Guide to Custodianship Declaration for a Minor Studying in Canada

There are several requirements for a minor child (defined as anyone who is under the age of majority, which will depend on the province or territory of residence) who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to study in Canada. One of the requirements being that the parents or legal guardians must prove that the minor child will have the care and support they need during their stay in Canada. Minor children must either:

  • come with a parent or legal guardian; or
  • have a custodian in Canada.

A custodian is an adult, who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, who will take care of and support the minor child. Custodians are optional for minors 17 years of age and older but an officer can request one on a case-by-case basis.

Appointing a Custodian

To appoint a custodian, a completed Custodianship Declaration — Custodian for Minors Studying in Canada (IMM 5646) must be completed and submitted along with the child’s study permit. Although the two pages of the form look similar, however:

  • the first page needs to be signed by the custodian and notarized (certified by a lawyer or notary) in Canada; and
  • the second page needs to be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child and notarized in their home country.

Swearing or Affirming

The declaration must be sworn or affirmed that the information is true before a commissioner for taking affidavits or a notary public. It is a criminal offence to swear a false or misleading affidavit and it is your responsibility to make sure that the information is true.

Up until recently, sworn statements were required to be signed and witnessed in-person. The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General is now permitting lawyers and notaries to virtually witness the physical signing of sworn statements. Once the declaration is complete, you can book an appointment online to notarize the form using our virtual witnessing service.

Additional Resources

See Government of Canada: Studying in Canada as a Minor. If you have questions or need advice about your situation, you should consult with a lawyer. Notary Pro Canada is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.

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