IMP C42 – Work Permit for Spouses of International Students

IMP C42 Work Permit for Spouses of International Students

Unlocking Family Accompaniment: A Gateway to Comfortable Experiences During Education

Are you ready to embark on an extraordinary educational adventure in Canada? Not only does this vibrant nation offer world-class education and diverse cultural experiences, but it also extends a warm embrace to international students and their families. The query, “Can I bring my family to Canada while studying?” is a resounding YES. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the myriad benefits of pursuing your studies in Canada alongside your spouse, partner, and children while showcasing the incredible immigration prospects that await. Canada’s allure lies not just in its stunning landscapes and top-notch education, but also in its commitment to family integration. As an international student, you can embrace your academic journey while fostering family unity, and creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Advantages of Bringing Your Family:

Comprehensive Immigration Policy: Canada's immigration policy is a beacon of inclusivity. Not only can international students bring their immediate family members, including spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children, but they can also extend the invitation for their families to experience Canadian life.

Empowering Your Partner: Your spouse or common-law partner has the opportunity to apply for an open work permit, irrespective of a job offer or LMIA. This flexible permit enables them to contribute through full- or part-time employment, enhancing their collective experience.


 Educational Benefits for Children: If you have school-going children, Canada has a heartwarming offer. Children under 18 can enrol in Canadian public elementary and secondary schools at no cost, ensuring academic growth and a smooth transition into the Canadian education system.

Common questions people ask about their family accompanying them while they are studying in Canada (FAQ’s)

Absolutely. Your spouse or common-law partner can join you in Canada and apply for an open work permit. They can work full- or part-time without requiring a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), offering them the flexibility to contribute economically while you pursue their studies.

Yes, they can. Dependent children under the age of 22 or those over 22 but financially reliant on their parents due to a mental or physical condition can accompany you. They can be included in your study permit application, and once approved, they'll receive a visa corresponding to your permit's duration.

Canada takes education seriously. Your children can attend Canadian public schools for free, ensuring a seamless learning experience. With a reputation for delivering high-quality education, Canada's schools promise an enriching academic journey for your children.

Including family members on your study permit application can impact the immigration officer's decision. Depending on your circumstances, it may indicate that your primary intention isn't solely education. If you're concerned about this, consider applying to Canada independently and then later bring your family to join you.

Studying in Canada enhances your eligibility for permanent residency. The experience gained while studying, working, and improving language proficiency makes you eligible. The federal Express Entry system offers a pathway to permanent residence, and including your partner's experience could raise your Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score.

Your partner's experience, especially if they've been working in Canada while you study, can significantly boost your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency through Express Entry. Collaboratively submitting profiles can double your chances, expanding your prospects for a bright future in Canada.

Ways to move to Canada for education along with your family while them being able to work

In the realm of Canadian immigration, the IMP C42 program represents a comprehensive pathway that remains relatively unknown to many individuals around the world. This program opens up the avenue for individuals and their spouses or common-law partners to embark on a journey of education and employment in Canada simultaneously. However, due to limited awareness, a significant number of eligible candidates are missing out on the benefits that this program offers.


Designed by the Minister, the IMP C42 program strategically outlines specific work categories for authentic spouses or common-law partners of principal foreign nationals. These foreign nationals must hold valid study permits and be actively engaged in full-time studies that are eligible for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP). The intent behind this initiative aligns with the broader public policy objective of bolstering the competitiveness of Canada’s academic institutions and its economy. This purpose is reflected within subparagraph 205(c)(ii) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR).


One noteworthy feature of the IMP C42 program is its focus on enabling spouses who are not studying permit holders themselves to actively participate in Canada’s academic landscape and economy. By allowing spouses to enter Canada and obtain work permits, the government aims to amplify the competitive edge of both academic institutions and the economy, specifically within the realm of post-graduation work permit-eligible study programs and institutions.


An essential outcome of the IMP C42 process is the issuance of an open work permit. This specialized permit empowers foreign nationals to engage in employment with any employer within Canada. This flexibility extends to both third-party employers and the pursuit of self-employment or entrepreneurial endeavors. While open work permits generally offer freedom, it’s important to note that some permits may come with certain limitations, such as constraints related to geographical regions or the nature of work.


It’s worth highlighting that while open work permits provide unique opportunities, there might be specific conditions associated with them, often excluding the need for an upfront medical examination. This aspect underscores the government’s commitment to facilitating smoother pathways for foreign workers to contribute to Canada’s growth and prosperity.


Beyond the immediate benefits of employment, these open work permits offer foreign workers an exceptional chance to elevate their quality of life in Canada. Notably, this influx of skilled workers contributes positively to the Canadian economy, augmenting its overall growth trajectory. Moreover, for those who aspire to become permanent residents through the Canadian Experience Class, the experience gained through employment under the IMP C42 program holds significant weight.


Generally speaking, a foreign worker must obtain an LMIA from Service Canada or, rather, ESDC. An LMIA is a letter that explains how hiring a foreign national will impact the Canadian labour market. Of course, an adverse LMIA letter means IRCC won’t issue a work permit for the person. The LMIA process is time-consuming, expensive, and prone to refusal.

Luckily, the government of Canada allows certain foreign nationals to apply for a work permit without an LMIA. The policies that will enable such exemptions to fall under the International Mobility Program or IMP.

Eligibility for IMP C42


To be a dependent spouse or common-law partner, the applicant for an open work permit must be in a genuine relationship with a principal foreign national. For the applicant to be eligible under administrative code C42, the principal foreign national must meet all of the following:

  • hold a valid study permit or be provisionally approved for a study permit (if applying as a family group outside of Canada)

  • be studying on a full-time basis or intending to enrol in full-time courses, at a designated learning institution

  • be accepted by or enrolled in a post-graduation work permit-eligible study program and institution

  • be physically residing or plan to physically reside in Canada while studying

Important: For clarity, only spouses or common-law partners of study permit holders studying at PGWP-eligible institutions and in PGWP-eligible programs are eligible for an open work permit. Their dependent children are not eligible to apply for an open work permit.


Family members of study permit holders studying at non-PGWP-eligible institutions or in non-PGWP-eligible programs are not eligible for an open work permit under this category.


In conclusion, the IMP C42 program is a relatively undiscovered pathway within Canadian immigration that enables families to pursue education and employment simultaneously. Designed to bolster academic institutions and the economy, the program allows spouses of study permit holders to obtain work permits. By focusing on post-graduation work permit-eligible programs, the initiative aims to enhance Canada’s competitive edge.


One key feature is the issuance of open work permits, providing foreign nationals the freedom to work for any employer within Canada. This flexibility aligns with the government’s commitment to growth and prosperity. This pathway not only offers economic benefits but also elevates foreign workers’ quality of life, contributing positively to the Canadian economy.


Although traditional work permits require an LMIA, the IMP C42 program offers a streamlined approach. It caters to eligible families, fostering a diverse and skilled workforce that can contribute to Canada’s growth and enrich its cultural fabric. As awareness of this program grows, it has the potential to transform aspirations into reality, benefiting both individuals and the nation as a whole.

For more information regarding this, you can read the article published by the Canadian government regarding IMP C42 which allows

Here is a link to the Canadian Government’s Official website: IMP C42

Embrace the Extraordinary: A Lifetime of Memories Awaits


Picture a life where your academic journey is intertwined with precious family moments against the backdrop of Canada’s breathtaking landscapes. With its open arms and pathways to permanent residency, Canada invites you to create a holistic experience that encompasses education, family bonds, and a promising future. Take the leap and embark on a journey that enriches your life in ways you’ve never imagined. Your family’s adventure in Canada starts here – don’t miss out. A superior quality of life and education awaits you along with your family.

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