Canada: Canada to ease definition of ’dependent child’

What is the change? Canada’s immigration authorities have proposed broadening the definition of “dependent child” by raising the maximum age for qualifying as a dependent to 21.

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What does the change mean? Under current rules, only dependents who are 18 years old and younger qualify as dependents. The proposal, which the government plans to implement in the fall of 2017, would allow foreign nationals to sponsor children up to age 21 for permanent residency.

  • Implementation time frame: Fall 2017.
  • Visas/permits affected: All immigration matters involving dependent children.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking to sponsor children under 22.
  • Business impact: The proposal would 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 18 years old or younger. The new proposal would revert to the pre-2014 definition of dependent child as “less than 22 years of age.”

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 22.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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