New Rules for Dependent Children Soon to Be Implemented


Recent changes to regulations have seen new rules come into play for dependent children of immigrants to Canada. As of August 1 2014, the cutoff age for dependent children to enter the country with their families changed from 21 to just 19.

These new rules, which altered Canada’s definition of ‘dependent children’, have had serious repercussions for many individuals who have since applied for immigration with their families and young adult dependents.

Let’s take a closer look at how this decision has affected prospective immigrants:

New Rules for Dependent Children

According to Canadian immigration law, a dependent child is either the biological or adopted offspring of an immigration applicant, as long as they meet certain other criteria. Dependent children must:

  • Be under the age of 19
  • Be single (not married or in a common law relationship)

However, it is important to note that children who are over 19 and are subject to mental or physical conditions (which render them unable to support and take care of themselves) are still considered dependent. Children who are over the age of 19 and are currently in full-time studies are no longer considered dependent.

Applicants also have to pay a processing fee of $150 for dependent children.

The Economic Concerns

At the moment, Canada is putting a lot of its focus on economic stability and how immigrants can play a part in aiding growth. The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act reflects that, with an aim to maximise the economic benefits new immigrants can bring. This means encouraging immigrants who will have the greatest chance of succeeding in the labour market, such as skilled workers.

The Canadian government has been researching the likelihood of economic success for young immigrants, and claims younger dependents, between 15 – 18 years of age are more likely to achieve economic success and adapt to their new country, than older dependents (19 – 21).

It has also been claimed that the new changes could reduce processing times for hard-working visa officers who have to put in extra effort to certify the claims of full-time school enrollments – whether this has made any real difference to stressful working hours remains to be seen.

Are You Concerned About the New Rules for Dependent Children?

If you’ve been affected by this subject, and have dependents over the age of 19 who would like to travel to Canada with you, we can help advise on some of the many programs that are available. To discuss your options, do not hesitate to contact VisaPlace today in order to book a consultation and discover how we can help you.

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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