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Guide for International Students Looking to Immigrate to Canada with Their Families


December 2nd, 2023 at 10:46 pm

Guide for International Students Looking to Immigrate to Canada with Their Families

It’s hard to study abroad and be away from your spouse or kids. If you want to go to school in Canada, your immediate family can come with you as long as you have a study permit. Also, if you are an international student, your spouse or partner can get a Canadian work permit so they can find a job there and help support your family while you are in school.

This article gives you important information and tips on how to bring your family to Canada as an international student. It tells you who you can bring with you and what kinds of visas or permits your family members can get.

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

As a student from outside of Canada, you can bring your immediate family with you. For this policy’s purposes, your immediate family includes:

  • Your spouse: The person you are legally married to. This could be your wife or husband.
  • Your common-law partner: Someone with whom you are married and have lived for at least a year.
  • Dependent children: If they’re under 22 and unmarried, your children or your spouse’s children are dependent. If you’ve been supporting a child over 22 financially since before they turned 22, they’re considered dependent.

Once your study permit is approved, your spouse, partner, or dependent children may be able to get a visitor visa, work permit, or study permit so they can come with you to Canada. But other members of your family, like your parents, siblings, aunts, and uncles, are not automatically allowed to come to Canada with you.

Tips for bringing your family to Canada as an international student

Being an international student in Canada can be hectic. Having family in Canada makes you feel at home. While you study, your family can help emotionally, financially, and with housework. Bringing your family to Canada requires some considerations. Tips for bringing your family to Canada:

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1. Prove your relationship

Prove your relationship to bring the immediate family to Canada. If you bring your spouse, you must bring your marriage certificate, birth certificates, and documents showing joint ownership or rental agreement of your home, joint bank or utility accounts, or government IDs with the same address. Dependent children require proof of parentage.

If you want to study in Canada with your common-law partner, you must provide proof that you’ve lived together for at least one year, such as a common address, proof of shared expenses or financial support, insurance, or other documents that recognize you as partners, and birth certificates of your children.

2. Justify your reasons for bringing your family to Canada

Explain in your study permit SOP why you want your partner and kids to come. Your spouse or partner may provide financial support, or your children may need both parents. You should also state that your family will return home when your study permit expires and provide proof of your financial and residential ties to your home country, such as property ownership.

3. Bring enough settlement funds

If you can prove that you can support your family in Canada, the visa officer will approve your study permit and family visa. Bring enough money to support your family for six months.

Your spouse’s income can boost your savings if they work in Canada in a high-demand field. If your spouse or partner is a student or visitor or you have dependent children, you may need to show more funds.

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4. Make sure your family has health coverage.

As an international student, you must have health insurance through a private company or your university or college for the whole time you are there. But family members who come along don’t have to follow the same rules. If you don’t have insurance, healthcare costs in Canada can be quite high, so make sure your family has enough private insurance to avoid big medical bills. If your spouse plans to work in Canada, they may be able to get your family more health coverage through their job.

5. Find suitable accommodation for your family

A family will have different housing needs than a single person. Many universities and colleges have housing for students and their families who are enrolled. You can also look into off-campus housing options that work for your family. For example, if you have young kids, you might want to find a neighborhood with a good public school and parks and playgrounds nearby.

6. Accompanying family members should start their job search early

If your partner or spouse wants to work in Canada, they should start looking for jobs before they get there. International students’ spouses or common-law partners don’t need a job offer to get an open work permit, but it can take time to find a good job in Canada if they don’t have any Canadian work experience. Before moving to Canada, they should look into the Canadian job market, look at job postings in their field, write a resume in the Canadian style, and start making connections.

Once your spouse or partner gets a job, their money can add to your family’s savings. This means you can work less part-time and spend more time studying. Plus, their work experience in Canada will make it more likely that your family will be able to get permanent residency if you decide to move to Canada.

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Can my spouse continue to stay in Canada once I get a PGWP?

If you plan to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) after you finish your studies, your spouse or partner may be able to renew their spousal work permit and stay in Canada with you. They will only be able to renew their open work permit for as long as your PGWP is in effect.

If your spouse wasn’t in Canada while you were studying but wants to join you after your PGWP is approved, they can still get a spousal work permit. Their work permit will have the same length of time as yours, and they can stay in Canada until your PGWP runs out.

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