Press Room

2 Big Changes: Removal of Condition on Spousal Sponsorship & Definition of Dependent Child

Changes to Two Year Conditional Spousal Permanent Residence Expected Spring of 2017

October 31st, 2016 – On October 29, 2016, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced its proposal to repeal the conditional permanent residence regulatory provisions, affecting the requirement for spouses or common law partners to cohabit with their sponsor for two years or lose their permanent residence status.
Specifically, the conditional permanent residence requirement in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations requires two years of cohabitation as a condition of permanent residence for sponsored spouses and partners who, at the time of their application, have been in the relationship for two years or less and have no children in common. According to IRCC, this requirement was meant to deter and assist in the identification of fraudulent spousal sponsorship applications. However, we note that this requirement carries various negative consequences, including potential increased vulnerability for abused and neglected spouses and partners.
The government has advised that the planned implementation date will be sometime in the spring of 2017.  If you would like more information about the conditional permanent residence requirement, or sponsorship in general, please contact Green and Spiegel.

Changes to Definition of Dependent Child Expected Fall of 2017

October 31st, 2016 – On October 29, 2016, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced its proposal to amend the definition of “dependent child” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations from “less than 19 years of age” to “less than 22 years of age,” and thus increase the maximum age of a dependent children. In addition, this amendment would correct the transitional provision of the August 1, 2014, “dependent child” regulatory amendment to enable dependent children who filed their applications before August 1, 2014, and are themselves principal applicants, to benefit from the broader pre-amendment version of the definition. According to IRCC, the objective of the amendment is to enhance family unity and reunification by enabling Canadians and permanent residents to bring their young adult children between 19 and 21 years of age to Canada.  We note that this increase in the age of dependent children reflects the underlying socio-economic trend that children remain at home longer with their parents, particularly those studying for lengthier period of time.

The government has advised that the planned implementation date will be sometime in the fall of 2017.  If you would like more information about whether or not a child qualifies as a dependent, please contact Green and Spiegel.