If you are considered a minor in Canada, defined as under the age of 18 (19 in British Columbia and New Brunswick), you will require a custodian in order to obtain your study permit from Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).
For more information, see the CIC website.
Even if you do not require a study permit to attend school in Canada (if your studies last 6 months or less), CHI policy requires all students who are minors to have a Custodian if they are traveling alone to Canada (without their parents or another adult escort or chaperone who will act ‘in loco parentis’).
Canada Homestay International can act as your legal custodian while you are in Canada, as long as you are in the CHI Homestay Program and registered in good standing in your school.
The process is as follows:
1. Your parents or legal guardians must sign a “Parental Consent to Custodianship”, granting CHI the authority to act as your custodian. Click here to download this form. This document must be notarized in your home country and sent to CHI.
2. Upon receipt of your notarized Parental Consent and after payment of the necessary fees, CHI will send you a notarized document, signed by the custodian in Canada, declaring that CHI has accepted the role of custodian for you.
3. In addition to your Letter of Acceptance from your school, you will take these documents when you apply for your study permit.
The purpose of this entire process is to satisfy the CIC that adequate arrangements have been made for the care and support for minor children who travel to Canada to study.
Please note, custodians are not the same as guardians. “Guardian” is a legal term; guardians are substitute decision-makers for people (like children) who are deemed to be incapable of making decisions that are fundamental to his/her well-being. The inference is that legal guardians have a more formal legal relationship with children in their care than custodians.The Canadian law governing defines the obligations of a custodian to:
• make adequate arrangements for the care and support of the student and
• reside within a reasonable distance of the minor child’s intended residence and school.
All of CHI’s custodians live in the same city as the student.