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Public School

In Ontario, the Education Act says all children must attend school. A child who is 6 years old must go to school. Most children start school earlier by attending a kindergarten program when they are 4 or 5 years old.

No school can refuse to admit children because their parents do not have:

  • proof of immigration status or proof that they have applied for status
  • a work permit or social insurance number
  • Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) coverage.

Any child between the ages of 6 and 18 in Ontario have the right to attend a school and cannot be refused admission because the child or the child’s parent or guardian is unlawfully in Canada.

Post-Secondary Education

In Canada, each province and territory is responsible for education at all levels within it, including universities. This means that each province and territory regulates the standards of education.

Types of institutions

There are many different higher education institutions. There are universities in each province and you are welcome to apply to any university of your choice. You can also choose to study at a technical or community college if you have a particular career in mind; or you can transfer your community college credentials to a university to continue your studies at undergraduate level.

Access for Students with Precarious Immigration Status program

Students of precarious status, who have faced barriers accessing post-secondary studies as a result of their status have a new opportunity to pursue their higher education in Canada. The FCJ Refugee Centre of Toronto ( has been instrumental in bringing this program a reality.

An academic bridging course has been created within the Sociology Department of York University for students who have precarious immigration status or no status in Canada.

The course provides an introduction to key concepts and debates in migration studies and allows students to upgrade their critical reading, writing and speaking skills. Achieving a grade of ‘B’ or better in the course can open a channel to admission to programs in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and Glendon College in addition to select programs in other Faculties.

In Ontario, the Education Act says all
children must attend school.

If you hold precarious immigration
status, you may be eligible for admission
under the Access for Students
with Precarious Immigration Status
program at York University.