New age limit for dependent children of Canadian immigrants

As of January 1, 2014 Citizenship and Immigration Canada has announced that it will be lowering the maximum age allowed for older children of immigrants who want to come to Canada to be with their parents and siblings, also referred to as dependent children. Immigrant Children

The change will reduce the age from 22 to under 19. While previously there was an exception for children who studied full time, that exception will now be removed.

According to the outline, “The earlier in life immigrants arrive, the more their educational experience will resemble that of their Canadian-born counterparts and the easier it will be to learn an official language and adapt to Canadian cultural traits and social norms.

Changes could prevent 7,000 immigrants from coming to Canada with their families

Approximately 7,000 immigrants annually will be ineligible to come to Canada on January 1st, whereas they would be completely eligible before then.

One of the issues with this change is that when different types of immigrants like refugees or live-in caregivers are finally able to apply for permanent residence and bring their children to Canada, their children could be too old.

Dependents, according to Canada’s immigration system, are children who are single and under 22. Children who require their parents’ financial support while they attend university or college as full-time students are exempted from the age requirement, but not for long.

The government has suggested that the older students would be able to come to Canada as international students and later immigrate on their own once they graduate.

What do you think about this change? Will this have a positive or negative outcome? Or will it just delay applications for children of immigrants that much longer?

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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