least until they are able to find a job of their own.

Applying for a Canadian visitor visa

Your spouse may also apply for a visitor record if he/she does not wish to work while in Canada. A visitor record will not give him/her permission to obtain work through a Canadian employer, or study at a Canadian school, but your spouse will typically be allowed to remain in Canada for the duration of your work permit and may apply for his/her visitor record to be extended as long as your work permit is being renewed and you continue to financially support him/her. 

Applying for a Canadian study permit

Any minor child coming with you has the option to apply for an open study permit which would grant him/her permission to study at any of Canada’s elementary and secondary educational institutions in Canada, without being required to provide proof of acceptance from the Canadian school prior to applying. Similar to a work permit, anyone in your family, including your spouse, who wishes to obtain a study permit to study in any post-secondary educational institution in Canada must first apply to their program of choice and receive a letter of acceptance from the educational institution. From there, they may begin the process of applying for a Canadian study permit.

Although members of your family are not included on your Canadian work permit, there are many options to bring your family with you. Working with a qualified immigration lawyer at Desjardins Lawyers can help simplify the process and give you a greater chance of successfully entering Canada. 


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