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Spouses and dependent children

You can make arrangements for your family (spouse or common-law partner and any dependent) to come to Canada with you.

Please note: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does not define parents, siblings and grandparents as dependents.

Spouses and common-law partners

  • Work

    If you are a full-time student at a recognized post-secondary institution, and you have a valid study permit, your spouse or common-law partner can apply for a permit to work in Canada. As a spouse of a full-time student, he or she is eligible for an open work permit. This means he or she is not restricted to any one employer. If your spouse or common-law partner gets an open work permit, he or she can also choose to not work.

    Since you are the principal applicant, your spouse/partner's work permit will be issued for the same validity period as your study permit. If you ever renew your study permit, you will also need to renew his or her status document.

    For more information, visit the Help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada page on the CIC website.

    You can also apply online by creating a MyCIC account.  

  • Visit

    Your spouse/partner can apply for a visitor visa instead of a work permit. If your partner comes to Canada on a visitor visa, he or she has the option of changing his or her status to worker from within Canada, should he or she decide to do so later on.

    Depending on the processing times for your country, you may find it is faster to apply for your spouse/partner as a visitor.

  • Study

    If your spouse/partner is looking to become a student, please refer to the Immigration information section, the information on who needs a study permit and how to apply.

  • Processing times

    To find out the processing times for applications submitted both inside and outside Canada, visit the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.


  • Studying in Canada

    Depending on his or her age and level of study, your child may be eligible to study in Canada without a study permit (i.e. he or she can study while in Canada on visitor status).  

    You may still want your child to apply for a study permit to avoid complications with various school boards that are less accustomed to children who are foreign nationals enrolling at their schools.

  • Where will your child study?

    In Canada, schools are divided into school board districts. Your district is based on where you reside. Within a district, you will also have a 'home' school where your child is guaranteed placement.

    If you reside in Oshawa, the following two school boards apply to you:

    Please consult your local district school board to find out which documents you must provide to enrol your child(ren) (e.g. translated transcripts, passports, proof of residence, etc.).

Joint applications

  • Applying together

    You may choose to submit your applications for your spouse/partner and/or dependent children at the same time you apply for your study permit. If you follow the instructions in our Immigration information section, you will see the instruction guide explains how to add dependents.

  • Applying separately

    You may come to Canada before your spouse/dependents. If this is the case, you are not submitting a joint application. However, when they apply, they want to be sure to indicate you are still the principal applicant. Otherwise, their request for a work permit, visitor visa, etc. will be based on their eligibility, not yours.

    For them to apply from outside of Canada, they create their own MyCIC Account. There will be a section in the questionnaire portion, which asks them if they are coming to stay with a spouse who is already in Canada on a study permit. By selecting Yes and uploading or providing your study permit and University of Ontario Institute of Technology enrolment documentation with their application, they are connecting their application with yours.

    If you require support with this once you are in Canada and at our university, please contact

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