What are the Changes made to Spouse Visa and Temporary Resident Intake for Canada?

What are the Changes made to Spouse Visa and Temporary Resident Intake for Canada?

Canada in 2024, is rolling out changes to the international student program and temporary residents. But to speculate aimlessly we must know, “What are the Changes made to Spouse Visa and Temporary Resident Intake for Canada?


Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP) Updates

The SOWP visa allows the spouses of international students to enter Canada and work for any Canadian employer. But Canada is coming out with strong updates to limit the abuse of this pathway. The following are chronological updates regarding the same:

  • Firstly, on Jan 22, 2024, IRCC shared changes to the International Student Program which included:
    • Students requiring LOAs and PALs to get a Canada Study Visa.
    • Student cap of 360,000 for study visa approvals. This 35% fall in comparison to 2023.
    • Here, IRCC talks of changes to the PGWP as per which UG and below degree pursuant get PGWP as per their study length.
    • However, Masters and PhD pursuant will get a Post Graduate Work Permit for 3 years.
  • Secondly, as per the March 19, 2024, update, the Spousal Open Work Permit is now available to spouses of international students who pursue Master’s and PhD degrees.
  • However, spouses of international students who are studying in 1 of the following study programs qualify for SOWP:
    • Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS, DMD)
    • Bachelor of Law or Juris Doctor (LLB, JD, BCL)
    • Doctor of Medicine (MD)
    • Doctor of Optometry (OD)
    • Pharmacy (PharmD, BS, BSc, BPharm)
    • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN, BSN, BNSc)
    • Bachelor of Education (B. Ed.)
    • Bachelor of Engineering (B. Eng., BE, BASc)


Temporary Resident Intake Updates

After putting a cap on international students, Canada will now set a target for temporary student intake. As of now, we have an Immigration Levels Plan for Permanent Resident intake.

Now, Canada in 2024, will also introduce the temporary resident intake residents. However, Immigration Minister Marc Miller hints that it is not necessarily a cap. But can be looking at the intake and integrity control efforts of Canada.

As per the new changes made to temporary resident intake, we will see a 5% decrease over the next 3 years.

However, IRCC is focusing on a strong transition of temporary residents becoming Canadian permanent residents. This is great news for people who are in Canada or will enter Canada. As IRCC will be holding more draws to select applicants from Canada and is asking provinces and territories to prioritise the same.

As a result, your Canadian work experience as a post-study worker or just a work permit (any type) holder will help in quick PR visa selection. More draws mean a higher selection of applicants for permanent residency in Canada.


Why make changes to spouse visa and temporary resident intake?

All change by IRCC is to control the inflow of immigrants and better manage the ones who are in Canada. The effort is to continue offering quality of life to people who are entering Canada as permanent residents or temporary workers or students. 

This is why Canada is making changes to spouse and temporary resident intake. Such major updates also come from the country’s housing and healthcare issues due to a lack of supervision in foreign students’ and workers’ intake. Thus, to curb such challenges Canada is:

  • Firstly, reducing the inflow of applicants by carefully selecting qualitative students and workers. Such as the cap on international students, changing the validity of PGWP and barring spouses of UG and lower students from getting SOWP.
  • This removes the risk of people entering via fake agents and avoids misuse of policies favouring their family members. Such as a huge inflow of international students and their spouses on Open Work Permits.
  • Secondly, by setting up a target for temporary resident intake. Similar to Canada PR visa targets.
  • However, one must remember that Canada has a history of breaking its PR targets each year.
  • So, we can expect the same in the case of temporary resident visa approval in 2024.


In short, do not worry about changes to spouse visa and temporary resident intake. Because by making an informed decision under a CICC Licensed Immigration Consultant you can enter Canada with ease.

In short, start by taking our Free Assessment or Contact Us to learn more.

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