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All services continue to be offered remotely during regular business hours.

COVID-19 Updates from International Student Services: August 2021: Easing of border measures coming into effect on August 9th, 2021 at 12:01am (ET). 
The latest updates can be found on the Entering Canada page.
            1. International students with a valid study permit (or approval letter) can travel to Canada (McGill is on the list of DLIs with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan). Before making travel plans, please refer to our Entering Canada page.
            2. Fully vaccinated travellers authorized to enter Canada by land or by air, are now exempt from the federal requirement to undergo a 14-day quarantine. The 14-day quarantine continues to be required for all other travellers who are not considered fully vaccinated.
           3. For more information, please refer to McGill's quarantine resources and IHI’s vaccination FAQs.

Please visit our COVID-19 page for additional news, resources, and FAQs.

Accompanying Family Members

Before reviewing the information below, please see ISS' COVID-19 FAQs and resources pages for up to date information on the impact of COVID-19 on immigration related matters.

*IMPORTANT* Make sure to check with your Visa Office as additional documents may be required when applying for temporary resident documents.

Your spouse or common-law partner, and/or dependent child(ren) can apply to accompany you to Canada during your studies.

With the amount of time that you will have to devote to your studies and research, serious thought should be given to the activities of family members while they are in Canada.

When applying for your CAQ and Study Permit for yourself and your family members, you must demonstrate that you have the financial means to support yourself and your family members for the duration of everyone’s stay in Canada.


Immigration Quebec and/or Immigration Canada must be satisfied that:

  • You have the financial resources to pay for your studies and support yourself and your family member(s) during everyone’s stay in Canada. See here for McGill’s Fee Calculator and here for the estimated living expenses required for you and your family member(s).
  • Your family member(s) have sufficient ties to their country of origin and will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay. See here for things a Visa Officer may consider when evaluating an applicant’s ties to the country of citizenship or residence.

Minimum required documents to enter Canada

MINIMUM REQUIRED DOCUMENTS TO ENTER CANADA

*IMPORTANT* US citizens do not require a TRV/Visitor Visa, an eTA or biometrics to enter Canada

Spouse or Common-law partner

Child – will stay home, attend daycare, pre-school or kindergarten (“maternelle”) in Canada

Child – will attend school in Canada (first grade or higher)

·       Passport

·       Temporary Resident Visa (TRV/Visitor Visa) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

·       Work Permit/Letter of Introduction for Work Permit (optional)

May require biometrics. See News Page: May 2018.

·       Passport

·       Temporary Resident Visa (TRV/Visitor Visa) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

Do not require biometrics. See News Page: May 2018

·       Passport

·       Temporary Resident Visa (TRV/Visitor Visa) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)

·       CAQ

·       Study Permit

May require biometrics if 14 years or older. See News Page: May 2018

Spouse or common-law partner

Your spouse or common-law partner can apply to come to Canada as:

·       a visitor, OR

·       a worker and apply for an open work permit as an accompanying spouse of an international student. This can be done from outside of Canada or after the spouse enters Canada as a visitor and before the expiry of their authorized stay. An offer of employment is not required in order to obtain an open work permit.

*IMPORTANT TIPS*

  • Apply together! If possible, we suggest that you include your spouse or common-law partner in your Study Permit application. This simplifies the application process. When completing the online questionnaire,
  • Answer “Yes” to the question Do you want to submit an application for a family member?
  • Prove your common-law relationship! If your common-law partner will be accompanying you to Canada, it will be important to demonstrate that you have been together for at least 12 months. You can read more about how to prove your common-law relationship here.
  • If your spouse or common-law partner will be applying for their temporary resident documents separately from your own application, they should demonstrate their ties to their country of residency or citizenship in order to satisfy the Visa Officer that they will leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay. 

Visit

*IMPORTANT* If you will be entering Canada together, your spouse or common-law partner should request a visitor record, when passing through customs, valid until the expiration of your Study Permit.

If your spouse or common-law partner will not be applying for an open work permit before travelling to Canada, they will enter Canada as a visitor. Depending on their country of citizenship, your spouse/common-law partner may need one of the following in order to fly to and/or enter Canada:

The border officer at the port of entry (e.g. airport or land border) will decide how long your spouse or common-law partner can stay in Canada. The officer will use one of three ways, as described on Immigration Canada’s website, to note how long your spouse or common-law partner can stay in Canada. It is important that your spouse or common-law partner leaves Canada or applies to extend their stay by or before the expiry date of their authorized stay.

Your spouse or common-law partner can always apply for an open work permit after they enter Canada, but before their visitor status expires, by applying for a work permit from inside Canada (IMM 5710 form, Application to Change Conditions, Extend my Stay or Remain in Canada as a Worker).

*IMPORTANT TIPS* If you did not include your spouse or common-law partner in your Study Permit application and your spouse or common-law partner is now applying separately for a visitor visa/TRV:

  • Your spouse/common-law partner should answer “Other” to the question What is the main purpose of your visit? on the online questionnaire.
  • Your spouse/common-law partner should upload a copy of your Study Permit, along with your Letter of Invitation, in the “Invitation Letter” section of the document checklist
  • Your spouse/common-law partner may wish to include, in the “Optional” section of the document checklist:

- An explanatory letter explaining the purpose of their visit to Canada, their ties to their country of citizenship or residence, and their intention to leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay

- Documents that support explanations provided in the explanatory letter

Work

Spouses or common-law partners of full-time international students may apply for an open work permit:

  • before traveling to Canada or
  • after they arrive in Canada, but before their visitor status expires

An open work permit will allow your spouse or common-law partner to work part-time or full-time without first having to obtain an offer of employment. The work permit must be obtained prior to employment.

If your spouse/common-law partner applies for their work permit:

  • From outside of Canada, they will obtain a Letter of Introduction confirming that their work permit has been approved. Depending on their country of citizenship, your spouse/common-law partner will automatically be issued either a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV/Visitor Visa) or eTA when their work permit is approved. Note that the Letter of Introduction is not a work permit. Your spouse/common-law partner must show their Letter of Introduction to the border officer at their port of entry (e.g. airport or land border), where they will be issued the actual work permit.
  • From inside of Canada, the work permit will be mailed to their Canadian address.

You can read more about how to help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada here.

*IMPORTANT TIPS*

  • If you are including your spouse or common-law partner in your Study Permit application, when completing the online questionnaire:

-  Answer “Work with an Open Work Permit” to the question Why is your family member visiting Canada?

  • If you did not include your spouse or common-law partner in your Study Permit application and your spouse or common-law partner will be applying separately from outside of Canada for their open work permit, they should include:

-  In the “Optional” section of the document checklist: a copy of your Study Permit, an explanatory letter explaining the purpose of their visit to Canada, their ties to their country of citizenship or residence, and their intention to leave Canada at the end of their authorized stay, and any documents supporting the explanations provided in the explanatory letter.

- Depending on the timing of the request, you may wish to include your spouse or common-law partner’s request within your own application to extend your Study Permit.

- If your spouse or common-law partner will be applying separately from inside of Canada, they should include: a copy of your Study Permit in the “Family Member Proof of Status” section of the document checklist and an explanatory letter in the “Optional” section explaining that they are currently in Canada with visitor status as the spouse or common-law partner of a full-time international student and that they now wish to apply for an open work permit.

  • Applying at a Port of Entry (e.g. airport or land border). Spouses or common-law partners who are TRV-exempt (i.e., who do not require a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada), may apply for their open work permit at their Port of Entry upon arrival in Canada. Spouses or common-law partners already in Canada, and who are TRV-exempt, should apply for an open work permit online.

Study

As a visitor or worker in Canada, your spouse or common-law partner may enroll in a short-term course without needing to apply for a CAQ or Study Permit. A short-term course is completed in 6 months or less and is not part of a longer program.

If your spouse/common-law partner wishes to take a course or study in a program that is more than 6 months or that otherwise does not meet the definition of a short-term course, or wishes to continue their studies after completing a short-term course,  they will need to apply for both a CAQ and Study Permit. Your spouse/common-law partner:

  • Must first apply for their CAQ from Immigration Quebec; and then
  • Apply online for their Study Permit, and include a copy of your valid Study Permit with their application.

*IMPORTANT*

Children

*IMPORTANT* Children should travel to Canada with their immunization records and, if applicable, official school records (in English or French), as these may be required to register for daycare or school.

*IMPORTANT* For resources for McGill parents – including schooling, childcare, and family-friendly activities, see here.

Your child can come to Canada as your accompanying dependant if your child meets the definition of a dependent child. Children qualify as dependants if:

  • they are under 22 years old, and
  • they do not have a spouse or common-law partner

In some cases, children 22 years or older may qualify as dependents if they meet specific criteria. If you are not sure if your child qualifies as a dependant, find out here.

Your child can come to Canada as:

  • a visitor, if they will be attending daycare (“garderie”) or kindergarten (“maternelle”), or if they are too young to go to daycare or kindergarten
  • a student, if they will be attending elementary/primary school (1st to 6th grade), secondary school (7th to 11th grade / secondary 1 to secondary 5, or post-secondary school.

You can find out if your child needs a Certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ) here.

You can find out if your child needs a Study Permit here

Visit

*IMPORTANT* If you will be entering Canada together, you should request that your child be issued a visitor record valid until the expiration of your study permit or work permit.

Your child can come to Canada as a visitor if they will:

  • be attending daycare (“garderie”)
  • be attending kindergarten (“maternelle” – held in elementary schools)
  • will not be attending daycare, kindergarten, elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school (e.g. too young to attend daycare or school; visiting Canada for a short period of time, such as a school holiday) 

If your child will be attending daycare (i.e. is 5 years old or less) or kindergarten (called “maternelle” in French), or if your child is too young to attend daycare or kindergarten, they can simply come to Canada as a visitor. Once in Canada as a visitor, your child can then continue on to elementary school without needing a CAQ or Study Permit. Your child must maintain a valid visitor status throughout their stay or studies in Canada.

Depending on your child’s country of citizenship, they may need to obtain a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada.

The border services officer at the port of entry (e.g. airport or land border) will decide how long your child can stay in Canada. The officer will use one of three ways, as described on Immigration Canada’s website, to note how long your child can stay in Canada. It is important that your child leaves Canada or applies to extend their stay by or before the expiry date of their authorized stay.

CAQ & study permit exemptions

In Quebec, the age of majority is 18.

The following minor children (i.e., children under 18 years) do not need to apply for a CAQ or Study Permit to study:

  • are attending kindergarten
  • are already in Canada as a visitor and

-   their parents are allowed to work or study in Canada and

-   will attend pre-school, primary, or secondary school

  • are refugees or refugee claimants
  • parents are refugees or refugee claimants

You can read more about Study Permit exemptions here.

You can read more about CAQ exemptions here.

Study

*IMPORTANT* If your child entered and remained in Canada as a visitor, to attend kindergarten or before he/she was of school-age, your child does not need a CAQ or Study Permit to study at the elementary (“primary”) and secondary levels. However, they must maintain a valid visitor status for the duration of their stay or studies in Canada.

Your child must apply for a CAQ and Study Permit before entering Canada if your child will:

  • be attending elementary/primary school (1st grade to 6th grade)
  • be attending secondary school (7th grade to 11th grade / secondary 1 to secondary 5)
  • be attending post-secondary school (e.g. CEGEP, university)

All students who will have children with them in Canada and intend to send them to school (1st grade or higher), must obtain a CAQ and a Letter of Introduction for a Study Permit for each child before coming to Canada.

School registration can be done after you have arrived in Montreal – i.e., your child does not need to provide a letter of acceptance from an educational institution with their CAQ and Study Permit applications.

*IMPORTANT TIPS*

  • When applying for your child(ren)’s CAQ and Study Permit, include:

-  A copy of your acceptance letter from McGill

-  An explanatory letter explaining that your child(ren) will be joining you in Canada during your studies at McGill

-  A copy of your Study Permit *If you will be applying for your child(ren)’s Study Permit(s) separately from your own

Resources for families with children 

Daycare

*IMPORTANT* Apply for childcare as soon as possible as there are often long waitlists ranging from a few months to 3 years. Waitlists are especially long for spots in subsidized daycares.

There are a variety of childcare options for children 5 years and under who are not old enough to attend kindergarten (“maternelle”). These services may be:

  • Subsidized by the Quebec government – i.e., offered at a reduced cost to parents, ranging from $8.05 to $21.95 per day (accurate as of January 2018). *Note that very few international students are eligible for subsidized daycare. Also, waiting times to secure a spot in a subsidized daycare can range anywhere from a few months to 3 years.
  • Un-subsidized *Fees vary widely, starting at approximately $35 per day.

For more information on:

  • Resources for parents at McGill, see here
  • Different types of daycares and how to register your child for daycare, see here 
  • Finding a daycare in your neighbourhood, see a map of daycares here

Subsidized daycare

Only certain foreign students and temporary workers are eligible for subsidized (“reduced contribution”) daycare spaces. In order to send your child to a subsidized daycare, you must fall into one of the following categories:

  • FOREIGN STUDENT who holds a CAQ and who is the recipient of the PBEEE /Quebec Merit Scholarship & DE/DS for Foreign Students. *For more information, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.
  • TEMPORARY WORKER who holds a work permit (or who is exempt from the obligation to hold such a permit) and is in Québec primarily in order to work. *Holders of open work permits who are accompanying spouses or common-law partners of full-time international students are not part of this category.

The following subsidized daycares are available on McGill’s Downtown Campus and Macdonald Campus:

  • McGill CPE (Downtown Campus). For more information see here.
  • SSMU Daycare, run by the Student’s Society of McGill (Downtown Campus). Priority goes to children of full-time undergraduate students. For more information see here.
  • Macdonald Campus Daycare (Macdonald Campus)

For the McGill CPE (Childcare Centre), you must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

1.     You are a full-time student at McGill

2.     You are the recipient of the PBEEE, and

3.     In two-parent families, the second parent holds proof of full-time studies or full-time employment 

 

UNSUBSIDIZED DAYCARE

If you do not qualify for subsidized daycare, you may opt for unsubsidized private or home-based daycares, drop-in community daycare services, or babysitting services for younger children. 

Kindergarten

Your child does not need a CAQ or Study Permit to attend kindergarten (“maternelle” in French).

Kindergarten is typically held in an elementary (“primary”) school. Your child must be 5 years old on or before September 30th in order to attend kindergarten.

For more information on:

  • Schooling, visit McGill’s Family Care website.
  • How to find the school boards available in your area, visit Le Directeur général des élection du Québec website. *You will need to input your postal code.
  • English elementary schools, visit the Quebec English School Boards Association website
  • French elementary schools, visit La Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec website
  • Private schools, visit the Quebec Association of Independent Schools website

Elementary, secondary & some post-secondary

In the province of Quebec, elementary and secondary education is governed by regional school boards. Parents should contact the appropriate school board to find out where the nearest school is located and to obtain information about registration procedures.

For more information on:

  • Schooling, visit McGill’s Family Care website.
  • How to find the school boards available in your area, visit Le Directeur général des élection du Québec website. *You will need to input your postal code.
  • English elementary and secondary schools, visit Quebec English School Boards Association website
  • French elementary and secondary schools, visit La Fédération des commissions scolaires du Québec website
  • CEGEPS (post-secondary schools with career programs and pre-university programs), visit Les CÉGEPS du Québec website

Parents who wish to send their children to private schools should contact the individual schools directly. Tuition fees vary, and, depending on the school, can be quite substantial. For more information, visit the Quebec Association of Independent Schools website.

 

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