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Matt Bomer | migrationlaw

New Rules That Are Changing The Definition Of A Dependent Child For CIC's Immigration Program

Oct 12th 2015 at 10:06 PM



New rules changing the definition of a dependent child for Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) immigration programs came into effect August 1, 2014, and will affect all new applications for CIC’s immigration programs as of August 1st.


The maximum age at which a child will be considered a dependant is being reduced, from under 22 to under 19 years of age. At the same time, the exception to this rule for full-time students is also being removed.


Children of applicants over the age of 19 years, but are financially dependent on their parents, and are enrolled in full-time studies will no longer be eligible to be processed as dependent children. In such cases, these young adults will be able to apply to come to Canada on their own merits, either as foreign students or via various economic programs.


However, in all cases, a child will be considered a dependant, regardless of age, if they are dependent on their parents for financial support because of a mental or physical condition.


In the meantime, for all permanent resident applications submitted and accepted for processing before August 1, 2014 will continue to benefit from the pre-amendment definition of dependent child. In addition, as of August 1, 2014, to ensure that children who meet the definition of dependent child at the first stage of a multi-stage permanent resident immigration program remain eligible throughout what can usually be a multi-year process, the child’s age will be “locked in” at the first formal step of the immigration process. For example, the age of a child whose parent applies to the Provincial Nominee Program will be “locked in” on the date that the application for nomination is made to the province.


Transitional measures allow certain applicants under a multi-step permanent resident immigration program who are already in the immigration process at the time the regulations came into force on August 1, 2014, but have not yet submitted their application for permanent residence, to have their applications completed based on the previous definition of dependent child. These transitional measures will apply to certain groups, including:


Provincial Nominee Program applicants;

· Applicants who have applied under one of Quebec’s economic programs;

· Live-in caregivers;

· Refugees abroad and refugee claimants;

· Quebec humanitarian cases;

· Parents or grandparents whose sponsorship applications were received before November 5, 2011; and

· Privately sponsored refugees whose sponsorship applications were received before October 18, 2012


This highlights the key changes that have come into effect regarding the new definition of dependent children age. For more information about all the changes to the locked-in age of dependent children, and how they may impact your family’s application for permanent residency in Canada, please contact the immigration professionals at to schedule a consultation to discuss your case further.


About The Author:


Matt Bomer is an expert in immigration law who also likes to write many interesting articles and blogs, helping people understand many aspects of these regulations and make the right decisions.


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