What is the change? Canada’s immigration authorities will broaden the definition of “dependent child” by allowing children to qualify as dependents up until their 22nd birthday.

What does the change mean? Under current rules, only dependents who are under 19 years old qualify as dependents. The change, which the government will implement Oct. 24, will allow foreign nationals to sponsor children under 22 (i.e., 21 or younger) for permanent residency.

  • Implementation time frame: Oct. 24, 2017.
  • Visas/permits affected: Any visa or permit for dependent children.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking to sponsor children under 22 years of age.
  • Business impact: The change will make family reunification easier for foreign employees with older children.

Background: On Aug. 1, 2014, the Canadian government changed the definition of “dependent child” to include only children who were under 19. Government officials announced a proposal last fall to revert to the pre-2014 definition of dependent child as “under 22” years of age. Authorities published regulations this week to implement the change on Oct. 24.

BAL Analysis: The reversion to the earlier and broader definition of “dependent child” will encourage family reunification and is a positive change for foreign employees seeking to sponsor children under the age of 22.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Canada. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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