Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada?
In most cases, your spouse or common-law partner must apply for a work permit for a specific job. The employer may have to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Employment and Social Development Canada. An LMIA allows a particular employer to hire someone for a specific job.
However, your spouse or common-law partner may be able to apply for an open work permit—allowing him or her to accept any job with any employer—if you meet one of these conditions:
- you are
- allowed to work in Canada for at least six months,
- doing work in Canada that meets a minimum skill level (usually work that requires at least a college diploma) and
- doing a job listed in Skill Level 0, A or B in the National Occupational Classification, or
- you are
- allowed to work in Canada and
- doing work in Canada that is on a list of eligible occupations in participating provinces.
If your spouse or common-law partner gets an open work permit, it is normally valid for the same period as yours.
In some cases, your spouse or common-law partner will need a medical exam.
Some provinces and territories also have pilot projects for spouses or common-law partners to get open work permits in some cases.
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