What is the change? Canada has changed the “dependent child” age qualification for purposes of permanent residence and temporary residence applications.

What does the change mean? As of Aug. 1, dependent children must be 18 years old or younger to qualify as dependants of the primary applicant.

  • Implementation timeframe: Aug. 1, 2014.
  • Visas/permits affected: Permanent residence and temporary residence applications.
  • Who is affected:Permanent residence and temporary residence applicants with children over age 18. Exceptions will be granted to children who are 19 or older who have depended substantially on the financial support of a parent since before turning 19 and who are unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.
  • Impact on processing times: The change aims to increase processing efficiency.
  • Next steps: Applicants whose dependent children will be 19 or older before Aug. 1 should file before the Aug. 1 change in rules. We recommend filing by the last week in July at the very latest.

Background: The current age of dependency for primary applicants’ family members is 22 years old. The government had initially scheduled to reduce the age of dependency to 18 on Jan. 1, 2014. The new rule will negatively impact applicants for permanent residence or potential temporary residents with children aged 19 -22 who would have qualified as dependants under current rules.

The child’s age at the time of filing, or lock-in date, is the age that will be considered. The lock-in date for one-step application processes will be the date Citizenship and Immigration Canada receives a complete permanent residence application. The lock-in date for two-step application processes, such as provincial nominee applications and certain Quebec selection certificate applications, will be the date on which the application for nomination or selection was made to the province or territory.

BAL Analysis: The new rules mean that children aged 19 or older cannot be included as dependent children in permanent residence applications after Aug. 1. For temporary residence applicants, children aged 19 or older will no longer be eligible to apply for an open work permit, a visitor record for the duration of the primary applicant’s work permit, or a study permit to attend high school. As of Aug. 1, children aged 19 or older will be required to make an independent application to come to Canada, which will be assessed on its merits.

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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