Coming to Canada Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the documentation required and eligibility for a publicly funded education:

CAN I REGISTER MY CHILD IF I DON'T HAVE ALL THE DOCUMENTS?

  • You can open a file for registration, but Welcome Center will keep your child's file until they have seen all of the required documents. The registration is not complete and your child will not be able to attend school until all relevant documents have been submitted.

WHAT DOES "PROOF OF ADDRESS" MEAN?

  • If you are renting a home, you can bring your Residential Tenancy Agreement and a recent utility bill. If you own your home, recent ownership documents and a recent utility bill will be sufficient.  

I DON'T HAVE A PERMANENT ADDRESS YET. CAN MY CHILD GO TO SCHOOL?

  • If you are currently looking for a place to live, your child can register for school if you bring a "proof of address" document. See previous question for more details.

DO I NEED TO TRANSLATE ALL THE DOCUMENTS INTO ENGLISH?

  • All documents must be translated into English before registering. Translations must be certified by a professional translator.

I HAVE A STUDY PERMIT TO STUDY IN CANADA. CAN MY CHILD STUDY IN NELSON WITHOUT PAYING TUITION FEES?

  • For your child to go to school without paying tuition:
    • the child's parent/guardian's study permit must be for at least 1 year, AND
    • the child's parent/guardian must be enrolled in a degree or diploma program at a publicly funded institution or in a degree program at a private post-secondary institution in B.C.
    • Your child does not need his or her own Study Permit.

I HAVE A STUDY PERMIT FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR AND I AM ENROLLED IN AN ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNING (ELL) PROGRAM IN B.C. CAN MY CHILD STUDY IN NELSON WITHOUT PAYING TUITION FEES?

  • For your child to go to school without paying tuition, you must meet all of the following conditions:
    • the parent/guardian is enrolled in an ELL program of up to a year in duration at an institution that has an Education Quality Assurance Designation (EQA). The ELL adult student will be deemed a resident for up to one year only; beyond one year, children of an ELL student will be considered international students and school districts may charge international student fees
    • the parent/guardian has been accepted to a degree or diploma program at a public post secondary institution, or a degree program at a private post-secondary institution in B.C.; and
    • the acceptance to the degree or diploma program is contingent upon the completion of an ELL program.
    • Your child does not need his or her own Study Permit.

IF I HAVE A WORK PERMIT TO WORK IN CANADA, CAN MY CHILD GO TO SCHOOL WITHOUT PAYING TUITION FEES?  DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR A STUDY PERMIT FOR MY CHILD?

  • For your child to go to school without paying tuition:
    • the child's parent/legal guardian must have a valid work permit issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) that is valid for a term of one year or more, AND
    • is or will be employed for at least 20 hours per week, AND
    • the child's parent/legal guardian must be residing in British Columbia
    • Your child does not need his or her own Study Permit.

IF I HAVE ADOPTED A CHILD, HAVE NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE AND THE ADOPTION PAPERS CONTAIN SENSITIVE INFORMATION, WHAT DOCUMENT(S) CAN I PROVIDE?

  • There are several ways to address this concern.  We can copy only the portion of the adoption paper identifying the child's name and the legal guardian's name.  We can also copy other relevant documents that show the relationship of the child and his/her legal guardian.

WHERE CAN I FIND MORE SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT ELIGIBILITY FOR A PUBLICLY FUNDED EDUCATION?

  • The Ministry's guideline regarding eligibility for students to receive a free publicly funded education may be found here.

ARE SCHOOL-AGE STUDENTS WHO HAVE REFUGEE STATUS ELIGIBLE FOR A PUBLICLY FUNDED EDUCATION?

  • Yes. A student who resides in BC and who has made a claim for refugee status is eligible for a publicly funded education. For more information, please visit this site.