Change to the Definition of Dependent Children – What you need to know

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will change the definition of Dependent child to less than 22 years old. This will take effect in October 24, 2017. Since August 1, 2014, the maximum age has been under 19 years old.

However there important points for kababayans to know before submitting an application to Sponsor a Dependent Child.
– The change in age affects all immigration categories (like Family Class sponsorships, Dependents of Caregivers, Privately Sponsored Refugees, Government Assisted Refugees and every other category).
– The change in age only applies to applications for permanent residence made on October 24, 2017 or beyond. It does not apply to any applications in process at the time of the change.
– The rules about “lock-in-dates” for the age of dependents continue to apply. There are instances when the age of the dependent child may be “locked in” at a date before the permanent residence application.
– If you have completed the first step of a relevant multi-step process before August 1, 2014 then you are subject to the pre-August 2014 rules regarding dependent children.

There are people who would be negatively affected by the fact that the change in Regulations does not apply to permanent residence applications that are already in process. This will include people who:
– Have submitted, or about to submit, a permanent residence application; and
– Have a child who does not currently meet the definition of family member, but will following the change in October 24, 2017

I would like to suggest the following (Pls note these are my personal recommendations as a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant):
– You may delay the submission of application for permanent residence until Oct 24, 2017 or after;
– You can also withdraw your application and re-apply on or after October 24, 2017;
– Request the addition of the dependent child to the application on humanitarian grounds;
– Or wait for processing to be completed and then submit a Family Class application before the child turns 22 years old.

Other important information:
– Dependent Children must be single. If the young adult marries or enters into a common law relationship, he/she no longer meets the definition of Dependent Child.
– There is NO reinstatement of the exception for full-time students. Prior to August 2014, the regulations allowed older children to count as dependent children if they were full-time students. That exception has NOT been reinstated. However, people who completed the first step of multi-step processes before 1 August 2014 continue to be able to benefit from the pre-august 2014 rules, including the exception for full-time students.
– The exception for children with disabilities continues: an older child can be included if the child “depended largely on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.”

If you plan to Sponsor your Dependent Child, to be eligible to Sponsor:
Sponsor must meet the eligibility requirements below:
• at least 18 years old
• a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada:
o if you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident
o you can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada
• able to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
• have enough income to provide for basic needs of any grandchildren (dependent children of a dependent child) of the principal applicant

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor.
You can’t be a sponsor if you:
• have failed to pay:
o an immigration loan
o a performance bond
o family support payments
• have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously-sponsored relative who received social assistance
• are under a removal order
• are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
• receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
• are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)
• were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago
• sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, or an offence that caused bodily harm to a relative—or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences.

If you have questions regarding the above article you may contact Marjorie at

Immigration Refugee and Protection Act (IRPA)
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.