Press Room

New Definition of “Dependent” Takes Effect August 1, 2014

June 19, 2014 – Significant changes to the definition of “dependent” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) come into force on August 1, 2014.

The Changes

Under current regulations, a dependent is an individual under the age of 22 or a full-time student over the age of 22 whose studies started before the age of 22.

The new definition lowers the age of dependency to those under the age of 19. It also eliminates the exemption that existed for full-time students who are financially dependent on their parents.  In most cases, the age of a dependent will continue to be “locked-in” at the time of application.

In cases of dependency due to mental or physical condition, such dependency must have existed since before the age of 19 and must continue through the entire application process.

The changes will affect all applications made under the IRPR for families with dependents.  This includes all work permit applications as well as applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, various Provincial Nominee Programs and other permanent residency applications.

What does this mean?

The new, narrower, definition of dependent will exclude a number of children who qualified under the old regulations.  Applicants with children 19 years of age and older should be aware that as of August 1, 2014, their children will need to apply, and qualify, for entry to Canada on their own. These children will no longer be included in their parents’ application.

What should you do?

If you are a parent with children affected by the change in regulation you should take steps now to submit your application well before August 1, 2014 in order to benefit from the current regulations.

For answers to questions about the new regulations and how they affect you please contact Green and Spiegel LLP.