What is Custodianship?

A custodian is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident designated by parents to provide care and be responsible for their minor child while he/she studies in Canada.

High School Students under 19

Columbia College takes on the role of being your Custodian for the 1st month that you are attending classes. The Custodian’s role is to ensure that a student under the age of 19 is safe and supported while living in Canada. From the second month on, the homestay family takes on this role, unless the student’s parents have appointed a private Custodian. A Custodian must be either a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident, be over the age of 25 years, reside in the lower mainland, and speak English fluently. 

A private Custodian has the following responsibilities:

• Establish good communication with you and your Columbia College homestay family.

• Assist you if you are ill or if other emergencies involving you arise.

• Assist with opening bank accounts, purchasing a Compass card, and obtaining a pre-paid cell phone.

• Inform you of services and amenities available in the area such as libraries, recreation and community centres, medical clinics, and shopping centres.

• Assist you with accessing medical services.

• Sign school waivers, if required.

• Be the person of contact regarding school issues such as attendance concerns and your academic progress.

If you are an international student under 19, when applying for a Canadian Study Permit you will need to show proof that you have a custodian in Vancouver who can care for your needs. If you need a custodian, are under 19, and staying with a Columbia College homestay family, we can arrange custodianship for you.

For more details about custodianship as outlined by the Government of Canada, click here.

The Ministry of Education requires all High School students under the age of 19 to have an appointed custodian in the lower mainland. Students under 19 who do not live with a Columbia College homestay family must provide their own custodianship documents.

Please indicate if you have a private Custodian when applying for Columbia College Homestay. Copies of your custodianship documents are required upon registration at the College.

Responsibilities of a Private Custodian