One of the biggest pain points of going abroad for higher studies is having to leave your family behind. Thus, bringing family to Canada is one of the most searched topics amongst international students.
Canada recognizes this pain and allows certain international students to bring their families with them. With Canada family visas, students can bring their spouse, common-law partner and dependent children with them.
Who Is Eligible For Bringing Family To Canada?
To bring their family members along, the student must be enrolled in a full-time course at one of the following:
- Public post-secondary institutions
- Private post-secondary institutions that receives half its funding from government grants and operates under the same regulations as public institutions
- Private institutions authorized by provincial statute to award degrees
Bringing Family To Canada – Your Spouse
International students are free to include the name of their spouse/ common-law partner on their application for a Canadian Student Permit.
The application may even be submitted without mentioning family members are later amended but this is a risky move that if misinterpreted, could result in the individual being banned from Canada for 5 years.
When a prospective student’s permit application is approved, his/her spouse as named on the application will be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit.
This allows the person to apply for and work full-time with any legal employer in Canada for as long as their partner’s study permit is valid. The spouse need not have a job offer to get this permit. If both partners want to study in Canada, they must file separate applications.
Bringing Family To Canada – Dependent Children
As in the case of bringing your spouse with you, any dependent children that you wish to bring to Canada must be named on the Student Permit application.
Dependent children are defined as unmarried children under the age of 22 years. Children over the age of 22 years may be considered dependents if they are unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition.
If this application is approved, the dependent child will be issued a visa for the same duration as the student permit. Minor children are entitled to attend pre-school, primary, or secondary school as long as at least one parent has valid documentation to study/ work in Canada.
Once the child crosses the 18 year age limit, he/she must apply for an independent study permit.
How To Apply For A Study Permit
International students need a study permit if they are enrolled in full-time courses with a duration of more than 6 months. Before applying for this permit, they must receive an official letter of acceptance from a Designated Learning Institution.
Students enrolled in schools not mentioned on this list are not eligible to apply for a student permit. Students enrolled in schools in Quebec must also get a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) issued by the Ministère de l’Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion (MIDI).
In addition to the acceptance letter, to apply for this permit, students must have:
- Proof of financial support for the duration of studies or for the first year of studies
- Proof of being a law-abiding individual with no criminal record
- Medical examination results proving good health
- Copy of valid passport or travel documents
- 2 passport sized photographs
- Copy of marriage certificate
All documents must be in English or French. If not, they must be accompanied by an English/French translation, affidavit from the individual who has translated the original document and a certified copy of the original. The translation cannot be done by the applicant or any of their family members.
The application for a student permit is known as the IMM 1294. This application may be filled in online or downloaded and filled in o the computer. When bringing family to Canada, you must also fill in the IMM 5645 or the IMM 5707.
A separate form must be filled in for each accompanying family member. All forms with supporting documents may be submitted together online or at a Visa Application Center.
Canada Family Visa Processing Fee
On submission, you will need to pay a Canada Family Visa application processing fee of $CAN 150 and a biometric fee of $CAN 85 per person or $CAN 170 for 2 or more people. These are nonrefundable fees.
The applicant must then book an appointment at the nearest biometric collection service point. To avoid unnecessary delays ensure that the forms are filled in accurately and completely and all supporting documents are included in the submission.
Once your application has been processed and approved, your passport and a letter of introduction along with the originals of identity documents will be returned.
The Letter of Introduction is not a study permit but must be presented at the port of entry in Canada. A study permit will be issued only on arrival in Canada.
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