Family Support and the Canadian Government

If you are an international student with a spouse and child(ren) here in Canada, you are eligible for financial assistance from the Canadian Government. Below you will find a description of three Canadian government programs that may benefit you and your family. 

Canada Child Tax Benefit

The Canada Child Tax Benefit is a tax-free, monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under age 18. The amount of this benefit is calculated using the information you provide on your income tax returns each year (see below), but can be readjusted during the year in cases of a change to family size or marital status.

For international student families to be eligible you must:

  • Be the primary caregivers of a child under age 18
  • Be a temporary resident who has lived in Canada for the previous 18 months
  • Have a Social Insurance Number or Individual Tax Number

To Apply: 

In order to apply both parents must have an Social Insurance Number.  If you and your spouse do not have a Social Insurance Number you must both apply for an Individual Tax Number HERE.  Please note: You must send a notorized copy of your passport in with your application. ISAO can provide you access to a Commissioner of Oaths who can assist you with this.

*You must also have completed your Canadian Income Tax Return for each year you have lived in Canada.

Universal Child Care Benefit

The Universal Child Care Benefit is a taxable, $100 monthly payment to families for each child under the age of six to help cover the cost of child care. This benefit helps you pay for whatever child-care method you choose, including a nanny, baby-sitter, child care Centre, or stay-at-home parent, no matter the cost.

  • Families already receiving the Child Tax Benefit will automatically receive the Universal Child Care Benefit.

Income Tax Returns

Updated - Click here for ISAO Tax Basics 2018 Information (presentation)

Who should complete a Canadian Income Tax Return?

Anyone who is living/studying in Canada should file an Income Tax Return each year.  If you are in Canada with your spouse you must both complete an Income Tax Return. 

When do you need to complete your Canadian Income Tax?

Income Tax Returns for the previous year are due at the end of April.  For example, 2017 Income Tax Returns are due at the end of April 2018.   There is no penalty for applying late, unless you owe the government money.

What documents do you need to complete your Canadian Income Tax?

  • T4 (only if you worked):  If you worked the previous year, you will receive a document in the mail called a T4.  This is a record of how much you earned and what taxes were deducted.  If you worked in the previous year and you have not received a T4 by the end of March, contact your employer (they may not have your correct mailing address.)
  • Tuition Statement (T2202):  All students should have this document.  You must download it from the Financial Tab of your E-Services account. 
  • T4A - Statement noting any Canadian scholarships or bursaries received in the past year.  You can find this by logging into your MyUNB account, page 2
  • Previous Notice of Assessment:  If you completed your income tax the previous year you will have received a Notice of Assessment in the mail.

How can you get help completing your Canadian Income Tax?

The International Student Advisor's Office invites volunteers every March to assist international students and, if applicable, their families with the completion of their Income Tax Returns.  Please contact for an appointment.  Basic information on taxes in Canada can be found here.

Why should you complete Canadian Income Tax?

All student who complete their Income Tax Returns receive some money back from the Canadian Government.  Even if you have not worked, you are eligible to receive a GST/HST Rebate.  To continue to receive this GST/HST Rebate each year, you must complete your Income Tax Return every year.  If you have worked, and paid income tax, you may also get a portion of this tax back.

To receive the Canada Child Tax Benefit, you must file an Income Tax Return each year.

Also, if you plan to stay in Canada and work full-time after you graduate you will need to complete your income tax each year.  If you did not complete Income Tax Returns as a student, you will have to go back and complete each year you have missed.  This could be very costly!