Today, the definition of a dependent child for all applications submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ("IRCC"), increases to include children under 22 years of age. This means that children up to, and including 21 years of age, can be included as dependent children in the application of a principal applicant, as long as the children are not married or in a common law relationship. This new definition will apply to immigration applications submitted after this date, and includes refugees.
An exception to this age limit for dependent children, is for those children who are 22 years of age and older who are financially dependent due to a physical or mental health condition. This exception will continue to apply, moving forward.
In August 2014, the definition of dependent children was amended to children under 19 years of age. The increase in maximum age of dependent children was announced in May 2017. IRCC has confirmed that these changes were made in an ongoing commitment to family reunification:
"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."
See IRCC's May 2017 news release, here.
For more information, or for assistance with your application for permanent residence, contact us today.