Information for families

CAN AN UNDOCUMENTED CHILD ATTEND ELEMENTRARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL? UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS?

School enrollment

Who can enroll in school?

Non-status children.

Children with Canadian citizenship (even if their parent are undocumented)

How?

Two documents are required:

  • a birth certificate (from any country) 
  • proof that you reside within one of the given school board districts (a phone or hydro bill; notarized statement)

Since June 2013, immigration documents are no longer required to enroll in school.

Getting a permanent code

Why is it important?

A permanent code is required to receive Ministry of Education diplomas.

Who can get a one?

Children with Canadian citizenship (even if their parents are undocumented)

For non-status children, it is a lot more difficult.

How?

One of the two following documents is needed:

  1. 1.Birth certificate recognized by the Quebec register of civil status:

For a birth certificate to be recognized, the following documents must be submitted with the application:

    • The original birth certificate document issued by the country or province of birth (or a certified copy of an equivalent document);
    • A photocopy of a valid identification document with a photograph of  the enquirer;
    • A photocopy of proof of residency for the enquirer;
    • A photocopy of a proof of residency in Quebec for the person affected if this person is not the enquirer

2. Proof of an invalid immigration status

A valid immigration status is not necessary to obtain a birth certificate recognized by the Quebec register of civil status. However, it can be difficult of those without valid status to provide the documents needed to establish proof of address in Quebec.

Free Education

Who qualifies?

Children with Canadian citizenship (even if their parents are undocumented)

Children whose parents are exchange students

Children whose parents are asylum seekers

Children of refused asylum seekers (if they are permitted to be in Quebec)

Children whose parents are refugees with a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ)

Children whose parents have requested permanent residency with a CSQ

Children whose parents are temporary workers and exchange students with permits that expired less than one year ago

Children who are under the care of a DPJ, a CLSC or a CSSS

Students with French citizenship

What happens for all other children?

Schools require a $5000 to $6000 enrollment fee per child plus a $500 registration fee to be able to attend school. This fee is payable later in the school year and not at the time of enrollment.

The school boards send a bill and numerous reminders to pay the fees. However, to our knowledge, they do not initiate prosecution of non-payment of bills.

The school boards can also ask the ministry for free education based on “humanitarian reasons”. Some families have been successful with this request.

CEGEP and University?

For now, to attend CEGEP or university, a student must have a study permit and pay the same fees as exchange students.