Foreign nationals of all ages come to Canada to pursue their studies. In fact, Canada is currently ranked as the third best country in the world for its education system.
We have handled immigration applications for students in all levels of the education system, from elementary school to secondary school to post-secondary school. A common question we receive from those wishing to study in Canada is whether or not they need a custodian and what exactly a custodian is.
What is a custodian?
A custodian is a responsible adult who will take care of and support the minor while they study in Canada. An eligible custodian is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18.
Custodians are legally required to care for the child as a guardian would – this includes providing financial and social support for the student while they are under their care. They must also be easily reachable should an emergency situation arise in which their presence is required. For this reason, the custodian must live within a reasonable distance from the student.
Who needs a custodian?
Minor children must either come to Canada with their parent or legal guardian or have a custodian in Canada who will support them for the duration of their academic program.
Responsibilities of a Custodian
Although custodians are not legally liable for the student, custodianship is still a serious responsibility. The custodian must provide the care and support the student needs to ensure they are successful while attending school in Canada. This may include:
Assisting with the student’s arrival
Attend admissions intake meeting(s) with the student’s academic institution
Meet with the student’s academic advisor or guidance counsellor
During the school year
Serve as an official contact for the school regarding the student’s educational progress and behaviour
Provide consent (as required) for academic programs and activities (e.g. field trips)
Attend parent-teacher interviews
Send progress reports and report cards to the student’s parents
Communicate with the student’s parents about the status of their academic progress
Advise the student’s parents of any issues pertaining to the student’s social, emotional, physical, or academic wellbeing
Finding a Custodian
There are many ways to find a custodian for your child in Canada. Our clients often attend schools in the Durham Region. The most popular schools we assist in submitting study permit applications for include:
We also assist clients who have not yet reached the age of majority but are enrolled at a postsecondary institution. Some schools we provide assistance with include:
Centennial College (Toronto)
Trent University (Oshawa and Peterborough)
Durham College (Oshawa and Whitby)
Fleming College (Peterborough)
We currently recommend to custodianship service providers in the GTA:
Student Guardianship Services provides custodianship services to students in Eastern Ontario.
Hospitalité Canada is located in St. Catharines, Ontario. They provide custodianship services to those in the Niagara Region.
If you need a custodian, you may consider approaching a friend or family member already living in Canada, if they would be willing to take on the responsibility. This person needs to meet the eligibility requirements and complete the Custodian Declaration form.
Both the custodian and the parents/guardians must then sign the form. The student’s parents/legal guardians will then produce a letter of permission stating that their child is able to study in Canada under the supervision/custodianship of the custodian. Both the form and the letter must be notarized by a notary public and submitted either before or after the study permit application is made.
Whether you are applying for a study permit from inside Canada (as a Visitor), or from outside Canada in your home country, there are many steps involved in the process. For this reason, Study Permit applications are one of our most popular services. From eligibility requirements to forms to supporting documents, the application process can be both lengthy and daunting. Not to mention, minor errors often lead to the return of an application.
If you are unsure of what steps to take next, contact us.
We can help you determine the best course of action for your unique situation and ensure your immigration goals are met with success.