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Married immigrants who are studying in Canada and have
dependent children may wish to bring their family members to the country with
them. Canada's visa officials may consider granting dependent family members
permission to accompany applicants who hold study permits. Applicants must
demonstrate that they have adequate financial resources to support themselves
during their first year of education. If they wish for their family members to
accompany them, they will also need to prove that they have additional
resources to support them.
Foreign nationals can include their spouses on their
Canadian study permit applications, taking into account the potential effects
on the approval of the study permit. Those who are granted study permits in
Canada along with their spouses are eligible to apply for open work permits for
their spouses. This work permit allows the spouse to work full-time for any
employer in Canada during the same period as the study permit. If both partners
wish to study in Canada, they must apply for separate study permits.
Overseas citizens can include their dependent children on
their applications for a Canadian study permit, taking into account the
potential effects on the approval of the study permits. If foreigners are
granted study permits in Canada along with their dependent children, the
children will be issued visas allowing them to stay in Canada for the same
duration as the primary applicant's permit. Dependent children are eligible to
attend pre-school, primary, or secondary education if one of their parents is
authorized to work or study in Canada. According to the Immigration, Refugees
and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), a "dependent child" is a person under
the age of 22 who is not married or in a common-law relationship. Individuals
over 22 may still be considered dependent if they are unable to support
themselves financially due to a mental or physical disability.
Common-law partners or accompanying spouses of full-time
foreign students may be eligible for an open work permit, which means they do
not need a job offer or a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) from Service
Canada. Spouses or common-law partners can qualify for a work permit if:
Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students can apply
for open work permits at the same time as the student's study permit application.
Alternatively, those who are already in Canada as students and their partners
who wish to join them can apply for work permits before traveling to Canada. US
citizens and other visa-exempt individuals can apply for a work permit once
they enter Canada at a border or through a consulate. Individuals who are unsure
of how to apply can seek assistance from International Student Advisors or
Immigration Specialists. If spouses or common-law partners have already entered
Canada as visitors and wish to extend their stay and/or apply for work permits,
they can refer to the instructions for extending a family member's stay in
Spouses or common-law partners who have already entered Canada as visitors may be eligible to apply for open work permits online from within the country, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. Further information on the application process and required documents can be found on the "Work Permits for Spouses/Common-Law Partners" section of our website. According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), common-law partners are individuals of the same or opposite sex who have been in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partners are considered equal to legal spouses in Canada. For more information, refer to the IRCC website.
School-aged children between the ages of 5 and 18 must also
apply for study permits to facilitate the immigration process, especially if
they come to Canada without their parents. They must present official school
records for the past two years in English or with an official English
translation. Children under the age of 5 do not require visitor records. For
more information on education and childcare for dependent children, please visit
the ‘Support for your family’ section on our website.
If dependent family members will be joining you later, they
will need some or all of the following documents as part of their applications
for temporary residence in Canada (in addition to their own supporting
documents, as required by the visa office):
Required application forms which can be found here
If your family members travel to Canada without you and have
not applied for study permits or work permits, they may be granted visitor
status for six months or less. Visitors admitted to stay for six months or less
are not eligible for British Columbia's Medical Services Plan (MSP), so they
should apply to extend or change their immigration documents as soon as
possible. Visitors are usually allowed to stay in Canada for six months based
on an undated customs stamp on their passport. Your family members should make
sure their passports are stamped when they enter Canada. To ensure that your
family members traveling without you can stay in Canada for the duration of
your study permit, send them copies of the documents listed above to show at
the Canadian border crossing.
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