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Canada - Government Information/Accompanying Family Member


Dear Mr Morson,

I want to apply for a Canadian study permit and I wonder what to do about the family members form. I am married but my spouse won't accompany me to Canada AT THE MOMENT. (Meaning, I will travel alone and begin my studies in Canada with my spouse staying in my home country). However, I'd like for my spouse to visit me in Canada at one point and, depending our financial situation, to come as my dependent.

So, I am unsure if I should list my spouse as an "accompanying family member" on the form or not. I don't want the immigration officers to think that I want to bring my spouse with me immediately, but at the same time, I don't want my spouse's future application to be weakened by the fact that he's not listed as an accompanying member.

I suppose what I'm trying to ask is what "accompanying family member" means in this context and if saying that a family member is non-accompanying means that your spouse will never be eligible to visit you in Canada or to join you as your dependent.

What is the course of action you'd recommend in my case?


Dear Ana,

There is no risk in indicating that your husband is NOT accompanying you to Canada at this time. Your proposed plan is very sound. He can apply for a visa later, once you are ready. When he is ready to apply for his own visa, he will of course have to demonstrate that he can support himself during his stay in Canada and that he has every incentive to return home after the visit.

You should know as well that spouses of international students may apply for open work permits valid for the duration of the applicant's study permit. That might be of interest to you, but you should be careful to plan it correctly, otherwise the officer could refuse the visa.

Here is more information on work permits for spouses (who can apply at any time):


Contact me directly if you require assistance.

Best wishes,

Tim Morson
Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant
ICCRC No R416007

Canada - Government Information

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Tim Morson


I am a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (RCIC) and former Canadian diplomat and immigration program manager. I have 20 years of federal government experience in Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa, and with the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa, Canada. I am currently the Senior Immigration Advisor for Pace Law Firm in Toronto, the Director of Immigration for the Cirque du Soleil, and the National Policy Director for the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants (CAPIC). I can answer all questions related to Canada's immigration requirements and procedures: (1) permanent residence in Canada for business people (investors, entrepreneurs, self-employed, professionals, skilled workers, provincial nominees, spouses and other family members, humanitarian reasons and refugees; (2) temporary residence -- tourist visas, study permits for international students, work permits, and temporary residence permits; (3) settling in Canada, Canadian residency requirements, Canadian citizenship and Canadian passports; (4) queries concerning Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB), Immigration Québec, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), etc. Please note that my responses are for information purposes only. To formally engage my professional services and obtain professional advice please contact me directly. Je suis couramment bilingue et en mesure de répondre à vos questions en français.


1982-2001 - Counsellor, Consul, Vice-Consul, immigration program manager, deputy director, special advisor and visa officer. I have had various assignments around the world: Asia, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Africa and Canada. Since 2001, I have done migration consulting work for individuals, corporations, institutions, and organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM). I am accredited by the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC). Je suis un ancien diplomate canadien et expert en matière d’immigration. Pendant vingt ans de service avec le gouvernement fédéral, j’ai occupé de nombreux postes diplomatiques et consulaires en Asie, en Europe, aux États-Unis, au Moyen-Orient, aux Antilles, en Afrique, ainsi qu’avec le Ministère de Citoyenneté et Immigration Canada (CIC), et le Ministère des Affaires étrangères et Commerce International du Canada (MAECI) à Ottawa. En tant qu’expert reconnu dans le secteur de l’immigration, j’ai effectué plusieurs travaux de conseil en migration pour l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM), pour des entreprises canadiennes et pour des particuliers. Je suis un consultant canadien agréé en immigration (CCAI) basé à Montréal, Canada. Je suis également membre du Conseil de la Réglementation des consultants en immigration du Canada (CRCIC, membre no R416007), directeur des politiques de l’Association Canadienne des Conseillers Professionnels en Immigration (ACCPI), et directeur d'immigration pour le Cirque du Soleil.

Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (regulatory body), Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.

M.A. Journalism (1992) UWO London, Ontario; B.A. Political Science (1982) Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec; RCIC -- Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.

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