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How to Study in Canada and Bring Your Family or Partner on Student Visa — Here are the requirements

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Can international students bring their parents, family or parents to Canada? – If you are asking whether Canada permits international students to bring their families (spouses and children), and the answer is YES! This applies to ALL levels of study, including BSc., Diploma, Post Graduate Diploma, Masters, or Ph.D.

In addition, consider the following points for a successful family immigration:

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Your visa application depends on 3 factors:

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  • Purpose of study
  • Proof of funds
  • Home ties

These factors are essential for single applicants as well, but if applying as a family, additional justification is necessary. You must explain why your family should accompany you, show extra funds for them, and demonstrate other ties to your country.

Purpose of study:

In your study plan/letter of explanation, articulate why your spouse and children should join you in Canada. Your family can apply for permits based on their intentions, such as a visitor/study permit for children and a visitor/work permit for your spouse.

Important: Ensure your chosen program is eligible for a post-graduation work permit (PGWP) if you want your spouse to be eligible for a spousal open work permit (SOWP).

Proof of funds (POF):

If applying with your family, you’ll pay extra fees and show more POF than a single applicant. Demonstrate sufficient funds to support all family members without working in Canada.

Home ties: Provide evidence of ties to your home country, which could include business, investments, employment, or other assets.

After preparing your application, decide whether to apply together with family or alone. There’s no specified timeline to apply for family members after arriving in Canada.

Which Visa Type for Family Members?

  • If your children are school-age, apply for a study permit; if under 5, a visitor visa.
  • For your spouse, apply for a Spousal Open Work Permit or a Visitor Visa, depending on their plans.

Note: For a Spousal Open Work Permit, you must be in a program eligible for PGWP.

Check here to verify if your school is eligible for PGWP.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can parents of international students stay in Canada?

The answer is 6 months. Parents of international students can visit Canada on a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) (depending on their nationality). Both options allow visits for up to six months at a time. Apply for a TRV or eTA before your parents arrive.

Unfortunately, a student visa does not automatically allow parents to stay longer than six months. If they wish to stay longer, they need to apply for an extension before their current status expires. Alternatively, they may explore other visa options that suit their purpose (e.g., Super Visa for parents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents).

Can I bring my parents to Canada as an international student?

Yes, you can! Your parents can apply for a visitor visa to visit you while you’re studying in Canada. But, it’s important to know that your study permit doesn’t automatically allow them to work or study in Canada.

Can international student invite parents to Canada for graduation?

Your parents will need a visitor visa to attend your graduation ceremony. You can support their application by providing a letter of invitation and proof of your studies.

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