As a full-time student, Canada’s immigration policy allows you to bring family members (spouse or common-law partner and dependent children) to Canada with you as visitors, provided they meet normal visitor requirements. As with all temporary residents of Canada, including yourself, the family member(s) you wish to bring with you will require either a Temporary Resident Visa or an electronic Travel Authorization.
If your spouse is also planning on studying in Canada, he or she will be required to apply for his or her own study permit separately. If you plan on putting your dependent child into primary or secondary school (grades K-12) your child will not require a study permit as long as your own is valid. If your child is eighteen years of age or older, or will be attending post-secondary studies, he or she will require his or her own study permit.
You should budget a minimum of $4,000 a year in additional expenses for your first dependent (spouse or child), and an extra $3,000 per additional dependent, according to IRCC's requirements for financial support. Cost of living for a family of four for one year would be upwards of $20,000. This does not include childcare expenses, which average between $650 and $900 per child, per month. Please note that government subsidies are not available for childcare. Given this, you may wish to arrange for your family to come at a later date, after you have familiarized yourself with life in Canada and are satisfied that enough money is available to support them.
Some students with sufficient financial resources may prefer to apply for immigration documents for their family members at the same time as they apply for their study permit. If your family members are denied temporary status in Canada, this may affect your decision to study here.
Open Work Permit for Spouse or Common-Law Partner
If you are enrolled full-time at the University of Lethbridge, your spouse or common-law partner may apply for an open work permit to work in Canada. The open work permit would be valid for the same duration of time as your study permit.
If you are planning to bring your spouse/partner or dependent children with you to Canada, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to provide you some support and advice on your next steps.