As an international student studying in Canada, there are several restrictions and requirements that you must adhere to.
These may include but are not limited to:
- Maintaining a valid study permit
- Being enrolled at a designated learning institution
- Not working more than 20 hours per week (with some exceptions)
- Respecting the conditions of your study permit
Failure to comply with these requirements can result in several penalties, including the loss of your study permit and/or being asked to leave Canada.
Therefore, as an international student in Canada, keeping up with the terms of your study permit is essential to you but with pregnancy.
Maintaining the terms of your study permit may not be a walk in the park for you.
Being pregnant comes with a lot of responsibilities, one that may require a helping hand.
From taking care of yourself to taking care of your baby, there’s a lot to think about and as a student, it can get worse.
Between classes, exams, and everything else that comes with being a student, it can be hard to find the time to take care of a baby.
Pregnancy can add an extra layer of stress to your already full plate as a student.
If as an international student, you become pregnant, you may not meet the requirements of your student visa nor be diligent to the agreement which you signed through your visa.
You may miss classes, get sick often, and have a lot of other things to juggle.
Does this mean they will throw you out of Canada?
Here, we’ll explore the implications of getting pregnant while studying in Canada as an international student.
We will also answer questions such as:
- What happens if an international student gets pregnant in Canada?
- Cost of giving birth in Canada as a student
- Can international students give birth in Canada?
- What are the disadvantages/advantages of giving birth in Canada as an international student?
If you are an international student in Canada considering getting pregnant, you need to be clear on the path to follow.
Here is everything you need to know.
What happens if an international student gets pregnant in Canada?
If an international student gets pregnant in Canada, it’s up to you to decide what to do.
You need to decide whether you want to continue your studies (while carrying the baby to birth), take a break to birth the child, quit school and go back to your country, or abort the child.
- If you decide to continue your studies while carrying the baby to birth
You need to take into account the implications on your health and the health of your unborn child, as well as the policies of the Canadian school you are attending.
Canada does not have any specific policies for pregnant students nor do they have special care programs for pregnant students.
However, most universities and colleges will require you to provide a medical certificate from your doctor confirming that you are fit to study.
You must provide medical proof that you can cope with pregnancy and school.
Depending on your program (Degree, Master or Ph.D.) and the number of years the program will last, at some point (say over 7 months of pregnancy).
You may want to withdraw from school activities because they will be stressful for you to cope with.
At this point going to school will be almost impossible for you because the baby will soon arrive.
You may want to stop attending classes, or stop going for any school related programs.
Withdrawing from school without the approval of your school authority will be a violation of your student visa so it has to be done properly and with the approval of your designated learning institute.
To withdraw from school without violating your student visa policy, which states that;
“If you withdraw from your program or take a leave of absence without the approval of the authorities, you may no longer meet the conditions of your visa and may have to leave Canada.”
You can speak to your designated learning institution first.
They may be able to help you make arrangements so that you can remain in Canada on your student visa while you take a break to birth your child.
They can as well arrange for an alternative learning process such as online classes for you while you stay at home till you give birth to your child.
If you would like to continue your education while you are pregnant, you can ask your professors or teachers for specific accommodations, such as taking online classes.
In a situation where an alternative learning process is not possible, you have to hold on with your studies till after delivery and subsequent recovery.
A child born in Canada while parents are on a study permit
Any child born in Canada will automatically become a Canadian citizen and also a citizen of whatever nation the parent is from.
Canada adheres to both the Jus Sanguinis (‘right of blood’) and Jus Soli (‘right of soil’) principles of nationality law, whereby citizenship is gained or decided by the nationality or ethnicity of either one or both parents.
The baby becoming a Canadian citizen will in no way make the mother a citizen of Canada.
- If as a pregnant international student in Canada, you decide to take a break from your studies to birth your child.
You may want to consider applying for a leave of absence.
According to the Canadian Immigration authorities, students may take a leave of absence for good cause as long as the duration is no longer than 150 days.
An example of a “good cause” here is being pregnant.
If as a pregnant international student in Canada, you decide to take the second option, which is; to take a break from your studies to birth your child, you may be able to do so without losing your student visa status.
However, you need to notify your school of your intention to take a leave of absence.
This can be done by contacting your school’s international student office and requesting a leave of absence form.
Once you’ve filled out the form, you’ll need to submit it to your school for approval.
Once you get approval, you can take a break to birth your child.
While you are on leave, you will not be able to work on campus
Although it’s not a must you notify the government, they may do sporadic checks, so be prepared with documentation that will demonstrate your eligibility for medical leave, such as a letter from a qualified healthcare provider.
Additionally, you will need to reapply for your student visa once you are ready to return to school.
- You can decide to quit school and go back to your country.
If you get pregnant as an international student in Canada, you can decide to quit school and return to your home country if that’s the best option for you.
This decision should be made after carefully considering all of the factors involved, such as the cost of living in Canada with your pregnancy, the availability of child and health care (as an international student, you may not be covered by provincial health care plans, which could make it difficult to access prenatal care and other services.), and your ability to continue your studies while pregnant.
It is important to weigh all of your options before choosing this path.
You can also consult with an immigration lawyer to ensure that you are aware of all the potential implications of your decision.
- You can also decide to abort the child
As a pregnant international student in Canada, you can elect to abort the child if you feel that you cannot cope with both the child and your school obligations.
And you don’t want to quit school.
While this may seem like a difficult decision, it is ultimately your decision to make.
You may choose to abort the child for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps you are not ready to be a parent, or you feel that you cannot afford to raise a child.
Whatever your reasons, you have the right to make your decision about whether or not to continue with the pregnancy.
Canada’s laws around abortion are some of the most liberal in the world.
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Regardless of the reason, abortion is lawful at all stages of pregnancy in Canada, and under the combined effects of the federal Canada Health Act and provincial health-care systems, it is publicly subsidized as a medical operation.
You will have access to safe and legal abortion services if you decide to go this route.
While the choice is yours to make about pregnancy, birthing a baby as an international student can be a lifelong challenge.
And if you are alone (you have no relatives staying with you) in Canada, it’s even worst.
Giving birth in Canada as an international student
Having a baby is a wonderful, life-changing experience.
But for international students who find themselves pregnant while in school in Canada, it can be a daunting and isolating experience.
Several challenges come with being a pregnant student in Canada.
First, there is the challenge of finding a place to live that is comfortable for you and the pregnancy.
Second, there is the challenge of managing schoolwork and motherhood at the same time.
And third, there is the challenge of navigating the Canadian health care system.
You need to make sure you have health insurance that covers prenatal and postnatal care, as well as delivery costs.
Becoming a parent is a big decision, but if you are an international student in Canada, it becomes even bigger.
However, some organizations can help you out.
The Canadian Pregnancy Assistance Fund offers financial assistance to pregnant students in need and can help you with things like living expenses, health care costs, and more.
The organization’s Pregnancy Pathways and Students’ Off-Campus Housing can help you with the practical side of things, like finding a place to live or getting child care.
But the challenges are numerous and not encouraging.
Cost of giving birth in Canada as a student
Giving birth is a natural and beautiful process, but it can also be quite costly.
The cost of giving birth will vary depending on where you live, the type of care you receive, and other factors.
However, on average, giving birth in a hospital in Canada will cost between $2,000 and $4,000.
This includes the cost of the delivery, as well as any care you may need afterward.
If you choose to give birth at home or in a birth center, the cost will be lower, starting at around $1,500.
FAQ about what happens if an international student gets pregnant in Canada
Here are a few frequently asked questions about what happens if an international student gets pregnant in Canada and their answers.
Can I give birth to a baby while studying in Canada on a student visa?
Yes, you can give birth to a baby while studying in Canada on a student visa.
However, you need to make sure that your school is aware of your pregnancy and can accommodate your needs.
You also need to have health insurance that covers pregnancy and childbirth, as well as any post-natal care.
Most provinces and territories have health care plans for international students.
You can apply for health insurance through the province or territory where you are studying.
Receiving subsidized medical care requires enrollment in the provincial health insurance program.
Health care can be quite expensive for those who do not participate in the provincial health insurance plan.
Finally, you need to budget for the additional costs associated with having a baby, such as child care and medical expenses.
This is important because you may not be eligible for many government assistance programs.
Can a pregnant woman apply for a student visa in Canada?
Yes, a pregnant woman can apply for a student visa in Canada except in a case of a medical emergency.
A woman’s pregnancy cannot disqualify her from applying for a Canadian visa except if it’s dangerous.
However, you need to have a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institute.
You also need to provide additional documentation to prove that you can support yourself and your child during your studies.
You may also be required to take a medical examination or provide a medical report.
Additionally, you may be required to provide proof that you are fit to carry out your school obligations while in Canada.
For more information, you can visit the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website.
Can I study in Canada while pregnant?
Yes, you can but it depends on several factors.
If you are pregnant and looking to study in Canada, you need to consider your health and the health of your unborn baby.
Most universities and colleges will require you to provide a medical certificate from your doctor confirming that you are fit to continue your studies.
You also need to know the policies of your school concerning pregnant students.
In this regard, the best thing to do is to contact the institution you wish to attend and ask about their policies.
Furthermore, you need to consider your housing and health insurance options, as well as how you will manage your finances during your pregnancy.
It is also important to be aware of the cultural differences in Canada when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth.
Overall, it is possible to study in Canada while pregnant, but it requires some planning and research.
If you are pregnant and want to study in Canada, be sure to speak with your health care provider and research your options thoroughly before making any decisions.
Can I enter Canada on a student visa if I am pregnant?
Yes, you can enter Canada on a student visa if you are pregnant but you have to prove to CBSA beyond reasonable that you can adhere to the full-time study permit requirements.
If you are unable to prove that you are capable, you will be denied entry to Canada but if you prove that you are capable and meet other requirements, you will be granted a visa.
If you are admitted, the complete expense of the delivery will be your responsibility because you may not have access to free provincial healthcare.
Is it possible to give birth in Canada as an international student?
Yes, international students can give birth in Canada.
However, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning on having a baby while studying in Canada.
First, you’ll need to make sure that your health insurance (if you have any) covers pregnancy and childbirth.
Some insurance plans may not cover these costs, so it’s important to check with your provider before you get pregnant.
Second, you need to budget for the added costs of pregnancy and childbirth, which can be significant.
Finally, you need to factor in the time you’ll need to take off from school to care for your new baby.
While it’s possible to give birth in Canada as an international student, it’s important to do your research and be prepared for the challenges that come with it.
Conclusively, getting pregnant while still studying in Canada may not be a good idea, the challenges are many.
Really? If you give birth to your child in Canada, who will look after you and your child?
Do you think you can care for a child and attend school (full-time) at the same time?
How are you going to cope?
These are the questions you need to answer before making that decision.
It can be easy to get pregnant, but what happens after may not be easy on you as an international student, especially if the father of your baby isn’t ready to stand by you.
You need to think twice before taking this step.