Dependent Child Definition Change Comes Into Effect

As of August 1st, the definition of a dependent child has changed for the purposes of Canadian immigration applications.

Prior to the changes, all dependent children under the age of 22 could be included on the same immigration application as their parents. Additionally, children over the age of 22 were also eligible to be included on their parents applications if they were a full time student and financially dependent on their parents.

On August 1, 2014, the changes to the definition of a dependent child by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) go into effect, reducing the age of a dependent child from under 22 to under 19. Full time students who are financially dependent on their parents are also no longer eligible to be included on family applications. Now, in order for a 19 year old to immigrate to Canada with their family, they will need to apply on their own merit through a Canadian immigration program.

As of August 1, 2014, the only exception in which a person who is over the age of 19 can be included on their parents application for immigration is if they are financially dependent due to a mental or physical condition.

Families whose applications have already been processed and are already in the system under certain programs (including the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs), the Live-In Caregiver program (LCP), and many of Quebec’s immigration programs) will benefit from transitional measures and can use the previous definition of dependent children.

This change has been criticized by a number of community groups as contrary to the emphasis Canada’s immigration regime places on family reunification. The changes are expected to be particularly damaging to refugee families.

FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.

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