Can Dependent Spouse Work In Canada? And Under What Condition

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Can Dependent Spouse Work In Canada? And Under What Condition

Canada is a well-developed society and has the tenth-largest economy in the world. Canada offers many job opportunities in various fields of endeavor. The promise of fair wages and excellent quality of life has led many Nigerians and nationals of other countries to choose to build a career in Canada.

Official statistics from the Canadian government put the number of new immigrants to the country at over 250, 000 yearly. The Canadian government statistics department predicts that by 2031, over half of the working population will be born overseas.

There are over 20 000 people who currently identify themselves as Nigerians in Canada. This figure is highly conservative as a total of 12, 600 Nigerians gained permanent residence in 2019 alone, making Nigeria the fourth leading source country of new immigrants to Canada behind India, China, and the Philippines.


Canada’s openness to immigrants runs in stark contrast to other developed countries like the US and Britain, who continue to implement stiffer immigration policies. Several other factors can be cited to explain the rise in the number of Nigerians seeking immigration to Canada, and they include:

  1. Canada offers opportunities in sectors that are attractive to Nigerian professionals such as – health care, education, ICT, oil and gas, and other science-related skills.
  2. Canada is an English speaking country like Nigeria, so most Nigerians might not require learning a new language before assimilating.
  3. The country offers an escape route to many Nigerians seeking better economic opportunities and an excellent standard of living.  
  4. The fast track skilled worker program allows Nigerians with about 29 occupation skills that are on high demand in Canada to apply and enter Canada within 6 to 12 months. 
  5. Policies such as the Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP), allows eligible graduates to work and remain in Canada for not more than three years after completing their education.
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Also Read: Can dependent spouse work in Germany


Spousal Visa To Canada 

Nigerians are family-oriented people, and most Nigerians that migrate to other countries do everything possible to bring their spouses to join them. The Canadian immigration policy provides for what is referred to as a Canadian–dependent visa, which allows you to bring your loved one to Canada.  

The unanswered question, however, is – can dependent spouse work in Canada? Yes, the Canadian dependent visa allows them to work and study once they have the necessary permits. You can take a free immigration evaluation here to check if you are eligible to sponsor a spouse. However, some of the requirements to be eligible to sponsor your spouse to join you in Canada includes-

  1. You must provide financial proof and a commitment to support all his or her financial needs for three years from the date they arrive in Canada and become a resident.
  2. You and your sponsored spouse must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide such support and reimburse the state for any expense it makes on your spouse.
  3. Make sure they don’t need social help from the government.

Work Permits 


As stated earlier, your spouse is eligible to work in Canada once she meets the condition – which is getting the necessary work permits. There are two types of work permits, namely – the open work permit and job-specific work permits.

As the name implies, an open work permit allows your spouse to choose to work in any organization and any part of the country except Quebec. This kind of work permit is usually granted to your spouse as long as you are an international student or a skilled worker approved to work in Canada for six months or more with a valid permit.

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The other kind of work permit is a job-specific work permit. This allows you to work according to the conditions on your work permit, which includes – the name of the employee you can work for, duration of the job, and location of the job.

Some occupation requires that you get a job-specific work permit. You can answer some specific questions here to find out if your spouse needs a job-specific work permit. If your spouse falls under this category, the prospective employer would be required to get a Labour Market Impact Assessment before he/she can apply.


You can either apply for any of the work permits in Nigeria or apply when you get into Canada. The processing time is usually 60- 90 days. You can log in to the IRCC website and fill up your application.   

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1 thought on “Can Dependent Spouse Work In Canada? And Under What Condition”

  1. Thanks for sharing such useful information with us. Yes, indeed, Canada is a very expensive country so to survive and of course to lead a decent lifestyle it is so important that both husband and wife work and thereby they both can stay financially dependent. Hence, many want to know whether depending spouse can work in Canada and if so, then under which circumstances. Your post performs an undeniably significant role on this context.


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