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Canada increases age for dependent child in immigration programme


Canada increases age for dependent child in immigration programme

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OTTAWA – The Canadian Government has published regulatory changes to increase the maximum age of a dependent child in new applications for all immigration programmes.

According to a government statement, the changes will allow more families to stay together, adding that they showcase Ottawa’s commitment to family reunification.

The new age limit of “under 22” will come into effect this fall, on October 24, raising it from the current “under 19” requirement, said the government in a statement. 

The increased age will apply to new applications under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, including for refugees.

The government says children who are 22 years of age or older and who rely on their parents due to a physical or mental health condition will continue to be considered dependent children.

“A higher age limit will have more positive social and cultural impacts by keeping families together,” Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said. “It will also better address humanitarian and safety concerns by enabling more family members of refugees to qualify as dependents.”

The immigration agency said 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.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said regulations were recently published to eliminate the conditional permanent residence measure “in recognition that most marriages are genuine and to reduce the vulnerability of spouses in the immigration programme”.

Access to the parent and grandparent programme was improved, with changes to the 2017 application process, “to make it fairer and more transparent,” the agency said.

It said, in 2016, the number of parent and grandparent sponsorship applications accepted each year for intake was doubled to 10 000. 

The Canadian Government said processing times for most sponsored spouses and partners would be reduced to 12 months. (CMC)