Required immigration documents for your accompanying family

Family members of study permit holders are able to gain temporary resident status so that they can accompany the student, in Canada, for the duration of the student’s studies.

Family members include:

  • a spouse or common-law partner,
  • dependent children, and their dependent children. 

Accompanying Family will need:

1. Authorization to enter Canada in the form of a

2. Authorization to remain in Canada, in the form of a


Your family member(s) and you can apply for your immigration documents together, from outside of Canada, through a Visa Application Centre (VAC). Or, your family member(s) can apply at a later date, and join you in Canada after you have arrived. Your family member(s) will still apply through their local VAC.

If your family members will join you in Canada after you have arrived, you will need to support their application by writing a letter of invitation and providing the suggested supporting documents. Also, advise your family to have the below documents with them at the Port of Entry (Canadian border crossing).

1. Authorization to Enter Canada

Depending on the country of citizenship, your family members will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) or an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to travel to Canada. Everyone requires a TRV or eTA to enter Canada except Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents and American citizens.

2. Authorization to Remain in Canada

Visitor Status

A person may present themselves at a Canadian Port of Entry with only a TRV or eTA. The Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) officer can authorize the individual’s entry into Canada, as a visitor.  The default time period is six months, but visitor status can be conferred for longer or shorter.

The default, six-month authorization is sometimes recorded in the form of a stamp and handwritten date below the stamp in ones passport. It is becoming common for CBSA agents to not stamp passports and simply record this information electronically. It is your responsibility to be aware when your legal status in Canada expires.

The agent may authorize a visitor status for a period longer than six months if it is for the purpose of accompanying ones’ spouse or parents while they study in Canada. As such, have a copy of your spouse’s study permit, TRV and passport with you. In this case, the agent will generate a Visitor Record, which states the period of entry that has been granted.

Work Permit

The spouses and common-law partners of some international students may be eligible for an open work permit. To check the eligibility criteria, please consult this information: Help your spouse or common-law partner work in Canada - . This work permit allows them to remain in Canada as a worker and work until the permit is valid. They also must follow any conditions listed on that work permit (e.g. where they are not authorized to work).

Study Permit for your children

A minor child (under the age of 18 in Saskatchewan) who is already in Canada accompanying at least one parent who is authorized to study or work in Canada may study in Canada without a study permit at the pre-school, primary and secondary levels. With that said, the child must have valid visitor status for the duration of their time in Canada. Please reference the visitor status section above.

A minor child (under the age of 18 in Saskatchewan) whose parent is not authorized to work or study in Canada (for example, their parent is authorized as a visitor), must apply for a study permit from their country of last permanent residence and is not allowed to study in Canada without a valid study permit.

To find out more about the study permit for your child and how to apply if needed, please check the IRCC website and the guidelines for minor children page. 

Supporting documents

To support your family members immigration documents application, you should send them the suggested supporting documents listed below. 

  • Letter of invitation: Write this letter yourself by consulting the IRCC guide and ISSAC template. Please note, some Visa Application Centers (VAC) require the letter to be notarized by a Notary Public.  Ensure your family or friends follow the procedures required by the VAC they are applying through.  
  • Copy of your passport
  • Copy of your marriage certificate (if inviting your spouse)
  • Copy of your children’s birth certificate proving their connection to you (if applicable)
  • Proof of available funds (if you will be paying for your family member’s or your friend’s visit)
  • A Confirmation of Enrolment Letter for current students or a Completion Letter for recent graduates
  • Copy of your study permit for current students: Your study permit should be valid for the length of your family members' stay in Canada

In addition, if your family member is applying for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), they must satisfy the visa officer that they will leave Canada prior to their immigration status expiring. They can do this by providing proof of strong economic and social ties to their home country. 

  • Examples of economic ties can include: a letter of employment, a proof property or business ownership, bank statements, financial investments, etc.
  • Examples of social ties can include: family members left behind who depend on them for financial and other support, proof that they must return home to meet their social obligations to their community and family, etc. 

Port of Entry

In addition to the required immigration documents, have a copy of the student’s study permit, temporary resident visa (if applicable) and passport that you are coming to accompany in Canada. For more information about travelling to Canada, please see here.

Health plans

Family members who are planning on living with you in Canada must apply for a Saskachewan Health Card. In addition, learn more about buying extended family coverage with your Student Health and Dental Plan.

Renewing Immigration Documents

For many immigration document applications, IRCC provides the option to apply for the entire family together. Consider this when applying for, or extending your own and your family members’ immigration documents. You and your family can apply to renew documents from within Canada. Online applying is a must now for most individuals. 

Getting help

Use the International Student Guide to learn about life as an international student at the U of S including immigration matters and information on working and living in Canada.

International Student Guide

If you can't find what you need in the International Student Guide contact The International Student and Study Abroad Centre (ISSAC). We are here to help! Drop-in advising is available.