Right now, there are as many as 100,000 foreign students in Canada who are under this program.
And while homesickness is one of the biggest challenges that international students face during their stay in the country, the government now addresses the said issue by allowing international students to bring family members and loved ones with them.
So who can you bring?
Spouse or Common-Law Partner
Available Opportunity: Open work permit. This will enable your partner to come to Canada even without a job offer or labor market opinion.
He/she can also work for any company or employer (except in jobs which may require extreme protection of public health – applicant may have to undergo a medical exam before acceptance to these kinds of occupation).
Length of the permit is often the same as the length of your study permit.
Student requirements for partners to qualify:
The student must be enrolled in a full-time program in any of the following:
∎ A public post-secondary university or college
∎ A private post-secondary university or college that meets the following:
→ → operation is governed by the same rules and regulations as public institutions
→ → half of overall operations budget is from government grants
∎ A private post-secondary university or college which is granted to offer degrees by a provincial statute
The definition of minor children by age may differ from one Canadian state to another. Many provinces still consider 18 as a minor age, but some other provinces consider the minor age up to 17 years old only. Check your chosen province for its specific age definition.
Available opportunity: Attendance of school without the need for a study permit (for children already in Canada with at least one parent with valid work or study permit). This applies only in the pre-school, primary, and secondary levels as long as the child is considered a minor. Once the child reaches the age of majority, a study permit will already be required for him to attend school.
How to Apply
If you’re not yet in Canada, you can submit your visa application together with the application of your family members. If you’re already in the country or you have already submitted your application, you can submit the application of your family members once you have already received your study permit. Either of the two is fine.
Below are the requirements:
∎ Provide complete information about all the family members who are applying
∎ Show proof that you can support yourselves throughout your stay in the country
∎ Provide police clearance certificate (if requested)
∎ Undergo a medical examination (if requested)
∎ Get a temporary visitor’s visa (in case your country is included in the list of countries that need to have TRV to enter Canada)
For spouses or common-law partners: can apply for work permit anytime (prior, during or after entry in Canada)
For minor children: may be considered ‘visitors’ and receive a visitor record even though they’re studying since they won’t have a study permit.
(More info on how your spouse or common-law partner can work in Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/study/work-spouse.asp)