Under the Charter of the French language, children in the following three situations are eligible :
- 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
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.
Lastly, when a child is declared eligible to receive instruction in English, his or her brothers and sisters may also be declared eligible.
- children with serious learning disabilities as defined in the government regulation under section 81 of the Charter
- children admitted to receive instruction in English by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur by reason of a serious family or humanitarian situation, following a recommendation to this effect by the examining committee, and after an assessment by a person designated by the Minister stating that the child’s situation is not covered under any provision of the Charter
Children who may receive temporary authorization to receive their instruction in English fall into three categories :
First, the dependent children of persons living in Québec temporarily to study or work, including:
- the children or the dependent children of foreign nationals who hold an employment authorization or a student authorization issued in accordance with the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
- the children or the dependent children of foreign nationals who hold a Québec certificate of acceptance 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.
When a child is granted a temporary authorization to receive instruction in English, this is valid for the period of validity of the immigration document issued to the parent or child, or for the duration of their temporary stay, as stated in a sworn declaration. This stay can be for a maximum of three (3) years and expires on June 30 of the school year in which the temporary stay of the parent or child ends.
A temporary authorization to receive instruction in English may be renewed provided that the applicant still meets the same criteria as in his or her first application.
However, temporary authorization cannot be granted to the children of foreign nationals who are claiming refugee status for themselves or their children, or of foreign nationals who choose to settle in Québec on a permanent basis and obtain a Québec selection certificate. If an authorization has already been granted, it expires on June 30 of the school year in which the selection certificate is issued.