Minor Child Studying in Canada

Study Permit Requirements for Minor Child

Canada has an amazing education system that attracts many adults and minor international students from abroad to study in Canada. This articles focus will be on minor children looking to study in Canada and eligibility requirements they need to meet.

Who is considered a Minor Child?

A minor child in Canada is anyone not considered to be an adult. When one becomes an adult, they become a part of what is called “the age of majority”. The age of majority differs from province to province which can be either 18 or 19 year of age. Please refer to chart below what is considered age of majority in the province you decide to study. If the child is under the age of majority then he/she is considered a minor child.

Age of Majority is 18 Age of Majority is 19
Alberta British Colombia
Manitoba New Brunswick
Ontario Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island Northwest Territories
Quebec Nova Scotia
Saskatchewan Nunavut

Do Minor Children Require a Study Permit?

Minor children currently in Canada are allowed to study in Canada without a Study Permit at the preschool, primary or secondary level only if:

  • The minor child is being accompanied by the parents that have claimed refugee status or are claimants themselves
  • One of the minor child’s parents (biological or adoptive) is a canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • One of the minor child’s parents (biological or adoptive) is allowed to work or study in Canada. This also includes temporary residents who are work permit holders, study permit holders or visitor status holders (persons that are authorized to work without work permit or study without study permit)
  • Both parents of the minor child are not physically present in Canada

    If the minor child is outside of Canada then he/she needs to apply for Study Permit prior to entering Canada. If the minor child parents came as visitor to Canada and are not allowed to work or study in Canada then the minor child must apply for Study Permit from country of last permanent residence.

    Usually, Study Permit for primary school students are issued for 1 year and can be renewed if you meet the conditions set on your permit. If you are enrolled in secondary school your study permit is issued for the length of your intended study (maximum of 4 years)

    Minor children that attend pre-school or kindergarten do not require a study permit. Generally, minor children that require a study permit include students that attend primary or secondary school level. These students need to obtain the acceptance letter from the eligible education institution in Canada. You can either provide the original acceptance letter or the electronic version.

    If you are minor child and you are accompanying a family member who has valid work or study permit then you are exempt from providing the acceptance letter from the educational institution.

Chart Summary if Minor Child Needs Study Permit

If the minor child is… Documents Needed Study Permit Required yes/no
a canadian citizen Passport, citizenship card, or birth certificate NO
a permanent resident Record of Landing (IMM 1000), Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292); or Permanent Resident Card NO
a foreign national accompanied by a parent in the visitor class Stamp on the child’s passport or on the father’s or mother’s passport on which the child is listed as a son or daughter YES
alone or with a parent who is a temporary resident and has a study or work permit Child’s passport or child listed on the parent’s passport. The child may have a visitor record. The parent has a study or work permit.

Note: The child may have either a visitor record or a study permit when entering Canada. The child is authorized to study without a study permit if he or she has only the visitor record or a Canadian entry stamp on his or her passport.

a refugee claimant, accompanied or not by a parent Determination of Eligibility letter from CIC. Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or any available travel or identity documents. May also have an expired CIC document. NO
in Canada without status Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or any available travel or identity documents. May also have an expired CIC document. NO

Can I Apply for Study Permit at Port of Entry as a Minor?

If you are minor child and like to study in Canada, you must have the letter of introduction from a visa office or meet the requirements to apply for Study Permit upon entry. If you have not gotten the letter of introduction then the immigration officer at the port of entry may allow the child as temporary resident under the visitor visa class as long as all requirements are met (e.g, the parent that is with the child is allowed to work or study in Canada). Therefore, the child may be recorded as a visitor and if considered a minor an application for a study permit can be submitted for the child to continue their studies.

Minor Child Applying for Study Permit Inside of Canada

If you are minor child and are studying in Canada at the preschool, primary or secondary level without a Study Permit can apply for Study Permit within Canada. The minor child must provide proof of academic status in Canada. To proof the child is academic status he/she can provide a confirmation letter that the child is enrolled in a Canadian educational institution. Also, the child needs to provide proof of their parent’s status in Canada if it applies to them.

If the child is travelling with the accompanying parent and the parent is authorized to study or work without a permit then the minor does not require a study permit when studying at the pre-school, primary or secondary level.

Extending Stay

If the minor child likes to extend their stay, he/she needs to apply for study permit renewal if they require one or apply for extension as temporary resident. Again, the minor child can extend their stay as temporary resident only if no study permit is required.

Restoring Status

If the minor child applied to restore his/her status the child can resume studies while the application is being processed.

In order to restore status the immigration officer will consider the following:

  • Arrangements have been made by the custodians to take care of the child
  • The child has health coverage
  • There is sufficient funds to cover the child’s stay in Canada

Does my Minor Child Require a Custodian?

In order to study in Canada under the age of 17, you must be under the care of a responsible adult. This is because in order to come to Canada one of the main requirements is being able to support yourself, if you are a child who is dependent on your parents financially then you will most likely need someone to support you when you come to Canada. If you are unable to live with a parent or guardian then a custodian is required. This is often also true if the minor who wishes to study in Canada is in between the ages of 17 and the age of majority however, this is up to the discretion of the immigration officer who will review your application.

How to Apply for Custodianship?

In order to be a custodian for a minor that is studying in Canada you will need two notarized documents. Notarized documents are simply documents that have been certified by a notary.

You can apply for custodianship by completing the Custodian Declaration form, and then having both the custodian and the parents/guardians sign the forms. You must then have a letter of permission stating that you are able to study in Canada under the custodianship of said individual, by the non-accompanying parents. After that you have to pay the applicable processing fees and the final step is to wait for the results of your application as a decision should be met by an immigration officer within months after submission.

Legal Requirements for Custodians

Once an individual has become a custodian, of a minor child, looking to study in Canada they are legally required to provide care for the child in the same way their parent or guardian would have. They are also financially and socially responsible for the child for as long as their study permit is valid and they are living under your care. They must also live within a reasonable distance from the students intended residence. Finally, in the case of an emergency they must fulfill the obligations of a parent or guardian.

Custodian Liability for Minor Studying in Canada

Becoming a custodian is a big responsibility and can be the one thing that a minor child needs in order to come to Canada and study here. Fortunately, when you become a custodian you do not become legally liable for the student. You must still provide care for them, and provide the support necessary for them to do well in their life and in their schooling while in Canada, however, you are not liable if anything happens to them, or if they do anything that gets themselves into trouble.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are minor child and like to study in Canada but not sure what requirements you need to meet to be able to do so then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545. Our immigration experts have assisted many students successfully study in Canada and we can help you too.

We hope that this blog was helpful and has cleared up some questions. If you have questions that are not answered please don’t hesitate to contact us.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!

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