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Last updated on Thursday, September 21, 2017.

Please contact Nancy Fan, Supervisor of Admissions and International Education Programs, or Gail Intson-Ivey, Admissions Office Assistant, if you have any other questions or require assistance:  905-527-5092, extension 2324 or 2235.  You can also email the Admissions Department at admissionsoffice@hwdsb.on.ca

Frequently Asked Questions – Admission/Enrolment of International Fee-Paying Students

Are children of temporary resident status permitted to attend school at Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB)?

Children who are temporary residents in the visitor class must have a study permit to study at HWDSB unless the student is attending kindergarten or studying in secondary schools for six months or less. International student fees will apply.

Minor children (under the age of 18) accompanied by a parent who is a temporary resident and has a work permit, do not need a study permit or need to pay fees to study at HWDSB. When children turn 18, they must apply for a study permit if wanting to continue studying at HWDSB.

Minor children (under the age of 18) accompanied by a parent who is a temporary resident and has a study permit, do not need a study permit (before 18) to study at HWDSB. Whether international student fees apply will be subject to documentation presented to the Admissions Office proving the accompanying parent’s full-time student status and programs of study. Students in this category should contact the Admissions Office at 905 527 5092 ext. 2324 for more information.

Minor children accompanied by parents on other types of temporary resident status (i.e. cleric permit, diplomatic status, applied permanent resident status etc.) should contact the Admissions Office at 905 527 5092 ext. 2324 for admission processes.

What is the deadline for submitting an application?

The application deadline for secondary school is May 31 for September semester and November 31 for February semester. There is no deadline for elementary applications.

Must all International students have a study permit?

International Fee-paying Students must have a valid study permit to study at HWDSB unless the student is attending kindergarten or studying in secondary schools for six months or less.

If International Fee-paying Students decide to continue their study at HWDSB after the first six months, they must receive and present a valid study permit to the Admissions Office prior to continuing their study at HWDSB.

How do International Fee-paying students renew their study permit?

It is the responsibility of the student and parents/custodian to ensure that the student has a valid study permit while studying at HWDSB. Students should apply to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to renew their study permits at least 30 days before their current study permit expires.

If a student applies for a renewal of his/her study permit and the permit expires before CIC makes a decision, the student can continue to study at HWDSB under the same conditions until a decision is made by CIC. For detailed information, please visit CIC Web site at www.cic.gc.ca.

What happens if International Fee-paying Students do not renew their study permit?

If a student’s study permit has expired and the student has not applied for an extension prior to the expiry date, the student will not be allowed to continue to study at HWDSB. The Admissions Office tracks the expiry dates of fee-paying students’ study permits and sends out reminders to students at least 30 days before the expiry date to remind students to renew their study permits.

Do International Fee-paying Students have to live with a local family?

If students are under the age of 18, they must reside in a selected residence approved by their parent/guardian or assigned custodian in order to remain eligible to participate in the International Student Program. This requirement is clearly stated in the International Student Application Package and has been agreed upon by the student and parents before the student is accepted.

When students reach the age of 18, they may move out of a local homestay to live on his/her own with permission from their parent/guardian. Parent consent must be submitted to the Admissions Office before the student moves out of homestay to live on his/her own.

Do International Fee-paying Students have to have a custodian in Hamilton?

Students under the age of 18 must have a custodian who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 19 as required by Canada Immigration regulations. HWDSB requires the custodian to live in the Hamilton area to ensure safety and total care for students.

Custodianship requires that legal arrangement be made to give the custodian in Canada permission to act in place of a parent. Two notarized documents are required. The first notarized document must be signed by the parents or legal guardians of the minor child in the child’s country of origin. The second notarized document must be signed by the custodian in Canada. Both documents must be received by the Admissions Office before the student can attend school.

What is the difference between “guardian” and “custodian”?

A guardian refers to a person other than a biological parent who has lawful custody of a child usually through a court order.

A custodian refers to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 19, legalized by notarized custodianship agreements to be responsible for the education needs of international fee-paying students while the student is here in Canada. It is not equivalent to court-ordered custody.

What are the responsibilities of a custodian for an International Fee-paying Student?

The custodian should make necessary arrangements for the care and support of the student in place of the parents as appropriate. The custodian should reside within a reasonable distance of the student’s intended residence and school and will be able to fulfill his or her obligations as a custodian in the event of an emergency.

Additionally the custodian should conduct or assign other qualified personnel to conduct the following responsibilities:

  • Helping students make an intake and assessment appointment with the Admissions Office and accompanying the student to the appointment
  • Accompanying the student to school registration
  • Attending meetings with school/ HWDSB in place of a parent
  • Communicating with the school/HWDSB/parents regarding student needs and concerns

Do International Fee-paying Students have to pay extra for night, e-learning or summer school classes?

International student fees paid for one semester allow students to study maximum 4 credits in one semester. If students have one spare period in a semester, they will not need to pay extra to take an e-learning or nigh school class within the same semester. If the student is already taking four day school courses and wants to take an e-learning or night course as the 5th course, then the student will be required to pay additionally for the 5th course.

Semester or annual tuition fees do not cover summer courses. Students are required to pay extra to study a summer course at HWDSB.

Is the Assessment Centre and the Admissions Office the same thing?

The Admissions Office is located in the Assessment Centre. All fee-paying students must apply first through the Admissions Office.

Do International Fee-paying Students need medical insurance?

All fee-paying international students must purchase medical insurance through the Admissions Office of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.

What are the social and behavioural expectations of International Fee-paying Students while in school?

International fee-paying students must comply with the same policies and Student Code of Conduct as all other students in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board. In cases where there are serious problems, an International fee-paying student may be suspended/expelled and sent home.

Does Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board arrange homestay accommodation for International Fee-paying Students who require a place to stay while in Canada?

HWDSB does not provide homestay but will direct students who need assistance in finding a homestay to screened local homestay providers. The student’s custodian usually makes homestay arrangement for the student.

When does an International Fee-paying Student qualify for a refund?

Hamilton-Wentworth district School Board has established a refund procedure and that procedure is contained in the International Student Application Package.

Should you have additional questions, please contact the Admissions Office at (905) 527-5092 Ext. 2324.

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