Many minors wish to reside temporarily in Canada. Their reasons for doing so range from making extended visits to the more common scenario of studying in Canada as an international student.
In order to obtain a visitor visa or a study permit, minor applicants generally must supply two notarized declarations. The first is from the parent or legal guardian in the applicant’s country of origin. The second is from the minor applicant’s intended custodian in Canada, stating that arrangements have been made for the custodian to act in place of the parent and to support the child.
On September 15, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada introduced an exception to the custodianship requirement to some minor’s aged 17 and older.
Under 17 Years of Age
If a minor is less than 17 years of age at the time of application, a Canadian custodian will be required. In addition to the information already required on the forms, custodians will also now have to confirm that they will reside within a reasonable distance to the minor applicant’s intended residence and/or school.
Minors Aged 17 Years or Older
Applicants who are between 17 years of age and the age of majority in the applicant’s respective intended province of residence will now no longer automatically be required to have a custodian. Instead, applications will be assessed on a case by case basis.
In considering whether custodianship is required, officers must consider:
- Level of the applicant’s studies – Those attending secondary school will normally require a custodian.
- Level of independence – If the applicant has previously lived abroad independently then he/she will not require a custodian.
- Financial capacity.
- Travel experience
- Accessibility of parent(s)/guardian(s)
- Informal arrangements – Whether arrangements less formal than custodianship have been made to provide support and care for the minor student.
- Risk environment.