The joys of going to college. All those applications to fill out and transcripts to retrieve. Who knew you’d need an affidavit too?
Applying to OSAP
That’s right. If you apply for an Ontario student loan, you could be asked to produce an affidavit or two to support your request for financial assistance. The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) wants to verify your identity, income and marital status before they agree to lend you money for your education. Paying it back is a long-term commitment and preventing identity theft or fraud is a serious matter.
What is an Affidavit Anyway?
Affidavits contain facts or reasonable beliefs you believe to be true. They are used in legal disputes, to apply for financial benefits like OSAP or to give your version of events when you file an insurance claim. When you make an affidavit, you testify the contents are true before someone authorized by the law to witness it.
7 OSAP Affidavits You Could Be Asked For
Along with your application, OSAP may ask for official documents to prove your financial need is real. When you don’t have proof to back up your request, you could be required to produce an affidavit.
1. Common Law Status
You and your common law partner may be asked for to prove you have either lived together in a conjugal relationship continuously for three or more years. Or have biological or adopted children and a relationship with some permanence.
2. Sole Support Parent
You are the sole support of your children if they live with you full-time during the school year and you are single or widowed. Separated or divorced parents may be asked for an affidavit showing the date of your separation or divorce and custody arrangements. Your children must live with you at least 50% of the time during the academic year to qualify for a loan.
3. Marital Status
Married students who can’t provide a marriage certificate or a separated or divorced applicant who doesn’t have children living with them may need an affidavit to confirm their marital status.
4. Indigenous Identity
A declaration of Indigenous identity and description of whether you are First Nation (status or non-status), Métis, Inuk (Inuit) or otherwise may be requested if you lack other ID.
5. Foreign Income
Foreign income not reported to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that you can’t document any other way can be declared in an affidavit. You will have to state why don’t have the required documents and the amount, currency and source of your income.
6. No Income
When you or a parent declare you had no income for a particular year, OSAP requires an affidavit to substantiate where you lived and why you that was.
7. Spousal or Parental Foreign Income
Foreign income earned by a spouse or parent and not reported to CRA can require an affidavit. Your family member will be asked why they can’t provide documentation to verify foreign income and the amount, currency and sources.
Ensuring Your Affidavit is True
Notary publics can witness, sign and seal your affidavit, but they won’t check it for accuracy or truthfulness. Affidavits are like testifying in court. You are responsible for ensuring you have personal knowledge of what you say and that it is true to the best of your ability. You must be available to testify to the facts in court and confirm that you made the affidavit without anyone coercing or forcing you to write or sign it. Otherwise the affidavit isn’t legally valid.
Intentionally making a false statement in an affidavit or court is a criminal offence. Your affidavit will be thrown out by the court and rejected by OSAP. You could be charged, fined or go to prison for lying or falsifying information.
Who is Competent to Testify
You are competent to testify in court as long as you are of sound mind. Being a minor (under 19) is no obstacle. As long as are over 14 and you have the ability to understand the facts and legal effect, you can prepare and swear or affirm affidavits. Parental consent is not required. Any lawyer or notary public can assist you.
To Swear or Affirm?
You can swear the contents on the religious text of your choice (Bible, Koran or other) or simply affirm (agree) that it is true. The choice is up to you.
Dealing With an Out of Province Affidavit
No need to worry about where you live or COVID-19 class restrictions. Affidavits sworn remotely by an Ontario notary public have the same legal effect as if you were physically present. Simply email us your affidavit and have your signature witnessed remotely using Axess Law’s online video conference service. Government-issued photo ID is required to verify your identity.
Confirming OSAP’s Requirements
Before you draft an affidavit, check with your college or university financial aid office. They can steer you straight about what to include.
Notarize an OSAP Affidavit
To get an affidavit notarized for your Ontario student loan application, contact Axess Law’s Ontario notary public service. Dial 1-877-522-9377 or in Greater Toronto 647-479-0118 or use our online booking form to make an appointment for a remote video call. We’re available 7 days a week, day or evening, at your convenience. In-person meetings can be arranged in Ottawa, Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s notary public services.
Photo by Jess Foami |Pixabay.