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Inviting Family Members & Friends

This page details how to support family members who want to visit you after you are already in Canada (and how to extend their stay after arriving). 

If you have not yet applied for permission to come to Canada, you should know that as an international student, your spouse, common law partner, and/or children can request status with you. Find details about bringing your dependants with you to Canada

Important!

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in travel restrictions that limit who can travel to Canada.While certain immediate family members (eg. spouses, partners, children, and parents) may still qualify to come to Canada at this time, friends and more distant family members may not.  

Please review the information provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) about uniting with family members and rules for those travellers that meet Canada’s requirements to be considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

If you are already in Canada and wish to invite family or friends to join you, you can support them by sending the following documents to include with their application:

Letter of invitation

A letter of invitation is something you can prepare for your friend/family member(s). 

When writing a letter of invitation, be sure to include the following information:

  • the name, address, and telephone number of the person/people you are inviting;
  • their date of birth;
  • your name, address and telephone number(s) in Canada; and,
  • an invitation to join you in Canada with information about how long you wish them to stay here.

The letter of invitation will be necessary for those whose citizenship requires them to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV), but can also be used by visa-exempt visitors when entering Canada. We recommend you prepare this documentation for anyone that is coming to visit you.

IRCC provides additional detail about writing a letter of invitation.

Your current status documents
  • a copy of your study permit (or work permit, if applicable); and,
  • a confirmation of enrolment letter from ACORN or your registrar’s office (if you are a current student).
Information about financial support

(Mandatory only if inviting a spouse or child to come stay with you during your studies). If the friend/family member is financially supporting themselves, they can prepare the following documents for themselves. If you are providing them with financial support, you can include:

  • a copy of the last four months of your bank statements;
  • a letter describing any scholarships or bursaries you may receive and their specific amount(s);
  • a letter indicating the amount you are paid, if you have a job in Canada;
  • a letter from a sponsor (if you have one) that includes their commitment to support you;
    • proof they have the money to do so; and,
  • documents describing any other source of financial support you have.

A spouse, partner or child/children should be eligible to stay in Canada with you for as long as you have status. But, this permission is not always granted immediately upon arrival. If your spouse/partner gets an open work permit, it will likely expire on the same date as your study permit.

However, if your spouse/partner applies only for a TRV or eTA, they will be admitted to Canada as a visitor. This may also be the case for your children. Those entering Canada with visitor status are usually given status for six months (or fewer).

The exact time period is decided by an immigration officer and the exact expiry date is communicated in one of three ways:

  1. A hand-written date, found under the stamp in the passport which confirms entry to Canada;
  2. A document which states how long the visitor can stay in Canada, known as a visitor record; or,
  3. In some cases, the immigration officer does not write anything on the passport or does not provide a document to the visitor. In such cases, it is assumed that the visitor is allowed to stay in Canada for up to six months from the date of the stamp. If they don’t stamp the passport, it is recommended to keep a record of the flight in case there is a need to prove the date of arrival.

To stay longer, the visitor should apply to extend their stay before the end of the allowed time period. To do so, they should apply for an extension of their status as a visitor, which will allow them to stay longer. A successful application will result in a visitor record being issued.

Visiting parents are not necessarily able to extend their status to match yours. However, they can request an extension of their initial visitor status.

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