Applications by Family Members of Departing Foreign Representatives to Pursue Studies in Canada

Administrative Requirements | General Guidelines

1. Policy Objective and Scope of Application

1.1 Accredited members of the family of foreign representatives or of officials of international organizations established in Canada may extend their stay in Canada beyond the expiry of the diplomatic or official status of the principal, namely for the purpose of pursuing studies, if they comply with the conditions imposed on them under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its related regulations. Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada will, where possible and appropriate, provide a level of assistance to facilitate the extended stay in Canada of such persons. This document clarifies the policy regarding the processing of applications from diplomatic missions and international organizations seeking permission for family members wishing to remain in Canada after the employee's departure for purposes of continuing their education.

1.2 The following policy substitutes Circular Note XDC-0759 of October 15, 2001.

1.3 Nothing in this policy should be construed as preventing Canada from applying the provisions contained herein restrictively on the basis of reciprocity or if it finds necessary to protect the health and safety of Canadians and to safeguard the security of the Canadian public or if it is otherwise necessary to deny support to family members intent on extending their stay in Canada.

2. Delegation of Authorities

2.1 The Office of Protocol of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) is responsible for processing and assessing requests from diplomatic missions and international organizations seeking approval for family members to remain in Canada for the purpose of continuing their education. DFAIT also ensures appropriate liaison with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC).

2.2 The Department of Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) administrates the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its related regulations and sets the policy regarding the processing and assessment of applications for study permits submitted by family members of foreign representatives or of officials of international organizations wishing to extend their stay in Canada as temporary residents beyond the principal's assignment in Canada for the purpose of pursuing studies.

3. Definitions

For the purpose of this policy, the following expressions have the following meaning:

"spouses" and "children" refer to the definitions contained in DFAIT's circular notes XDC-3196 of November 12, 2004 and XDC-0643 of April 25, 2005, and other relevant letters sent to international organizations.

4. Policy and Administrative Requirements

4.1 Accredited family members may study in Canada without first obtaining a study permit. However, such persons require an extension of temporary resident status and a valid study permit from CIC to pursue studies in Canada in the event that the principal (i.e. the parent) has left Canada or if diplomatic/official status has expired. Such persons also normally require a "No Objection" Note or Letter from DFAIT prior to submitting an application for an extension of temporary resident status and study permit.

4.2 As Canada withdraws diplomatic or official status of family members immediately after the departure of the principal or upon official notification that his/her functions have effectively come to end or when he/she is no longer recognized as a foreign representative or officials of an international organization, whichever comes first, a family member intent on remaining in Canada to pursue studies must apply for both the "No Objection" Note or Letter and the study permit before this diplomatic or official status expires. The application for the "No Objection" Note or Letter must be submitted to DFAIT's Office of Protocol by the diplomatic missions and international organizations concerned while the application form for a study permit must be submitted to CIC in a personal capacity.

A family member who no longer enjoys diplomatic or official status in Canada is not authorized to study in Canada without CIC's authorization and an extension of temporary resident status.

4.3. Service Standards: DFAIT's Office of Protocol normally processes requests for "No Ojection" Notes or Letters within fifteen (15) to twenty (20) working days in the order that these were received, without exception. Applicants may therefore find it quicker to have the application for such a Note or Letter submitted by the diplomatic missions, international organization or other office four (4) months prior to the principal's end of assignment.

In the event that a diplomatic mission or international organization requests a "No Objection" Note or Letter following the end of diplomatic or official status, the request will still be processed within the prescribed service standards.

4.4 "No Objection" Refusals: Decisions to issue a "No Objection" Note or Letter rests exclusively with DFAIT, which is responsible to determine if circumstances are sufficient to justify such issuance. The Department is not obliged to provide reasons for a refusal to the diplomatic mission or international organization. Further, a refusal does not preclude an applicant from becoming and remaining in Canada as a temporary resident provided that he/she has regularized his/her status with CIC and fulfilled the requirements under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

4.5 Inland Application for Study Permits: Family members having obtained the "No Objection" Note or Letter must subsequently apply for an extension of their temporary residence status in Canada and the study permit, and pay the related fee. Application forms (which accompany the "No Objection" Note or Letter) can be submitted inland to the Case Processing Centre-Vegreville, Alberta. It is essential that the application submitted to CIC include the DFAIT's "No Objection" Note or Letter, a photocopy of a valid passport or travel document, an official letter of acceptance or valid proof of enrollment in a recognized educational institution, as well as supporting evidence of sufficient funds. If a person applied for a study permit and his/her temporary resident status expired before a decision by CIC is made but remained in Canada, such person is implied as having temporary resident status. For other situations, including when the applicant has left Canada, one should contact CIC directly to determine implications.

Can a person who no longer enjoys diplomatic or official status still apply inland for a study permit?

A family member no longer enjoying diplomatic or official status may apply to reinstate or restore temporary resident status if he/she has not been out of status for more than 90 days and if CIC is satisfied that the applicant is a genuine temporary resident. The application cost recovery fee is presently $200.

4.6 Students under the age of majority and those who are unable to support themselves may not stay in Canada unaccompanied and must satisfy custodianship requirements under the Immigration Act. This includes, but is not limited to, providing proof in the form of notarized and signed declarations by the parent or legal guardian that adequate arrangements are in place for the care and support of those who are unable to support themselves. Spouses wishing to remain in Canada with their children during the study period are also required to obtain a "No Objection" Note or Letter from DFAIT's Office of Protocol, following which they must apply to CIC for an extension of their temporary resident status.

4.7 It must be emphasized that the "No Objection" Note or Letter is merely one of numerous relevant factors in CIC's determination of whether or not to extend temporary resident status and study permits to family members following the principal's departure. Further, the authority and final decision for the issuance of study permits and Temporary Resident status rests exclusively with Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Therefore, diplomatic missions and international organizations cannot appeal a negative decision to DFAIT.

5. Student Fees

It is the sole responsibility of educational institutions, in accordance with established provincial legislation and regulations, to determine which study fees (international, Canadian, etc.) apply to formerly accredited family members who are authorized to study in Canada. As practices vary from province to province, applicants are encouraged to contact the relevant local authorities to obtain information and clarification.

6. Monitoring

DFAIT's Office of Protocol will periodically review the effectiveness of this administrative policy.

7. Enquiries

For interpretation and application of this policy, diplomatic missions and international organizations should contact:

Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Liaison Officer
Diplomatic Corps Services Directorate, Office of Protocol
613-992-0889

Deputy Director, Privileges, Immunities and Accreditation
Diplomatic Corps Services Directorate, Office of Protocol
613-944-5386

By email: Office of Protocol

Last revised: November 28, 2007