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Canada Raises Immigrant Dependent Age to Under 22

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class

Canada Raises Immigrant Dependent Age to Under 22

Effective October 24, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will increase the age limit of dependent children new immigration applicants for permanent residency from 'under 19' to 'under 22.' "The change is consistent with the global socioeconomic trend for children to stay home longer, including to pursue their post-secondary education," Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said. “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 dependents.

The immigrant dependent age change from 19 to 21 will provide significant benefits:

  • immigrant dependents will be able to study and attend university in Canada
  • there will be an increase in Canada educated graduates in the job pool
  • more families will view Canada as a desirable migration destination

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act includes 2 main goals:

  1. Reunite families in Canada
  2. Help refugees become socially and economically self-sufficient

"This change provides a wonderful opportunity for immigrant children to be educated in Canada, and Canada will benefit from the skills and abilities these immigrants will bring to Canada", says Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah. "Family reunification is an important criteria for immigrants in their decision to move to Canada, and this change benefits both those families as well as the Canadian economy when skilled immigrants choose to move here."

Anyone with a pending Canada permanent residency application who has dependents in this age range can apply to IRCC to amend their application; IRCC has stated that this will impact application processing times.

Note: This change does not affect dependents over age 22 who have a physical or mental condition and need to continue to be listed as a dependent.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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- LH

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