luba dinkovaLuba Dinkova – Pace ImmigrationAs of October 24, 2017, Canada will raise the definition of a dependent child’s age from under 19 to under 22. Principal immigration applicants will have the opportunity to include their children aged 21 and under on an application. From the government’s website:

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.

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. Increasing the age limit will also help to enhance Canada’s economy by making it a destination of choice for skilled immigrants who want to keep their families together.

This change will not influence applications which were submitted between August 1, 2014, and October 24, 2017. The new rule will come into play only for applications submitted on October 24, 2017 or after. This is likely for the best. If the government tried to apply this change to applications already in the pipeline, the processing times would increase dramatically.

Please also note that children listed as dependents cannot be married or in a common law relationship.