Canada Study Visa for Minors: A Comprehensive Guide to Study Permits and Custodians

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Did you know that minors can apply for a Canada study visa if they have a Canadian citizen or permanent resident relative who can become their custodian? Apart from this, if you are coming to Canada on a study visa or work permit and your child is accompanying you, then they can also apply for their study visa. This article delves into the important information that parents must know about the schooling visa for Canada.

Who is considered a minor child for a schooling visa?

The age of majority varies for every province and territory of Canada. Following is the categorization for age of majority across Canada:

Age of majority in Canada

  • Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan: 18
  • British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Yukon: 19

Minors of foreign nationality can come to Canada for study if they can prove that they either:

  • come with their parent or legal guardian “OR”
  • have a custodian in Canada (A Canadian citizen or PR who will take care of and support the minor child)

How do I appoint a custodian?

To appoint a custodian, a declaration form from custodian is needed to be sent along with the study permit application. As per IRCC guidelines, two pages of the form look similar, but:

  • the first page needs to be signed by the custodian and notarized (certified by a lawyer or notary) in Canada
  • the second page needs to be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child and notarized in their home country

Furthermore, as per IRCC’s website, minors already in Canada may study without a study permit if they:

  • are in kindergarten, no matter what their parents’ status is in Canada
  • want to go to pre-school, primary or secondary school and have a parent who is allowed to work or study in Canada
  • are refugees or refugee claimants
  • have parents who are refugees or refugee claimants
  • came to Canada as a visitor for a course or program of studies of six months or less
  • will study in a course or program of six months or less
  • are in Canada by themselves

Choosing DLI for a Study Visa

To apply for a study visa, always ensure that you are getting admission to a Designated Learning Institution (DLI). All the primary and secondary schools in Canada are designated, so minors who want to apply for study in classes up to the 12th standard can choose any school that offers admission. For post-secondary study, you can check here to see whether a college or university is a designated learning institution or not.

Minors accompanying parents with a valid study or work permit

There are a few things to consider for underage children accompanying their parents who are already on study or work permits. Such children must apply for a study permit before they enter Canada. However, they don’t need to provide a letter of acceptance from a school at the time of application. But you’ll need a letter of acceptance if you are a minor child in Canada with a family member who had a work or study permit approved before entering Canada.

How do I apply for a Canada Study Permit for minors?

If you’re a parent planning to bring your child to study in Canada or a minor accompanying a parent with a valid study or work permit, it’s essential to navigate the study permit application process effectively. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare the Necessary Documents: Gather all the required documents, including the custodian declaration form, which must be notarized.
  2. Online Application: Complete the study permit application online. Ensure you have all the supporting documents ready for submission.
  3. Biometrics: In some cases, you may need to provide biometrics, such as fingerprints and photographs. Check the requirements and book an appointment if necessary.
  4. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee. Make sure to keep a record of the payment.
  5. Wait for Processing: Once you’ve submitted your application, you’ll need to wait for it to be processed. Processing times can vary, so check the latest updates on the IRCC website.
  6. Medical Examination: Depending on your home country and the duration of your stay, a medical examination may be required. Follow the instructions provided by IRCC.
  7. Interview (if applicable): In some cases, you may be asked to attend an interview at your local Canadian consulate or embassy. Be prepared for questions about your study plans and ties to your home country.
  8. Decision: You will be notified of the decision on your study permit application. If approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal.
  9. Travel and Entry: If your application is approved, you can now make travel arrangements to Canada. You will need to show your POE Letter of Introduction to the immigration authorities when you arrive in Canada.
  10. Study and Comply: Once in Canada, you must comply with the conditions of your study permit. Attend your designated learning institution (DLI) and make progress toward your educational goals.

Now that you’ve learned the steps to apply for a Canada Study Permit for minors, it’s time to address some common questions:

FAQs

1. Can minors apply for a Canada study visa without a custodian?

No, minors of foreign nationality must either come with their parent or legal guardian or have a custodian in Canada (a Canadian citizen or PR who will take care of and support the minor child).

2. Do minors need a letter of acceptance from a school to apply for a study permit?

Minors accompanying their parents with a valid study or work permit do not need a letter of acceptance at the time of application. However, a letter of acceptance is required if a minor child is in Canada with a family member who had a work or study permit approved before entering Canada.

3. How long does it take to process a Canada Study Permit for minors?

Processing times for study permits can vary depending on various factors, including your home country and the time of year. It’s advisable to check the latest processing time information on the IRCC website.

4. Is a medical examination required for minors applying for a study permit?

Whether a medical examination is required depends on your home country and the duration of your stay in Canada. Be sure to follow the instructions provided by IRCC regarding medical examinations.

5. Can minors work in Canada on a study permit?

Minors with a study permit can work in Canada, but there are certain restrictions and conditions. Be sure to check the specific work provisions for minor study permit holders on the IRCC website.

In conclusion, understanding the process of obtaining a Canada study visa for minors is crucial for parents and guardians. By following the necessary steps and guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and successful application process, allowing your child to pursue their education in this beautiful and welcoming country.

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