MAY 3, 2017
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has confirmed it will raise the maximum age of a dependent child who may be included on an application to immigrate to Canada. As of October 24, 2017, principal applicants may include their children aged 21 and under, who are not married or in a common-law relationship, on their immigration application.
Currently, children under 19 years old may be included on an application to immigrate to Canada. This has been the case since August 1, 2014 — prior to that date, the maximum age was under 22. Consequently, this recent regulation change represents a return to the previous definition of a dependent child. The new definition of dependent child applies to children included on applications for permanent residence through economic, family, and refugee/humanitarian programs. The change will take effect for applications submitted on or after October 24.
Children aged 22 and older who have depended substantially on the financial support of their parent(s) since before the age of 22 years, and who are unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition, may also be considered dependent.
IRCC has confirmed that the age limit change will not be applied retroactively to applications submitted on or after August 1, 2014, and before October 24, 2017. It explained its decision, stating that ‘applying the change to in-process applications would require a pause in finalizing many permanent residence applications and would impact processing times in many programs.’
“This latest action on the part of IRCC proves that our immigration ministry is committed to supporting its words with concrete actions”. “It is laudable that the ministry is changing its regulations positively to reflect the lived realities of families around the world who are looking to come to Canada.
“Dependent children aged 19 and over represent a minority percentage of applications approved, yet the impact on families is immense. This upcoming change will significantly improve the immigration and settlement process for many newcomers to Canada.”