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Study Permit Holders

Enhanced Opportunities for Spouses of Study Permit Holders: IRCC’s Latest Updates

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced new regulations concerning spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders, effective March 19, 2024. These updates, detailed under section R205(c)(ii) – C42, offer significant advantages for partners of full-time students enrolled in graduate and professional degree programs, as well as those with open work permits under specific categories.

Understanding the Updates

The recent revisions announced by IRCC encompass various categories, including partners of full-time students pursuing graduate programs in universities or polytechnic institutions, those in professional degree programs such as medicine or law, and individuals with open work permits under the C42 category extending their permits as partners of students in Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) eligible programs.

Key Considerations for Applicants

It’s crucial to note that applications submitted before March 18, 2024, remain unaffected by these changes and will be processed according to previous guidelines. However, for applications submitted on or after March 19, 2024, specific eligibility criteria must be met, to ensure alignment with the updated regulations.

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Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for an open work permit under administrative code C42, the principal foreign national (the study permit holder) must fulfill essential requirements, including holding a valid study permit, being enrolled full-time in a designated learning institution, and studying in a PGWP-eligible program. Additionally, applicants must be physically residing in Canada while studying or provide evidence of plans to do so.

Documentation Requirements

Applicants are required to provide documentation proving the genuine nature of their relationship with the study permit holder, along with evidence of the principal foreign national’s enrollment in a designated learning institution and active engagement in full-time studies. For spouses of students enrolled in graduate or professional degree programs, additional documentation related to the program of study is necessary.

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Application Assessment Process

During the assessment process, officers ensure that all eligibility criteria are met, including a genuine relationship between the applicant and the principal foreign national. The documentation provided is thoroughly reviewed, and if concerns regarding genuineness arise, further information may be requested to validate the relationship.

Final Decision and Processing

Upon approval, the open work permit will be issued under the authority of paragraph R205(c)(ii). Officers meticulously enter relevant information into the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to ensure accurate processing. It’s important to note that the duration of the open work permit is contingent upon the validity of the principal foreign national’s study permit or the applicant’s passport expiry, whichever comes first.

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IRCC’s latest updates regarding spouses and common-law partners of study permit holders signify a progressive step towards enhancing opportunities for individuals accompanying international students in Canada.

By streamlining eligibility criteria and documentation requirements, these changes aim to facilitate smoother processing and ensure a fair and transparent assessment process for applicants. As Canada continues to attract students from around the world, these updates reflect the government’s commitment to supporting families and fostering a welcoming environment for all.

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