Canada Spousal Open Work Permit:

Looking to bring in your spouse or common-law partner to Canada along with you for work or to study? This applies to people who live in Canada and also outside Canada on a temporary visa (study or work permit) and want to bring their spouse to the country with an official grant to work in any field of their choice. Essentially, your spouse can work anywhere in Canada with not many restrictions except a few

Do not worry anymore! Here at GreenTree Immigration, we can make it happen as soon as possible for you to bring in your partner and your dependent child on a canadian spouse Visa

GreenTree Immigration is one of the top ICCRC-registered immigration consultants to handle SOWP visas having versatile consultants with immediate response. We have years of experience in processing successful Spouse Open Work Permits (SOWP) for Indian citizens. SOWP has gained 100% success rates for clients whose partners are in Canada now!

With a Spousal Open Work Permit Visa or spouse visa one can:

  • Work without restrictions
  • Bring to Canada his/her dependent children
  • Bring to Canada his/her dependent children
  • Gain Canadian work experience for a PR
What are the basic Canadian spouse visa requirements and document requirements to apply for Canada SOWP Visa?

When one is applying for SOWP from India or anywhere outside Canada for your spouse or common-law partner, the candidate and the candidate’s sponsor should be able to submit a few primary documents. The primary documents are listed below:

SOWP Applicant’s Document Checklist:

  1. Valid of financial support
  2. Authentication of relationship: a legal marriage certification.
  3. Able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability from the government.
  4. A legal and active passport
  5. Data and proof of employment
  6. Modern Canadian-format photograph in passport size
  7. Medical Clearance Certificate
    • Sponsor’s Document Checklist:

      •  Photocopy of the relevant study permit or work permit
      • Proof of residence  
      • Banking records (last 4 months) 
      • Photocopy of an active passport with the visa stamping 
      •  Enrolment letter showing acceptance from the DLI (Designated Learning Institution)
      • Tax Form T4 — Statement of Remuneration Paid 

      These documents along with properly completed application forms and other relevant documents are to be submitted completely to get through the Canadian SOWP. For more clarity on guidance and documentation process for your spousal open work permit visa get in touch with GreenTree Immigration, the top ICCRC consultant to handle SOWP.

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What are the major differences between applying SOWP inside Canada and outside Canada?

Applying for SOWP can be done in two different ways:

(i) Inside Canada

(ii) Outside Canada

In-Canada Class Application (inside Canada) Family Class Application (outside Canada)
SOWP, In-Canada For Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner who is physically present in Canada and live with them at the time of the application, a class application is a common choice In contrast to an in-Canada class application, a candidate applying under this application type may be located within or outside of Canada at the time of application. Contrary to the earlier option, a candidate applying under this class does not have the choice to submit an application for a work permit while their PR Application is being processed.
Processing fee of SOWP inside Canada:
$100 open permit holder fee and
$155 work permit fee
Processing fee of SOWP inside Canada:
$100 open permit holder fee and
$155 work permit fee
Processing duration - 13 months Processing duration - 17 months

Who is eligible to apply for the SOWP from inside Canada?

One can qualify for an open work permit if your spouse is already employed or enrolled in a university in Canada or if your spouse has sought to sponsor one for permanent residence in Canada.

How to add my dependent child along with my spouse's SOWP application?

You can include your dependent children in your application for a spousal open work permit if you fulfil the income requirements to sponsor them. If your child is not already a citizen of Canada, you may be able to sponsor them if you are a citizen, a permanent resident or a registered Indian. Children who are dependent on you must fill out their own child-dependent visa application forms. You and your kids are permitted to: Submit your applications simultaneously, either at Visa Application Center (VAC) or online. The best part about obtaining a SOWP is that you can bring your dependent child with a visitor grant provided:

Connect with GreenTree Immigration to know more about bringing in your dependent child to Canada on your spousal open work permit.

What is the Processing time for a Canada SOWP Visa from India?

When you are applying for a Canada SOWP visa for your spouse or common-law partner, anywhere outside Canada it takes about 17 months for the processing. For instance; if your spouse or common-law partner is applying for a SOWP visa from India it would take 17 months to process it.

What procedures does the processing time involve?

Who is eligible to apply for a Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP) visa?

A spousal open work permit may be available to those whose spouses have asked to be sponsored by them or whose spouses are in Canada on a work visa or a study visa. Depending on your spouse's status in Canada, there are different criteria for submitting an application for a spousal open work visa. Your eligibility requirements for obtaining a SOWP depend on whether you live in Canada or outside India. However, you must have met the following general criteria to acquire the SOWP visa:

  1. Your common-law partner, spouse, a dependent child of a worker visa applicant who belongs to a certain economic class
  2. A work visa holder's common-law partner, spouse, or dependent childor legal guardian agrees to your child immigrating to Canada.
    1)Is the main applicant and possesses a valid work permit such as post-graduation work permit holders on any skill level
    2) Employment in any area of Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) with skill levels from 0 to 5
  3. To enter Canada, one should not have any medical or criminal constraints
  4. Demonstrate sufficient proof of funds
  5. Possess a valid temporary resident visa
  6. The common-law partner or spouse of a foreign student or skilled worker
  7. A participant in the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program and the applicant's spouse or common-law partner
  8. One must be eligible as the spouse of the principal applicant, who is an immigrant and who has a valid study or work permit, as applicable
Categorization Required occupational skill level for primary candidate Term of the primary applicant's work permit
Candidates for common-law or Canadian spousal sponsorship Not Applicable Not Applicable
Spouses or common-law partners of those who hold study permits Not Applicable Not Applicable
Spouses or common-law partners of those with work permits under the Atlantic Immigration Program (AIP) 0, A, or B 6 months
Spouses or common-law partners who are holders of Quebec selection certificate (CSQ) Any level of occupational skill 6 months
Spouses or Common-law partners of the provincial nominees Any level of occupational skill 6 months
Holders of bridging open work permits (BOWPs) and their spouses or common-law partners Differs according to the category the primary candidate applies into 6 months
Spouses or Common-law partners with work permit other than BOWP (containing IEC, PGWP) 0, A, or B 6 months

What are the basic differences between

a) Visitor visa b) Dependent PR visa and c) SOWP visa?

Visitor Visa Dependent PR visa SOWP visa
Relatives or your spouse can travel and enter Canada using a visitor visa, commonly known as a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV). It demonstrates that you are eligible to enter Canada. Most visitors to Canada require a visitor's visa. A visitor visa is only eligible for a visitor and your common-law partner cannot work or study in Canada. You may be able to sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent children to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents if you meet the requirements.
The validity of the stay is permanent and this is a pathway to acquire citizenship upon staying inside the country for 1092 days. This is a permanent visa.
When you apply for dependent PR for your spouse; you must be able to aid them financially and check if they require government social assistance. Your spouse can be able to work under the Dependent PR visa.
With limited conditions, a spouse of some temporary Canadian visa holders is capable of working anywhere in Canada for any company.
The spouse open work permit (SOWP) is a Temporary visa issued to dependents of the Temporary Resident Visa (Study and Closed work permit) holders currently living in Canada. The SOWP Visa allows the spouse to stay and accompany their spouse in Canada. The validity of the stay depends on the TRV holder Visa expiration date.
Dependent child Add $150 per child

Check out all that you need to know about the Dependent PR and SOWP visa eligibility, the document checklist, the steps involved in the application process and all other details here!

What are the key benefits of applying for a SOWP?

How long is the validity of a Canada SOWP visa?

The SOWP's validity correlates with that of your partner's Canadian work permit or study visa, you are able to work during your partner's stay in Canada and provide for them while earning more money to improve your financial situation. Only as long as the main applicant's permit (sponsor) is valid may a spouse receive an open work permit. It won't be issued past the expiration date of the applicant's passport if it is about to expire.

Can we extend the SOWP Visa?

Yes, you may extend your spouse's open work visa before the existing one expires after 45 days. However, the Spousal Open Work Visa (SOWP) is completely dependent on the validity of the partner's study or work permit in Canada, thus it is essential to be aware of the validity period. A SOWP is dependent on the spouse's study or work permit. The dependent is also known as the 'lead applicant' and is only effective while that permit is still in operation. You will have to renew depending on your spouse's permit if your SOWP expires.

What are the Proof of funds requirements for a Canada SOWP Visa?

Candidates seeking spouse open work permits (SOWP) should be able to show that they possess enough money to cover their stay in Canada. An application may be rejected if an officer is not confident that the candidate would be able to sustain themselves while staying in Canada.

Canada SOWP Proof of funds can be shown in two modes:

Mode 1:

a) Applying SOWP along with a spouse study visa Under SDS

When applying for a Canada study visa under SDS, a student is required to have a GIC certificate with a deposit of CAD$ 10,000.

If you intend or prefer to bring in your dependents to Canada the proof of funds for SOWP can be shown as follows:

S.no Person Funds required in CAD$ Funds required/Month in CAD$
1 Student 10,000 833.33
2 Spouse 4000 333
3 1st Dependent Child 3000 255
4 2nd dependent child 3000 255
Mode 2:

a) Applying SOWP along with spouse study visa Under Non - SDS

(GIC is not mandatory. However, you can show your funds in GIC format even if you apply under Non-SDS)

In the event of applying for a Canada study visa under Non- SDS, it is essential to have sufficient proof of funds to take care of your stay in Canada. If you intend or prefer to bring in your dependents to Canada the proof of funds for SOWP can be shown as follows:

S.no Person Funds required in INR Funds required/Month in CAD$
1 Student 4,00,000 - 5,00,000 N/A
2 Spouse 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 N/A
3 1st Dependent Child 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 N/A
4 2nd dependent child 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 N/A
Mode 2:

b)Applying SOWP as a separate application

In the event of applying for a Canada SOWP separately or your spouse is already in Canada under a study visa and you are looking for a Canada SOWP visa.

The proof of funds for Canada SOWP can be shown as follows:

Note: The funds are to show only in SOWP applicant's Bank account

S.no Person Funds required in INR Funds required/Month in CAD$
1 SOWP Applican 4,00,000 - 5,00,000 N/A
2 1st Dependent child 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 N/A
3 2nd Dependent child 2,00,000 - 3,00,000 N/A
4 2nd dependent child 3000 CAD$ 255

What are the accepted sources to present your Proof of funds for Canada SOWP Visa?


Fixed deposit

Provident fund

Gift deed from parents

GIC (possible & accepted only when applied with study visa application)

Shares & Bonds

How to show Proof of funds for a Canada SOWP visa?

A detailed statement of the last 3 to 6 months is required. The account bank statement must be provided as a document.

How can I convert my SOWP Visa to PR Visa?

It's also an excellent method to get a permanent residency (PR) visa for Canada to get a spouse's open work permit. It enables you to get legal job experience that may be utilized to boost your score for the immigration programmes for permanent residence.

What happens if my SOWP Visa application is rejected?

You could be qualified to re-apply if your spouse's open work visa is rejected. One must re-apply only if you have new information or documents to address the basis for the rejection.

What are the major rejection reasons for Canada SOWP Visa?

An open work permit for a spouse could be rejected for several reasons. Some of the major reasons for a SOWP rejection are given below:

  1. Weak links or connection to one's country of origin
    The officer must be convinced that you will depart by the end of your permitted stay when you apply for temporary status in Canada. This makes it crucial to provide evidence of any connections that might have with your native country. The application may also be rejected unless the officer is not certain that you will depart Canada by the expiration of your visa.
  2. The primary applicant resides outside of Canada
    To be eligible to apply for a spousal open work visa, your spouse must be residing legally in Canada. The denial of your application can be because your spouse resides outside of Canada.
  3. Lacking proof of funds
    Your application can be rejected if the officer looking into your case isn't confident that neither you nor the spouse will have adequate money to finance your stay in Canada. This is why it's imperative to include financial records with your candidacy that will prove the officer of your financial steadiness.
  4. Lack of evidence for a sincere connection
    It's essential to offer enough evidence of your sincere relationship with your common-law partner or spouse because the spousal open work visa is dependent on that relationship. The visa officer may refuse your application if they aren't convinced that your connection is sincere.
  5. Absence of employment certification
    It is necessary to show proof of your spouse's job in Canada if you are requesting a SOWP relying on that work.
  6. There is no proof that your spouse is a DLI student
    You must show appropriate proof that your spouse is enrolled in classes at a Canadian Designated Learning Institute (DLI) when you are seeking a SOWP as the spouse of a student. A rejection could occur if this paperwork is not included.

If my partner and I split or divorce, what will happen to my spouse's open work permit application?

After you have been granted a spousal open work permit, your permission will not be cancelled if you and your partner are separated or your common-law relationship terminates. However, you must notify IRCC of your revised relationship status because you will no longer be qualified for a SOWP if your relationship has ended while your candidacy is still being processed.

We just got married and my spouse is in Canada under an open work permit/study visa. When can I apply for my SOWP?

After getting married, there is no set time frame that a candidate must wait before submitting an application for a visa.

Does GreenTreen Immigration aid in the SOWP visa process?

Yes, GreenTree Immigration is one of the best ICCRC consultants to handle SOWP. GreenTree Immigration has top-notch immigration-related services such as SOWP, Dependent PR visa, visitor visa and many more solution-oriented services. We would proudly register that we have never faced rejections to date. On the other hand, we are known to handle previous rejections for a successful outcome. Yes, our prime and leading consultants aid and assist you to obtain your SOWP visa as soon as possible with their timely follow-up calls and providing details.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I apply for a SOWP along with my spouse's study visa?

Ans : Your spouse should hold a valid study or work visa in order for you to apply for a SOWP. Hence, wait until your partner receives a valid permit after which you can apply for a SOWP.

What is the right time to apply for a SOWP?

Ans : You can apply for a Canada SOWP right after your partner is granted a visa successfully. There is no wait time as your permit is valid only until the tenure of your partner’s study or work visa. Hence, we recommend you apply as early as possible after your spouse receives his/her visa.

Is it possible to extend a Canada SOWP?

Ans : Yes, it is possible to extend a Canada SOWP while in Canada. However, it is suggested that you extend it before your permit expires.

How can I check my Canada SOWP application status?

Ans : You can check your application status in the “Track my application” section of your profile. However, we’ll closely follow up on your SOWP application status. Hence, needless to worry.

Can I stay in Canada if my visitor visa has expired while processing my SOWP?

Yes, you can stay in Canada on the maintained status and fortunately, Canada allows you to stay in the country while your SOWP application is processed while your visitor visa has expired.

Will it be possible to apply for a visitor visa while SOWP is in the process?

Yes, you can apply for a visitor visa to enter and live in Canada temporarily with your spouse until your SOWP gets granted.

Are there restrictions on where in Canada I can work after receiving a SOWP?

No, the best part about receiving a SOWP is that you can work anywhere in Canada on receiving a SOWP visa for any employer with limited restrictions.

What is the main reason a SOWP is rejected?

Insufficient documents supporting your spouse’s employment or study proof in Canada might be the prime reason for refusal. Not enough proof supporting a genuine relationship also leads to SOWP rejection.

What is the processing fee to apply for a SOWP?

The processing fee is $255 which is inclusive of - $155 for SOWP and $100 for a work permit.

When after marriage can I apply for a SOWP?

There is ideally no waiting time after you get married to apply for a SOWP. Until your spouse’s Canada visa is valid, there are no restrictions on applying for an open work permit.

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