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Can I Bring My Family to Canada as a Temporary Resident?

Published on: June 14th, 2023
Last updated: December 12th, 2023

Family reunification is one of the largest categories of Canadian immigration. If you’re in Canada temporarily as a temporary worker or student you may be eligible to bring your family with you!

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If you come to Canada on a temporary permit, like a study permit or work permit, you may be able to bring your family with you.

Can I Bring My Family to Canada as a Work Permit Holder?

If you receive a valid job offer from a Canadian employer and are applying for a work permit, you may be eligible to have your spouse and dependent children accompany you to Canada. They may be eligible to reside, work, or study. If your children are school-aged, they’ll be able to attend Canadian educational institutions without needing separate study permits.

If your family members intends to work in Canada

They might qualify for an open work permit. With this permit, they have the flexibility to work for any employer in Canada, except those listed as ineligible due to non-compliance with conditions or involvement in specific services such as striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.

To apply for a spouse open work permit in Canada, ensure you:

  • Complete the designated application forms, such as the IMM 5533, providing accurate and up-to-date information.
  • Include essential documents, such as proof of marriage through a marriage certificate, and valid passports for both spouses.
  • Submit documentation confirming the primary spouse’s work or study status in Canada, like a work permit or acceptance letter from a recognized institution.
  • Pay the required application fee online, and provide recent passport-sized photographs adhering to specified requirements.
  • Additionally, include supporting documents, which may vary based on individual circumstances, such as proof of financial support, medical examination results, or police clearance certificates.
  • To strengthen your application, include evidence showcasing the authenticity of your relationship, such as photographs, joint financial documents, or letters of support from friends and family.

Regularly check the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for the latest requirements, and consider seeking guidance from an immigration professional for personalized assistance.

If your family members does not plan to work

They should apply for a visitor visa or study visa. To review the specific requirements for each pathway, please refer to the following resources:


Can I Bring My Family to Canada as an International Student?

International Student Spouse

If you’re accepted into a Canadian school, you can include your spouse and dependent children on your application for a study permit. As with temporary workers, international students’ accompanying spouses are able to apply for an open work permit, and their dependent children can attend school in Canada.

International Student Parents

A common question we often receive is whether parents can accompany their child who is an international student. Typically, the answer is no. However, there is a unique exception to this rule. If your child is a minor (under the age of 18) and does not have a guardian in Canada, you may be eligible to accompany them to Canada.

If your child is under the age of 18 and has been accepted into a Canadian school and has no one to look after them while in Canada, you may be able to apply for a visitor record. This is a document that allows you to accompany your child to look after them. When your child applies for a study permit, your visitor record will demonstrate that your child has someone to care for them while they study. A minor without anyone to care for them in Canada will not be able to successfully apply for a study permit.

However, if your child is 18 years of age or older, has family in Canada that can care for them, or if they are attending a boarding school, you will not be able to apply for a visitor record, and they will still be able to apply for a study permit.


Canadian immigration is complicated, and it changes frequently. The Canadim Team can help! Complete our free online assessment today to discover how to bring your family with you. 

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