The Canadian government understands that students are at their best when their family is nearby to support them. For that reason, international students coming to Canada on a study permit are allowed to bring certain family members, under certain conditions.
Having a dependant join you while you study may also relieve the financial burden of tuition and living expenses. Continue reading to learn who you are allowed to bring to Canada and what steps are involved in doing so.
Who can I bring?
Your spouse or common-law partner is allowed to join you, so long as they meet the normal visitor requirements. They may apply for an open work permit either before or after arriving in Canada, and can apply for most available positions without having an existing job offer.
You can also bring your children who are under the province’s age of majority—19 in British Columbia. Children do not require a study permit until they reach the post-secondary level, although they may be given a visitor record for entering Canada.
Which students qualify?
In order to bring family members as dependants, you must be studying full-time at a public college or university, or a private post-secondary institution that follows the same regulations and receives 50% of its operations budget from the government.
How do I apply?
You can apply for a study permit online or on paper at a visa application centre in your country. If you are bringing a spouse, you can both apply at the same time or your spouse can wait to apply until your study permit is approved. Whichever you choose, you must provide the information about the family members you plan to bring when you submit your study permit application.
What documents will I need?
You will likely be asked to provide supporting paperwork, such as a letter of admission from your college or university, a letter inviting your spouse to join you, verification of your relationship (a marriage license or proof of common-law status), and proof of sufficient funds to come to Canada.
In addition, you or your spouse may need to provide police certificates to satisfy security checks and/or the results of an instructed medical examination. Be aware of the current processing times so you don’t miss important deadlines.
How long can my family stay?
Unless specified, a family member can stay for six months on visitor visa upon entry into Canada. If the family member wants to remain longer, they will need to apply for extension of their stay. Children who turn 19 while visiting Canada must apply for a study permit to stay.
Applying for your study permit can be a complicated process alone, not to mention applying for your family members to join you. Let us help you with this process so you and your family can focus on your transition to Canada.You can reach Yuri by contacting our main office line at+1 (250) 616-4832 or by email at [email protected].
Note: information in ImmiCan blogs is based upon current immigration policies and will only be relevant so long as the policies don’t change.