October 30, 2017

Changes to Definition of Dependent Children

Effective October 24, 2017, the Government of Canada has changed the definition of the age of dependents from “under 19” to “under 22”, fulfilling a key mandate commitment of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.  This change will help more immigrant families stay together, making their integration to Canada, and their ability to work and contribute to their communities improve.  To be dependent, the child still needs to be unmarried and not in a common-law relationship and for overage children with a physical or mental condition to have been continually unable to financially support themselves since before turning 22.

The new definition of dependent child applies to applications received on or after October 24, 2017. Applications received between August 1, 2014 and October 23, 2017 will be processed on the previous definitions. Please note that there will be transitional provisions to deal with the dependent child who made an application as a principal applicant as a member of the family class on or before July 31, 2017.  The transitional provisions allow the applications of certain children whose ages were locked in before August 1, 2014, to be processed based on the pre-amendment definition. It is important to note that for some permanent resident programs, IRCC will continue to receive some applications, which include those of children who are 22 or older, who are full-time students and who qualify as dependents based on the 2014 transitional provisions because their ages were locked in before August 1, 2014. These transitional provisions may apply regardless of the date IRCC receives the permanent residence application.

For more guidance on how these changes may affect your business and immigration strategies, please contact one of our qualified immigration professionals.