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Minor Study Permit

Non Immigration

Minor Study Permit 

Who is a minor?

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 to be 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.


Is a study permit required?

Minor children already in Canada are authorized to study without a study permit at the pre-school, primary or secondary level if

  • 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

  • neither parent is physically in Canada.


Minor children intending to study are required to apply for a study permit before entering Canada.
It should be noted that minor children of a temporary resident (visitor) who is not authorized to work or study require a study permit to study in Canada. 

When a custodian is required

The term “custodianship” is more appropriate for the purposes of a study permit application than the legal term “guardianship”, as guardianship involves an individual being legally appointed to manage the affairs of an individual as opposed to being deemed to have custody of the student.
Section A39 states that a foreign national is inadmissible for financial reasons if they are or will be unable to support themselves. In the case of a minor child, officers must be satisfied that adequate arrangements are in place for the care and support of the child while in Canada.
Consult the standard custodianship declaration form (PDF, 1.02MB) for either the parent(s) or guardian(s), and the custodian.
A custodianship declaration is not required when the minor child is accompanied by at least one parent.
Mandatory custodianship requirement (under 17 years of age)
If an applicant is less than 17 years of age at the time of application, a custodian in Canada will continue to be required. The applicant must submit a notarized declaration signed by the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) in the country of origin, as well as one signed by the custodian in Canada, stating that arrangements have been made for the custodian to act in place of a parent. Officers must be satisfied that adequate arrangements are in place for the care and support of the minor student. The parent(s) or legal guardian(s), and the appointed custodian must acknowledge that the custodian will reside within a reasonable distance to the minor applicant’s intended residence and school. The custodianship declaration should include the information and signature of both parents, where applicable.


Discretionary custodianship requirement (17 to 18 or 19 years of age)

Applications from minors between 17 years of age and the applicable provincial or territorial age of majority at the time of application should be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In assessing whether the custodianship requirement should be applied, officers may exercise discretion in requesting additional documentation or an interview. Officers should be satisfied with respect to whether an applicant can provide care and support to themselves while in Canada.


Source: Government of Canada website

To apply or to learn more: 

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