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Custodianship IES


Children under the age of 18 are considered minors in Canada. They must follow the same rules to enter Canada as any other visitor. In addition to the documents needed to enter Canada, a minor will need additional documents if s/he is less than 18 years of age and comes to Canada to study without a parent or legal guardian. The minor must be cared for by a responsible adult in Canada. This person is known as a custodian.

Custodianship requires that legal arrangements be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent. 

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Canada (IRCC) requires that a custodian must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada over the age of 19.

All minor applicants must supply a notarized Custodian Declaration —one signed by the parents or legal guardians in the country of origin, as well as one signed by the custodian in Canada—stating that arrangements have been made for the custodian to act in place of a parent.

YRDSB will also issue the Education Services Agreement which must be signed by the custodian (Education Designate), parents and student and returned at the time of school registration.

For the purposes of studying at YRDSB, the Custodian Declaration form (Parent & Custodian) must be submitted in all cases (even if the child will reside with a parent), and the custodian must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 25 and must reside within a reasonable distance of the student if not living at the same location.

In addition to the legal responsibilities of a custodian, YRDSB requires that the custodian be the official contact for the International Education Services department and the school in matters regarding the international student. If the custodian cannot fulfill this role, another custodian must be appointed. 

Canada Homestay Network and MLI Homestay provide custodianship service to students placed in their homestay program.


Below we have included general guidelines that may be considered when selecting a custodian. The role of the custodian includes regular care, support and supervision of the student at all times. This includes school-related, personal and medical emergencies as required. Expectations of a custodian may include and are not limited to:

  • Assist the student with arrival; attend appointments such as documentation verification, and school registration
  • For elementary-age students, make an appointment with the Reception Centre upon arrival
  • Attend any meetings and/or appointments required by the school or International Education Services relating to the student
  • Responding to and attending medical and emergency situations at school and otherwise
  • Assist the student in finding medical care, and the submission of medical insurance claims
  • As required, ensure immunization records are submitted to York Region Public Health
  • Provide parental advice to student regarding school program and activities, and attend parent/teacher interviews
  • Provide consent as needed by the school for academic program and activities
  • Report absences and provide authorization to the school as required
  • Maintain a copy of the student’s timetable, and provide consent for timetable changes
  • Receive, review and sign the student’s report card
  • Advise parents immediately of any school-related, behavioural or emotional issues impacting the student
  • Assist the student with the academic renewal process
  • Assist the student in ensuring all textbooks, musical instruments and any other school supplies are returned to the school by the student at the conclusion of each semester/term
  • Advocate for the student on behalf of parents
  • Maintain up-to-date contact information with the school and International Education Services, and provide an additional emergency contact
  • Maintain a copy of the medical insurance policy​
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