Education in Québec is given primarily in French. Under the Charter of the French language, however, children in the following three situations are eligible for English education:
- children who are residing in Québec permanently and who qualify for a certificate of eligibility for instruction in English;
- children who are residing in Québec permanently and who are entitled to receive instruction in English under a special authorization;
- children who are living in Québec temporarily and who qualify for a temporary authorization to receive instruction in English.
Note that the Charter doesn’t apply to our Adult Sector or Vocational Training.
Permanent Certificate of Eligibility
Parents who wish to send their children to an English school must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES).
A certificate of eligibility is generally issued to children:
- who have received the major part of their elementary or secondary school instruction in English in Canada;
- whose brother or sister did the major part of his or her elementary or secondary studies in English in Canada;
- whose father or mother did the major part of his or her elementary studies in English in Canada;
- whose father or mother attended school in Québec after August 26, 1977, and could have been declared eligible for instruction in English at that time.
In the first two cases, the father or mother of the child must be a Canadian citizen. In the third case, the parent who studied in Canada must be a Canadian citizen.
These are the most common situations that allow a child to receive instruction in English.
A declaration of eligibility for instruction in English issued under sections 73, 76 or 86.1 of the Charter of the French language is permanent; in other words, it does not expire.
In addition, even if they do all their studies in French, children declared eligible to receive instruction in English under section 73, 76 or 86.1 are deemed to have received instruction in English and therefore may pass this right down to their children.
Education received in a French Immersion program in another Canadian Province within an English establishment is now recognized as English instruction for the purpose of permanent eligibility. Students in this situation would be eligible for English Instruction in Québec.
Lastly, when a child is declared eligible to receive instruction in English, his or her brothers and sisters may also be declared eligible.
Temporary Certificate of Eligibility
Children who may receive temporary authorization to receive their education in English fall into three categories:
- First, the dependent children of persons living in Québec temporarily to study or work, including:
- the dependent children of foreign nationals who hold a Québec certificate of acceptance or an employment authorization or a student authorization issued in accordance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, or who are exempted from holding such a certificate or authorization under a statute applicable in Québec;
- the dependent children of Canadian citizens or permanent residents domiciled in another Canadian province or territory of Canada who are temporarily living in Québec to study or work.
- Second, the dependent children of persons who are not Canadian citizens and who are posted in Québec temporarily as representatives or officers of a country other than Canada or of an international organization.
- Last, the dependent children of members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are posted in Québec temporarily.
For more information on the Temporary Certificate of Eligibility, visit the MEES website.
Exemption from the Charter
A child with a severe learning disability, as outlined in the government regulations under section 81, may receive an exemption to attend an English school in Québec. This exemption is transferrable to the child’s siblings but not to their descendants.
Obtain a Long Form Birth Certificate
The MEES will require a copy of the original long-form birth certificate bearing the parents’ name to register your child/children with a school under the Western Québec School Board:
- For children born in Québec, you can apply online
- For children born elsewhere in Canada, contact Service Canada.
Want to discuss your situation with us? For further information on admissions and eligibility, contact Western Québec’s Admission Team.
- Sabrina Crawford, Admissions
- 819 684-1313 #1155
- 1 800 363-9111 #1155
To obtain further information, parents may contact the Bureau d’admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais, Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur:
- Bureau d’admissibilité à l’enseignement en anglais
- 600, rue Fullum, 11e étage
Montréal (Québec) H2K 4L1
- 600, rue Fullum, 11e étage