Minor children who come to Canada unaccompanied must be cared for by a responsible adult who is known as a Custodian. In Canada, each province and territory decides the age when a person is considered to be an adult. This is called the age of majority. A person under the age of majority is considered to be a minor child in Canada. In British Columbia, the age of majority is 19 years.
Our Monitored Custodial Guardianship Service is offered to unaccompanied minor-aged students who intend to reside in either:
- a homestay arranged and/or approved by First Choice International Placement Inc.; or
- on-campus at a recognized public or private post-secondary institution.
Role of the Custodial Guardian
A Custodial Guardian's primary role is to ensure that a minor-aged student is safe and has the necessary advice and support to reside safely within Canada. To do this one or more of our competent staff is assigned to monitor the minor-aged student and to offer support by:
- Maintaining ongoing and deliberate contact with the student;
- Liaising and/or intervening with school officials and representatives;
- Offering guidance in opening bank accounts, purchasing pre-paid cell phones;
- Signing parental waivers for school-related functions and activities;
- Referrals to important community services such as libraries, fitness clubs, etc.;
- Assist in accessing immediate and/or ongoing medical services;
- Monitoring overall mental, physical and emotional well-being of the student;
- Mediating disputes involving student and assigned host family or residence manager;
- Explaining local laws and regulations; and
- Responding 24/7 to emergency situations involving the student.
Establishing a Custodial Guardianship Relationship
To establish a recognized Custodial Guardianship relationship in Canada two notarized documents are required. First, a Custodian Declaration is prepared by the person who will serve as the student's Custodian. This document confirms that a local individual is available and willing to represent the parent's interests in ensuring that the student has adequate care and support.
Second, a Parent Declaration is prepared by the natural parents or legal guardians. This document confirms that the natural parents give permission for the assigned Custodian to act on their behalf. It validates the Custodian's role in relation to the minor-aged student.
Upon receipt of a completed Application for Custodial Guardianship a draft custodial declaration will be forwarded to you for review. Once the accuracy of the information has been confirmed we will arrange to have the document signed, notarized and then couriered to you so that it may be used in applying for a study permit to enter Canada.
Once a Canadian Visa Officer is satisfied that adequate arrangements have been made for the care and support for an unaccompanied minor they will generally give favourable consideration to the approval of a study permit, provided the student has met all other requirements of the Canadian Government.