Studying in Canada

Documents Required for a Student Spouse Visa in Canada

When applying for a student spouse visa in Canada, the essential documents required typically include a valid passport, marriage certificate, proof of the student's enrollment in a Canadian institution, evidence of financial support, and a letter of explanation.

Thinking about immigrating to Canada with your family? Then you should read this article because we’ll be breaking down the best way of immigrating while you study!

If you’re considering studying in Canada, great! IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has been taking in more and more international students. This uptake includes refugees, who have even gone on to obtain residents’ and citizenship rights. 

Many of those students have spouses or common-law partners, and some applicants have also been parents.

In this article, we’ll be covering:

  • The benefits of studying in Canada
  • Documents you need for applying for a Canadian student spouse visa
  • The key requirements for a Canadian student spouse visa
  • The four steps to the application process for a Canadian student spouse visa
  • Nine things you should know about applying for a spousal visa
  • Our top 10 tips for bringing your family with you to Canada as a student
  • Frequently asked questions.

Let’s get right into it!

Benefits of Studying in Canadian Cities

Based on our first-hand experience, Canada offers a unique educational landscape to enjoy on your trip. 

Canada offers a variety of scholarships for international students and widespread eligibility for work while on a student visa or immediately after graduation. Moreover, Canada boasts a high quality of life and education, offering some of the best educational institutions and schools globally.

You are provided assistance in Canada to get you on the path to employment and Canadian residency. 60% of international students employed during or after their study duration gained permanent residence within 10 years.

What are the Documents Required for a Student Spouse Visa in Canada?

So you’ve made the smart decision and want to apply for a student spouse visa in Canada? You’ll need to provide various documents and details to the visa office. These documents will be assessed by an immigration worker and include the following:

  • Your passport
  • Proof of your relationship (both a marriage certificate and other evidence)
  • Income proof to ensure financial sufficiency (you must have enough finances to support yourself without relying on Canadian resources)
  • In some cases, biometrics and other data (especially when you are required to complete a background check)
  • Proof of a continuing relationship, eg, evidence that you live at the same address.

You may also need to present a medical certificate, depending on what you intend to do. You may also need a letter of acceptance to your school of choice. The admissions and enrollment office will send this to you. 

It is unlikely that you will be asked for your birth certificate, but you may want to have a copy in case. Depending on your passport country, you must have either an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to fly into a Canadian airport. Lastly, your spouse may need to apply for a visitor visa if they are on visitor status.

Why Do People Avoid Applying for a Canada Study Spouse Visa Together?

Misinformation around this subject is common. Some will advise not to apply for the student visa and the student spouse visa simultaneously (or open work permit). This advice is for fear of increasing the chance of rejection.

However, simultaneous application does not affect the chances of application and is encouraged within the online application process.

It may be more accessible, in some cases, for your spouse to enter with a visitor record and then apply for their open work visa, but it’s certainly not a requirement.

Can I Apply For a Canada Study Permit and Spouse Visa Together?

Yes, you can apply for your study permit and spousal visa together! The digital application system has a specific section to allow you to do so. 

Our findings show that this can be significantly beneficial as it allows you to streamline the application process. Depending on other application requirements, you can have your visas approved in 20 days or under! Such is possible under the Student Direct Stream (one of the express entry routes).

Ties to Home Country

There are specific basic entry requirements to enter Canada. Amongst these requirements, you must convince an immigration officer you have ties that will take you back to your home country. These ties include jobs or occupations, a registered address or property, financial assets, and family. 

These ties affirm you have reason to return to your home country at the end of your stay in Canada. They help demonstrate to the government of Canada that you are unlikely to overstay your visa.

Key Requirements for Canada Student Spouse Visa

History has shown that Canada is very good at keeping students and their spouses together during study. However, there are still several key requirements you should bear in mind.

Whether you want to live and study in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, or Ontario, be sure to follow the rules. That way, you’re more likely to get the results you’re after!

Minimum Marriage Length

If you are applying on grounds for a common law partnership, you need to have been together for at least a year. The same applies to any other kind of marriage or equivalent partnership (a conjugal relationship).

This does not necessarily mean you need a marriage ratified over a year ago. However, you need evidence that this is more than a marriage of convenience to accelerate the visa process.

Marriage Documents

Assuming you are applying for the spousal visa under a conventional marriage, you must provide documents to support your marriage. 

These required documents may include a marriage certificate, wedding invitations, photos from a wedding ceremony, or other equivalent evidence.

Proof of An Ongoing Relationship

Not only will you need to provide official marriage documents, you’ll have to show that you are in an ongoing relationship with your spouse. 

This requirement typically includes proof that you are cohabitating — that is, proof that you live at the same address.

Proof of Funds

Financial support is something that many students struggle with, even when studying within their own countries. As part of the application process for a study visa in Canada, you’ll need to show your ability to support yourself while over there.

Depending on the immigration stream you apply through, this may be as simple as a bank statement showing that you have paid your fees for your first year of study. Alternatively, you may need a guaranteed investment certificate to show you can support yourself.

Information on Your Children

If you are aiming to bring dependent children into the country, you’ll need to provide information about them. 

You’ll need to prove they are under 22 and do not have a spouse. If they are over 22, you must prove they depend financially on you. Or you may demonstrate that they are unable to support themselves due to a mental or physical condition financially.

Step-By-Step Application Process for Canada Study Spouse Visa

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the requirements for a student spousal visa, what do you need to do to apply?

Step 1: Perform Research and Planning

As per our expertise, you should first determine where the study permit applicant will be studying. You’ll likely want to live in the same place! From there on, you’ll need to look through various other common factors. 

For example, are there employers in the region who will accept you on a student spouse open work visa? Do you have the skills and experience to qualify for a job offer?

You’ll also want to make sure you can secure and afford accommodation. You must also prepare for the cultural transition to life in Canada.

Step 2: Take Language Tests

You must pass the necessary language proficiency tests.

English and French are Canada's two official languages. You must take a French or English assessment to prove your proficiency. You do not need to take one in both languages — one will suffice.

Step 3: Submit the Application

Typically, applications must be submitted online for reasons of legibility and authenticity. This is unless you have a condition or circumstance that means you cannot access the online application portal. 

Putting together your content and submitting the application will likely take time, so set aside several hours.

Step 4: Wait for the Decision and Come to Canada

After submitting the application and any associated documents, you need only wait for it to be approved or denied. 

The time until a response is received varies. But depending on the track of your application, you may only need to wait 20 working days.

Additional Information and Considerations

Of course, there’s plenty more information you should be aware of when applying for a student spousal visa. Keep in mind that the guidelines change all the time. 

Keep an eye on local blogs and official web pages for updates that could affect you and your family’s application.

Latest Changes for Spouse Immigration to Canada

Our findings show that the language test requirements have changed since August 30th, 2023. These latest requirements place stricter conditions on the tests and the level of achievement you must demonstrate.

Affecting Factors of Spouse Visa for Canadian Student

Several factors may prohibit the approval of your application. For instance, you or your spouse have been married to another person. You may be a minor or may have failed to provide financial evidence. You may be already engaged in a sponsorship for someone in Canada.

In any of these instances, it is unlikely that your application will be approved.

Top Common Mistakes While Applying for a Canadian Spousal Sponsorship

Think you have everything you need, only to be denied approval of your application? You’re likely committing one of the top common mistakes.

Insufficient Relationship Documentation

You must have enough evidence to support the legitimacy of your relationship. Otherwise, immigration officials will be less likely to believe and verify that you and your partner are spouses.

You should gather, compile, and provide as much information as possible (within reason) to support your relationship. That way, officers can authenticate and validate your claims.

Incomplete or Incorrect Forms

Submitting incomplete forms or making mistakes when filling them in can result in your application being declined. 

You must check and review that you have correctly completed all the necessary documentation for your applicability.

Neglecting Medical and Criminal Clearance

You may need a medical examination or police certificate to meet the relevant requirements. These prerequisites can depend on the field you work in or the country or countries you have lived in recently, 

The requirements for medical exams depend heavily upon how long you will be staying and in what capacity. You’ll typically only need it for one of two reasons. One - you are working in a health-adjacent industry. Two - you have been living in one of the listed countries for six or more months in the year before you entered Canada.

Police certificates and criminal clearances are typically only required for permanent residencies. However, these documents can also be requested for student visas. As a result, it’s essential to ensure all these documents are submitted with your application where necessary.

Financial Ineligibility

Your application will only be accepted if you provide the necessary financial information. You may also be refused if the student party fails to obtain a guaranteed investment certificate or payment of their first year of fees.

Missing Deadlines

You must meet certain deadlines to have your visa accepted by a specific date. For instance, you may need to provide evidence at a certain point in the application. If you fail to do so, you will likely have your application rejected.

Lack of Communication

Failing to comply with any further requests made by the visa authorities will, at the very least, delay your application’s progress. It’s best to be prompt with your interactions to ensure the authorities accept your application.

Tips for Bringing Your Family to Canada as an International Student

Once you’ve decided to bring your family to Canada with you, doing so can feel like an impossible hurdle to overcome. However, with some know-how, you’ll be on your way in no time. Then, before you know it, it’ll be time to renew your visa!

Understand the Eligibility Requirements

Immigration law can be challenging to work through, especially as an international student with so much else on your plate. However, understanding the criteria for entry as well as possible will help the process go smoothly.

Apply for a Study Permit

A study permit is mandatory for you to be permitted to enter Canada to further your studies. You are required to be issued a student visa and must be authenticated by IRCC when you enter the country.

Applying for a study permit is step one of your journey to becoming an international student in Canada!

Spouse or Partner’s Work Permit

The next step in successfully entering Canada is to ensure your spouse applies for a spouse or partner’s work permit. The IRCC issues this permit, valid for one to two years from the issue date. But you should check the validity period for specificity when you apply.

Your spouse can apply for a permit during your application process for the student visa. It is essential for your spouse to be able to work in Canada while you are present there.

Children’s Study Permit

Do you intend to bring dependent children over and want them to study in Canada as well? You’ll need to apply for a children’s study permit

If your child is at a tertiary education level, you’ll need them to apply for a regular study permit verified by IRCC.


The Canadian healthcare system will likely differ from what you are used to. Depending on the province you are applying to, you may be able to enroll in a health insurance scheme for international students.

If you are on a six-month visa, you can enroll in:

  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba.

On a 12-month visa, you can enroll in:

  • Alberta
  • Newfoundland
  • Labrador
  • Northwest Territories
  • Nova Scotia.

Other territories have more stringent restrictions. For clarity, you will also want to investigate how the local doctors work where you live.


Ensure you find somewhere suitable for you and any family members before your arrival. 

Student accommodation related to your university or place of study may not be suitable or convenient. Ensure you have a good picture of what you want and how it will fit your budget.

Financial Planning

Speaking of budget! We recommend a solid financial plan for a seamless experience in Canada. 

As per our expertise, a solid and sensible financial plan will make a world of difference! You can enjoy your experience in your study program without worrying about money as much.

If you are required to do so for your degree, you may also apply for a co-op work permit. This permit can help ease financial strain. There may be an expiry date on this permit, so be sure to check with the source of issuance for accuracy.

Stay Informed

Keeping up-to-date with the visa processes is essential. Keep an eye on current events in Canada to prepare yourself for your arrival. 

If you have contacts in Canada at your institute of study, you’ll also need to keep up-to-date with them.  This isn’t for legality but more for your life and study relevance.

Another reason to stay informed is to ensure that you are prepared should you need to extend your study visa.

Cultural Transition

Moving to a new country can be difficult, and the originality of cultural clashes can be difficult to overcome. 

Prepare for the cultural transition by reading about common differences or talking to people with similar experiences. This due diligence is a great way to ensure you minimize issues related to this.

Community Support

Having someone in the local community to support you is a great way to smooth the transition. Universities often offer support groups or peer guides to help international students settle in. Take advantage of these where possible!

Key Takeaways

Applying for visas alone and with your family can be stressful! But hopefully, this guide has given you some good information! Remember:

  • Applying for a student spouse visa at the same time as you submit your study permit application streamlines the process. Simultaneous application is encouraged by the Canadian government’s application portal.

  • Ensure that you submit all the different kinds of documents to streamline the immigration process.

  • Studying in Canada is a great way to earn a qualification with a strong reputation and prepare you for a path to residency.

So, you’re ready to become an international student with your spouse! Why not talk to our team or sign up with BorderPass? We’ll aid you with every step of the Canadian immigration process, all while remaining transparent and affordable!

Sign up today and take the first step towards your new student life in Canada!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can my spouse study in Canada if I have a Canadian study permit?

Your spouse must apply for a separate study permit to study in Canada. This is the case even if you have a Canadian study permit. However, you can streamline the process by applying together.

How long does it take to process a student spouse visa for Canada?

Depending on your application stream, processing times can vary between 20 days and three months. You can read the most up-to-date information about processing times on the official Canadian website.

Are there any recent changes to the Canada student spouse visa requirements?

The language test requirements changed as of August 30th, 2023. There is now a higher stringency on the tests you must pass.

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