What Visa to Apply for When Accompanying Minor Child or Spouse Studying Abroad in Canada

Are you considering accompanying your underage child while they study in Canada? Perhaps you’re planning to support your partner’s educational journey in the country. If these thoughts have crossed your mind, you’ve likely encountered a common question: ‘What type of visa should I apply for?’ To clarify, Canada doesn’t have a specific visa designed for accompanying minor child or spouse studying abroad. Instead, the process is governed by what’s known as the ” visitor record “.

Today, our goal is to provide you with comprehensive insights and answers about the procedure for maintaining temporary legal residency in Canada while accompanying your minor child, spouse, or partner during their study abroad experience. As you embark on this journey, understanding all the associated details and requirements is paramount. Armed with this information, whether you’re accompanying your child or partner, this voyage will transform into a truly unforgettable experience, allowing you to share moments of learning and growth together.

Should you have any questions or require professional immigration services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. With a 16-year history as an immigration agency based in Calgary, we specialize in offering tailor-made immigration solutions and efficient services. We eagerly anticipate collaborating with you to transform your Canadian dream into a tangible reality!

What is the ‘Visitor Record’?

The Visitor Record serves the purpose of either extending or restricting your stay in Canada, while also outlining the specific conditions applicable during your time in the country. It’s crucial to understand that the Visitor Record is distinct from a traditional visa; it functions as a document for extending or limiting your legal residency status in Canada temporarily. This document facilitates parents in legally accompanying their underage children or permits partners of international students to stay alongside them in Canada.

It’s important to note that the Visitor Record is not valid for entry or exit (except for travel to the U.S.). If you belong to a visa-exempt country, you’ll need to apply for the ‘Electronic Travel Authorization’ (ETA) to enter Canada. Conversely, individuals from non-visa-exempt countries will need to apply for a tourist visa. The Visitor Record is applicable to all foreigners who require an extension of their stay in Canada, encompassing students, workers, and visitors.

For instance, if your child possesses a study permit, you’ll need to apply for a Visitor Record to accompany them for an extended period within Canada. Similarly, if your partner is an international student and you intend to accompany them during their studies abroad, a Visitor Record application is essential. This applies as well if your partner holds a work permit, and you desire to reside alongside them in Canada. In each of these scenarios, applying for a Visitor Record ensures that the validity period aligns with that of your child’s or partner’s permit.

It’s noteworthy that holders of Visitor Records are not authorized to work or study in Canada. This understanding of the Visitor Record’s purpose and limitations is crucial as you navigate the process of accompanying your loved ones during their educational journey in Canada.”

Documents needed to apply for a Visitor Record:
  • Valid passport for over 6 months
  • Valid study permit of your child/partner
  • Proof of enrollment for your child/partner’s school
  • Proof of relationship with your child/partner
  • Proof of sufficient funds (bank statements)
Visitor Record Application Process:
  1. Parents or partners enter Canada with an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) or regular tourist visa.
  2. Submit the application form and relevant documents. Pay the application fee.
  3. Await review and approval.
  4. Once the Visitor Record is received, you can stay in Canada until the expiry date.
Important Notes:
  • Visitor record can only be applied for within Canada, not from abroad.
  • Only one parent can apply for the visitor record to accompany the minor child, not both simultaneously.
  • You must apply for a visitor record before your current status expires, approval is not assured upon submission.
  • First-time extensions often require medical exams.
  • Holders are not allowed to work in Canada; a separate work permit application is required.
  • Holders are not allowed to study in Canada; a separate study permit application is required.