• Limits on Immigration Benefits for Children to Take Effect in August
  • July 2, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Effective August 1, 2014, children aged 19 and over will no longer qualify for immigration benefits as dependents under any Canadian immigration program. Once a new rule is implemented, children aged 19 and older will be able to qualify for benefits as dependents only if they are financially dependent on their parents due to mental or physical disabilities.

    Currently, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor a dependent child for permanent residence up to his or her twenty-second birthday, and foreign temporary workers may be accompanied or later joined by a child under the age of 22. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will continue to consider children aged 19 to 21 as dependents for applications submitted before August 1, 2014. There will be no exceptions to the maximum age for full-time students.

    The implementation of the lowered maximum age for dependent status was set to take effect on January 2, 2014, but was delayed earlier in the year.

    What This Means for Employers

    Companies should determine if any of the employees they intend to relocate to Canada in the next few months will wish to be accompanied by dependent children who are, or who will soon be, 19 years old or older. Companies should submit applications on behalf of these employees and their dependents prior to the new rule taking effect. Similarly, foreign employees who intend on applying for permanent residence and who have children who are 19 or older must ensure their applications are filed on or before August 1, 2014 to have the age of dependency locked-in as of the date of filing.

    The new policy may complicate upcoming relocations to Canada for employees who wish to travel with young adult children. After August 1, children over the age of 19 will be regarded as independent applicants and will have to qualify for status and apply separately to join their parents in Canada. For example, if such individuals intend to study in Canada, they must be able to evidence enrolment in an approved program and independent financial means to support their tuition. For permanent residence applications, children 19 years old and older are excluded.