Canada has published regulatory changes last May 3 to increase the maximum age of a dependent child for immigration sponsorship to 22, restoring the previous maximum age limit which was reduced to 19 last August, 2014.
According to the news release, the new age limit of “under 22” will come into effect this fall, on October 24, 2017, raising it from the current “under 19” requirement. The increased age will apply to new applications for all immigration programs under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, including for refugees.
Children who are 22 years of age or older and who rely on their parents due to a physical or mental health condition will continue to be considered dependent children.
The government said a higher age limit will have more positive social and cultural impacts by keeping families together. It will also better address humanitarian and safety concerns by enabling more family members of refugees to qualify as dependants.
Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said “raising the age of dependants lets more families stay together. This will bring economic and social gains to our country as it enhances our attractiveness as a destination of choice for immigrants and refugees.”
The change is consistent with the global socioeconomic trend for children to stay home longer, including to pursue their post-secondary education. The change would allow older immigrant children, aged 19 to 21, to study in Canada thereby boosting the pool of applicants from which Canadian post-secondary schools can draw talented students. Upon graduation, these individuals would be equipped with a Canadian education and be able to contribute to Canada’s economy.
The news release also mentioned regulations that were recently published to eliminate the conditional permanent residence measure in recognition that most marriages are genuine and to reduce the vulnerability of spouses in the immigration program.
In 2016, the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications accepted each year for intake was doubled to 10 000 applications, and the Government announced processing times for most sponsored spouses and partners would be reduced to 12 months.