Information for Accompanying Spouses and Children

Many students studying in Canada are anxious about having to leave their spouse and/or children behind in their home country. This webpage is to provide you with some basic information on how your family can stay with you or visit you during your studies.

Accompanying Spouses Children
  • Yes. They would be able to come with you or visit you in Canada.
  • They will need a valid passport, and a valid entrance document should they require one. To determine what type of entrance document they need, please click here.
  • They can apply for their entrance document (TRV or eTA) at the same time as you when you apply for your study permit, or separately after you arrive into Canada should they wish to come at a later date.
  • They may be able to stay with you for the whole duration of your studies, however, please note the length of their allowable stay will be determined by the immigration officer at the port of entry. This date will be written under the stamp in their passport. If need be, they can extend their stay from within Canada.
  • You should provide them with a Letter of Invitation which provides details about your legal status in Canada, some basic information about them and details about their intended visit.
  • Alongside the letter, you may also wish to provide your spouse with a copy of your passport, valid Study Permit, Proof of Enrolment, and Proof of Funds.
  • Important to remember: Your spouse is applying for a temporary residence status and therefore they must be able to provide proof that they will return to their home country upon the completion of their visit. Proof can include evidence of employment and/or school attending, family obligations and/or financial responsibilities.
  • Yes, so long as they apply for and obtain an Open Work Permit.
  • They would need to indicate that they are the spouse of a full-time student in Canada. They may also be asked to provide proof of this with their application. Proof would be a copy of your Enrolment Verification Letter and Study Permit.
  • Your spouse can apply for the work permit from inside or outside of Canada.
  • Their work permit may only be valid for the same duration as your study permit.
  • They should create or log onto their own Immigration account.
  • Under their personal information, there should be an option to apply for a "Visitor Visa, Study Permit and/or Work Permit", click it.
  • Go to "I do not have a Personal Reference Code" and click "Determine your eligibility and apply online for a visitor visa, study and/or work permit".
  • Answer the questionnaire. They should state that they are a visitor who plans to remain here for longer than 6 months and that they are a spouse of a full-time student. They should be given the option to apply for an Open Work Permit. Continue the questionnaire.
  • They will be given an electronic checklist. Fill out the application form [IMM 5710and validate it, then upload it. Upload all other documentation being asked of you as well.
  • Once you have submitted all requested documents online and your application has been received and processed, IRCC will email you (make sure you put the correct email address on your application form!) with an approval letter, followed shortly by the work permit in the mail.
  • They may begin working only after they have received their work permit.
  • Yes, depending on their level of study and whether or not they are already inside of Canada, they may require a Study Permit.
  • If your children are inside of Canada with you, they may begin studying without a Study Permit based on your status as a student and you holding a valid Study Permit.
  • If your child reaches the age of 18 and they are still in school, they must apply for a Study Permit.
  • For information on the Calgary Board of Education and what schools are located newar you, please visit

Many spouse applications are refused due to the immigration officer not believing that the spouse can return back to their country of residence/citizenship upon the completion of your studies. Here are some things for you to consider when providing proof to the immigration officer of their ability to return back to their country of citizenship/residence:

  • You should provide them with a Letter of Invitation to supplement their application. This letter needs to be written by you and should supplement the information provided by your spouse in their application. Please also include information on your studies, how long you have been in Canada for, and how your current degree will aid you in finding employment back in your country of citizenship. You may also want to provide details for why your spouse did not apply for a visitor document at the same time you applied for your initial study permit.
  • Additional documents you can consider including in the application:
    • Proof of your personal funds that are available to you (savings, funding letters, etc.)
    • Copies of your study permit and current enrolment verification letter (indicating full-time status now and in subsequent terms).
    • Any proof you have of visiting your spouse (ex: photographs, plane tickets, etc.), or details on how you maintain communication.
  • Your spouse should include a Letter of Intent explaining:
    • The reasons for why they are coming to Canada
    • How long they plan on staying in Canada for
    • If they have permission to leave their current employment/schooling for a temporary basis
    • Their ability to resume employment/schooling upon their return to their home country
  • Additional documents that your spouse could include in the application:
    • Proof of current employment and/or ability to take a leave of absence or a holiday
      • Should state current position, salary, and how long they have been working for their employer
      • Should be written by their current employer
    • Resume - proof of current and past work experience, showing employability
    • Proof of Finances - if they have their own savings account they should show proof of this (bank statements, official letters from financial institution)
    • Proof of Previous Travels - proof that they return back to their home country upon the completion of their legal tourism; stamps in current/old passports, create list indicating where they traveled and the dates.
    • Proof of Family Ties in Home Country - list all relatives currently living in country of citizenship; if caring for any, include that information and who would care for them in their absence.
    • Proof of current studies (if applicable) - proof that taking a break from the studies would not impact their ability to obtain their degree
      • Should be an official letter from their educational institution

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