International students who bring their families to Canada while they are studying need to consider some important factors. With the amount of time that students will have to devote to their studies and research, serious thought should be given to the activities of the spouse and family during the study period. This section will examine some of the options available and considerations that must be addressed before you decide to bring the family for a prolonged stay.
If you are asking for temporary immigration status for your family members who will be accompanying you, be sure to provide personal information about each individual and evidence of the financial means to support them. You should also include them in your McGill Health Insurance Coverage; opt for a Family coverage.
Spouses of full-time international students coming to Canada who are not full-time students may seek employment on or off campus. A Work Permit must be obtained PRIOR to employment. For this Work Permit, the applicant must provide supporting documents to confirm that:
- He/She is the legal spouse or common-law partner of the student
- His/Her spouse holds a valid Study Permit and is a full-time student at a post-secondary institution in Canada
The spouse Work Permit can be obtained once you and your family have arrived in Montreal. For more information, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.
Spouses wishing to study at a university or college will require a CAQ and Study Permit (except when enrolling in study programs that are completed in less than 6 months). There are also interest courses available for adults that do not require immigration approval.
If your child will be entering Canada to attend elementary or secondary school (grade 1 or higher), he/she will need a CAQ and Study Permit before entering Canada. If you child is going to kindergarten or daycare (i.e. is 5 years old or less), he/she can simply come to Canada as a Visitor (after which he/she can continue on to elementary school without needing a CAQ or Study Permit - see details on the CIC website).
Obtaining a CAQ & Study Permit for your children
It is very important to keep in mind that all students who will have children with them in Canada and intend to send them to school, MUST obtain a CAQ and Study Permit for each child before coming to Canada.
School registration can be done once you have arrived in Montreal. 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, please visit the Quebec English School Boards Associations website.
Parents who wish to send their children to private schools should contact the individual schools directly. Tuition fees vary, but are quite substantial. For more information, visit the Quebec Association of Independent Schools website.
McGill does offer students a daycare facility. For further information, click here. However, in order to qualify for services offered by the McGill Childcare Centre, you must meet the following two eligibility criteria:
- Be the recipient of the PBEEE/Quebec Merit Scholarship & DE/DS for Foreign Students. For more information, visit the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website.
- The second parent holds proof of full-time student or employment status.
Only those families that meet the above two criteria may benefit from the services. Please note that the waiting period to secure a spot for your child ranges from 6 months to 3 years.
If you do not qualify for the McGill Childcare Centre, you may opt for private daycare, home-based daycare or babysitting facilities for younger children. Usually, there is a long waitlist for enrolment; therefore you should apply as early as possible. Although the provincial government subsidizes daycare costs for Quebec residents, international students are not eligible for the $7/day daycare services except students who are awarded the PBEEE/Quebec Merit Scholarship & DE/DS for Foreign Students. You may be expected to pay $25 to $50 per day to access daycare services.
For a complete list of daycares and interesting parenting information, click here.