The Government of Canada has published regulatory changes to increase the maximum age of a dependent.
The definition of a dependent child in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations is used to determine whether a child is eligible to immigrate as a family member of the principal applicant in all immigration and refugee programs, or may be sponsored as a principal applicant through the family class.
Currently, the age limit of a dependent child according to the Regulations is “under 19”. The higher age limit of “under 22” will come into force on October 24, 2017 when the regulatory change will be formally implemented. The new higher age limit will apply to permanent residence applications received on or after this date. For applicants who submitted a permanent residence application between August 1, 2014, and October 23, 2017, the current “under 19” definition of a dependent child applies.
Once the regulatory change comes into force, those who have a dependent child who meet the new “under 22” definition can sponsor him/her under the family class. Dependants who are 22 years of age or older and who are unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental condition would continue to be eligible as a dependant.
If someone has a pending application for permanent residence, and had listed their dependant (who was under 22 years of age at the time they applied) on their application, they may request that the child be processed for permanent residence as a dependant under humanitarian and compassionate grounds. Applicants who wish to do this should be aware that processing times on their application will be affected.