New Rules for Spouse Visa in Canada from Nepal – Canada’s New Spousal Open Work Permit Restrictions

New Rules for Spouse Visa in Canada from Nepal – Canada’s New Spousal Open Work Permit Restrictions

According to the New Rules for Spouse Visa in Canada, as of March 19, spouses and partners of international students are eligible for a SOWP if their sponsor is enrolled in a master’s or doctorate program at a Canadian university or polytechnic.

On January 22, the department announced various changes to Canada’s international student program. Among them, the spouses of international students are one of the major changes of 2024.

Can Nepalese Students in Canada Still Bring their Spouses with them Despite Changes in the SOWP?

Yes, those students who had submitted their files before March 19, 2024, can still bring their spouses to Canada. In the Canada spouse visa rules 2024, students enrolled in specific diploma and degree programs are eligible to bring their spouse/dependent to Canada after March 19, 2024. However, these rules do not apply to those students who are enrolled in master’s and Ph.D. programs. They can take their spouse to any program on Canada dependent visa from Nepal.

Our Expert Dipesh K.C. Says about New Rules for Spouse Visa in Canada – SOWP Restrictions

Which Programs Allow Spouse Acceptance?

According to our experts, there are additional mathematics requirements to apply for a spousal visa for medical programs such as nursing and pharmacy. There are several options available for non-medical fields, such as pursuing an engineering degree in any field. Students studying an LLB or BEd, are also eligible if they are in the arts program. In recent updates, there are specific programs that can allow the spouse visa under diploma and degree programs and they are lists of the programs: 

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
  • Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
  • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
  • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
  • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)
  • Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)

These rules are only applicable to those students who are enrolled in universities under these listed programs on the spouse visa case, however, Spouses of international students are only eligible for SOWPs if their partner is pursuing a master’s or doctorate in any program.

What Options do Students have If they are Unable to Change Programs?

Students who are unable to change their programs can still bring their spouses on a Visitor Visa, however, spouses cannot work in Canada under this arrangement. Getting an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) is a second option allowing to get work permits for International students and sponsor their spouses.

What About Students Whose Applications for a Dependent Visa for Canada from Nepal Are Still Pending?

Our experts state that those who submitted a dependent visa for Canada from Nepal or SOWP application before March 19 are still eligible if their partner:

  • Has a valid study permit.
  • Is eligible for a post-graduate work permit (PGWP).
  • Is enrolled full-time in any of the following kinds of schools:
  • a public post-secondary institution, like a university or college; in Quebec, this is known as CEGEP, a private college-level institution
  • a private Canadian institution authorized by provincial law for awarding degrees (such as bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees)
  • For current holders of SOWPs who intend to apply to extend their current permit, these conditions remain the same.


1. Can diploma students apply for a dependent visa in Canada?

Yes, but according to the new rules under specific programs in diploma can apply for a spouse/dependent visa for Canada from Nepal. Here are some specific programs for diplomas: Bachelor of Education, Science of Nursing, Engineering, LLB, and many more.

2. Why is there a delay in spouse visas in Canada?

Your application may take longer than normal to process if it is complex. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that Canada-dependent visa processing time from Nepal can change depending on the application’s complexity, the accuracy of the supporting documentation, and any extra requirements for interviews or more information.

3. What are the new immigration rules for Canada 2024?

Students who want to enroll in a master’s degree in Canada in 2024 are eligible for a three-year extension of their post-study work visa. After completing their education in Canada, this gives the graduated students plenty of time to find opportunities for employment and settle down.

4. Why is my spouse’s visa delayed in Canada?

The main cause for the delays is your medical and security screening will take longer than usual. You can contact IRCC directly rather than online so that they can interview you.