I had a consultation with a kababayan who has a skilled work permit and has a minor son who is planning to come to Canada to be with him. So his question is “Can his son study in Canada? Let us examine the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act under section 30 (2) which states: Minor children (2) Every minor child in Canada , other than a child of a temporary resident not authorized to work or study, is authorized to study at the pre-school, primary or secondary level.
This means that the minor son of a temporary worker (who is authorized to work in Canada) will be authorized to study at the high school level without the need of a study permit. This is further defined in IRCC’s Program Delivery Instructions regarding “Study permits: Guidelines on minor children”.
Is a study permit required? [A30(2)]
Minor children already in Canada are authorized to study without a study permit at the pre-school, primary or secondary level if
• they are either accompanying parents claiming refugee status or are claimants themselves;
• one of their parents (biological or adoptive) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
• one of their parents (biological or adoptive) is authorized to work or study in Canada; this includes temporary residents who are:
* work permit holders,
* study permit holders,
* visitor status holders (e.g., visitor record holders) who are either authorized to work without a permit, as per section 186 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), or authorized to study without a permit, as per section R188; or
* when neither parent is physically in Canada.
Minor children intending to study are required to apply for a study permit before entering Canada.
It is very important to know that the minor children of a temporary resident (visitor) who is not authorized to work or study require a study permit to study in Canada.
In Canada, each province or territory defines the age of majority. Anyone under the age of majority at the time of their arrival in Canada is considered a minor child.
• The age of majority is 18 in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan.
• The age of majority is 19 in British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and the Yukon.
Since the minor son is in the Philippines, he would need to apply for a Study Permit at the Canadian Embassy in Manila, Philippines to be with his father in Canada. He would be exempt from requiring a Letter of Acceptance from the school by virtue of section 219 (2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.
Applying from Overseas
The study permit exemption for minor children pursuant to subsection 30 (2) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) applies when a minor child is already in Canada.
Visa offices processing temporary residence applications made outside Canada by minor children who want to study in Canada should consider them as students and not as visitors, even when they are accompanying a parent who is authorized to either work or study in Canada. A Study Permit is required, unless they are exempt from requiring one pursuant to section R188.
Applying at a Port of Entry (POE)
A minor child coming to Canada to study should have applied and obtained a letter of introduction (approval in writing) at a visa office, or be entitled to apply for a study permit upon entry pursuant to section R214.
If they have not done so, and because POE’s are considered “in Canada” for the interpretation of subsection A30(2), officers at a POE may authorize entry of the child as a temporary resident within the visitor class if all the requirements are met (e.g., the accompanying parent is permitted to work or study in Canada) and if the child is not otherwise inadmissible. The child should be documented on a visitor record. When the child ceases to be considered a minor, an application for a study permit must be submitted if they wish to continue studying.
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Source: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Immigration Refugee and Protection Act and Immigration Refugee Protection Regulations.
A word of caution: You should not act or rely on the information provided in this column. It is not legal advice. To ensure your interests are protected, retain or formally seek advice from an immigration lawyer or a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant in good standing of ICCRC. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the lawyers or immigration consultants.