Documents for minor children – Study in Canada

Minor children outside Canada

Minor children applying to study in Canada must submit a study permit application from their country of permanent residence. For information on study permits, visit Studying in Canada: Study permits.

Minor children in Canada

Minor children who are already in Canada accompanying a parent who is permitted to study or work may study in Canada without a study permit at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels.

A minor child of a parent who is not authorized to work or study in Canada (for example, their parent is authorized as a visitor) is not eligible to study in Canada without a study permit. These minor children must apply for a study permit from their country of last permanent residence.

Study permits for primary school students are issued for a period of one year and can be renewed, while study permits for students enrolled in secondary school (grades 9 to 12 in all provinces and territories except Quebec, and grades 9 to 11 in Quebec) can be issued for the full length of the intended period of study at a secondary school in Canada (maximum of four years).

Minor children at the pre-school and kindergarten levels are not required to hold a valid study permit.

Important: Generally, those applying for a study permit, including those at the primary or secondary school level, need to provide a letter of acceptance from the applicable educational institution in Canada. Applicants may provide either the original letter of acceptance or an electronic version.

There is one exception to this requirement: Minor children who are accompanying a family member who has applied and been approved for a work or study permit before entering Canada do not need to provide a letter of acceptance from an educational institution.


Minor children who have come to Canada from other countries often have documents issued by CIC or their country of origin.

The following table summarizes these documents and indicates whether or not the children need a study permit to enrol in a school. School authorities may also use the table to help determine when school fees apply.

Minor Children in Canada:
Documents needed to enrol in
primary or secondary school

If the child is… Documents needed Study permit required
a Canadian Passport, citizenship card, or birth certificate No
a permanent resident Record of Landing (IMM 1000), Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292); or Permanent Resident Card No
a foreign national accompanied by a parent in the visitor class Stamp on the child’s passport or on the father’s or mother’s passport on which the child is listed as a son or daughter Yes
alone or with a parent who is a temporary resident and has a study or work permit Child’s passport or child listed on the parent’s passport. The child may have a visitor record. The parent has a study or work permit. [Note 1] No
a refugee claimant, accompanied or not by a parent Determination of Eligibility letter from CIC. Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or no travel or identity documents. No
in Canada without status Child’s passport or child listed on a parent’s passport, or no travel or identity documents. May also have an expired CIC document. No


  • [1] The child may have either a visitor record or a study permit when entering Canada. The child is authorized to study without a study permit if he or she has only the visitor record or a Canadian entry stamp on his or her passport. [back to note 1]
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