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“Can a minor child apply for a schooling visa in Canada with parents?”

Canada is home to some of the most renowned educational institutions in the world. It has many globally renowned colleges and universities that prepare young adults to join the Canadian workforce. However, the country also has plenty of excellent kindergarten and primary schools for minors.

If you want your minor child to study at one of these Canadian schools, you may wonder if there is any special visa that will allow you to come to Canada and stay with your child while they study.

What is a Schooling Visa for Canada?

Schooling Visa” is not an official term, various consultants and local immigration agents use it to promote Study Permits for Minors. It is also known as K-1 Visa in some places but is a study permit for underage students.

The truth is that there is no special schooling visa in Canada with parents included in the application. However, you may be able to set up a combination of arrangements that allow you to be present in Canada while your child studies there. This guide will examine the different arrangements required to make this possible.

Canada Schooling Visa Requirements
  • Schooling Visa in Canada: Canada offers a “schooling visa” for parents accompanying minor children studying in the country.
  • Minor Definition: In Canada, a minor is someone below the legal adult age, which varies by province.
  • Study Permit for Minors: Minors need a study permit if their parents are on a temporary visitor visa. No study permit is needed if parents are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or hold work or study permits.
  • Arrangements for Minors: Parents can accompany the minor with a visitor visa. Minors not accompanied by parents need a Canadian custodian.
  • Documents for Schooling Visa: Required documents include the child’s passport, birth certificate, authorization letter, notarized documents, letter of acceptance, and proof of financial support.
  • Proof of Funds: Adequate funds are required to support the child’s education expenses, considering three to four times regular study permit expenses.
  • Application Process: The process includes gathering documents, downloading the application package, paying the fee, undergoing a medical checkup, and awaiting a decision.
  • Validity of Schooling Visa: The validity varies based on the child’s education level, ranging from 1 year for Grade 1 to Grade 8 students to the study period plus ninety days for Grade 9 to Grade 12, College, or University students.

Who is considered a "Minor" in Canada?

Before we discuss the different schooling arrangements for non-Canadian minors, it is important to understand what exactly the term “minor” refers to. A minor is simply someone who isn’t legally considered an adult based on their age. This age cut-off varies from province to province.

The provinces that consider people under 18 as minors include:

  • Alberta
  • Manitoba
  • Ontario
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Quebec
  • Saskatchewan

The provinces that consider people under 19 as minors include:

  • British Columbia
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  • Nunavut
  • Yukon

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How can your minor child study In Canada?

Your minor child can study at a Canadian school if they meet specific requirements. The key requirement is that they hold a study permit. However, this requirement may not be present under special circumstances.

1. Situations when your minor child will require a Study Permit

A minor child will need a study permit if the parents are on a temporary visitor visa in Canada. One of the parents can accompany their minor child to Canada to take care of the child.

It is essential to understand that the parent will not get a work permit but will hold a visitor status in Canada. The duration of the parents’ visitor visa will be the same as the minor child’s study permit/schooling visa.

A parent accompanying a minor child can apply for a visitor separately or with the child while applying for a schooling visa.

Before we discuss the different schooling arrangements for non-Canadian minors, it is important to understand what exactly the term “minor” refers to. A minor is simply someone who isn’t legally considered an adult based on their age. This age cutoff varies from province to province.

2. Situations when your minor child won’t require a Study Permit

Your minor child won’t need a study permit if:

  • They are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • One or both parents are Canadian citizens or permanent residents
  • One of the parents holds a Canada work permit or Canada study permit
  • None of the parents are physically present in Canada
  • They will be completing an education program that is less than six months in length

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Requirements for Schooling Visa in Canada

For minors accompanied by one of the parents

Letter of acceptance: Minors applying for study permits must show the acceptance letter from the school they will be studying at. This requirement isn’t necessary if one or both of their parents have work permits or study permits.

For minors who aren’t being accompanied by their parents

Minors who won’t be accompanied by their parents when they study in Canada will need to be placed under the care of a Canadian custodian. This could be a family friend or relative who is a Canadian citizen or Canadian permanent resident and has agreed to look after the minor while they complete their studies in the country.

To assign a custodian for your minor child, you must send the Custodianship Declaration form with the minor child’s study permit/schooling visa application. It will be a 2-page form in which:

  • 1st page needs to be signed by the custodian and notarized (certified by a lawyer or notary) in Canada
  • 2nd page needs to be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child and notarized in their home country

The Visa Officer must be satisfied that sufficient arrangements are in place for the care and support of minor children who are incapable to support themselves.

Documents Required for a Schooling Visa in Canada

You must provide the following documents for a study permit for minors application.

  • The child’s passport. A parent’s passport won’t be accepted for the application, even if it contains the child’s details
  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate
  • A letter of authorization that lists:
    • The parents’ legal address and telephone number
    • The name, phone number, and address of the person who will be looking after the child in Canada
  • A notarized document signed by the child’s parents or guardian in their country of origin
  • A notarized document signed by the child’s custodian in Canada, if applicable
  • Letter of acceptance from the school, if applicable
  • Proof of financial support from the parents or the custodian

Proof of Funds for Canada Schooling Visa

A schooling visa or study permit for minors is recommended for those with enough funds to support their child’s education expenses in Canada. These expenses can go three to four times more than the regular study permit applicants, based on how many years a minor will study in Canada.

You need to show enough funds to support the living of both parent and child in Canada. A schooling visa is not an ideal option for those with low funds. Please consult an experienced immigration professional and evaluate your family’s profile before deciding.

Related Topic: The Ultimate Guide to GIC for Canadian Student Visa

Canada Schooling Visa Application Process

The application process for a study permit or schooling visa in Canada for minors is the same as the application process for a standard study permit, except for the extra documents described above. The steps are summarized as follows:

  • Gather the required documents
  • Download the study permit application package from the Immigration and Citizenship website.
  • Pay the required fee.
  • Complete the medical checkup from a recognized physician in the minor child’s home country.
  • Receive the application decision.

How Long is the Schooling Visa Valid For?

The validity of the study permit for minors will vary depending on their education level.

  • Minor children studying from Grade 1 up to Grade 8: 1 year
  • Minor children studying from Grade 9 up to Grade 12, or College or University: Valid throughout the length of their studies plus ninety days

Need help?

If you plan to apply for a Schooling visa in Canada with parents or without parents, you can contact our experts here. Our specialized team of Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants is familiar with the Canadian schooling visa requirements. They have helped numerous applicants with these applications, including those applying for schooling visas in Canada with parents from India.

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