New rules will make it harder for spouses of recent graduates to work in Canada.

The policy change affects the spouses and partners of former students who are in Canada on a Post-Graduation Work Permit. Until recently, partners of recent graduates were almost always granted an open work permit.

That will change under new rules announced April 21. Now partners of recent graduates will only get work permits if their spouse has a job as a manager or skilled worker. If a recent graduate takes an entry level job like bank teller or restaurant worker, their spouse or partner won’t be able to work in Canada.

The definition of skilled work is determined by the National Occupational Classification, which divides jobs into five categories: O,A,B,C or D. The new rules require the partners of recent graduates to show proof that the graduate is working in a job rated as O, A or B. To show proof, they must give immigration officials a letter from their partner’s employer, or their partner’s employment contract, and copies of their partner’s last three pay slips. Without that proof, they won’t get a work permit.


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