The Government, as part of their continued attempt to promote reunification of families, has announced that they intend to increase the age of dependent children. The intended increase would allow applicants with children under the age of 22 to include them as part of their application as dependent children. Currently the age for dependent children had been set at less than 19 years of age.

Prior to 2014, Canada had defined dependent child as “less than 22 years of age” but on August 1, 2014 the definition was changed to only those under 19 years of age. This change was made in part to bring the immigration definition of dependent child in line with the age of majority in Canada, which ranges from 18 to 19 depending on the province. The effect of this change was that children of applicants, who no longer met the definition of dependent child, were then required to submit their own application for permanent residence which would be determined on their own merits.

The current Government announced in March 2016 their intent to restore the age of a dependent child to the previous definition of less than 22 years of age. As of October 2016 they have begun the process to restore the age of dependent children. This proposal has not yet come into effect and if approved would come into force in the fall of 2017.

The proposal to increase the age of a dependent child further reflects the Governments stated objective of making family reunification a priority. Family reunification is listed as a guiding objective of Canada’s immigration legislation, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. As such, this change represents an attempt to ensure that family reunification remains an integral aspect of Canada’s immigration system. The Government’s Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement ( provides that family reunification is a priority as it allows applicants to better integrate into the Canadian community and labour market.

This proposal also reflects the current situation with regard to children in today’s society. While legislation may indicate that children reach the age of majority at the age of 18 in reality many remain dependent on their parents past this age. As such, this proposal helps to acknowledge the trend among children of only becoming independent of their parents at a later period.

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Khalil Ahmad

I have had a great experience with Borders Law firm through out my son's citizenship and my wife's PR application. Devika, John Yoon, and Brendan are well knowledgeable and always gave the best advice. John Yoon, I can't thank you enough he made sure all the paper work is in order and dealing with 3 different department at the same time at he tail end of my wife's PR application, always there to answer my questions even after hours. John was just wonderful though out I have had a great experience with Borders Law Firm and I would strongly recommend this firm.


Excellent Firm..! Always helpful, friendly and honest with their work. My personal thanks to Devika and Yana for providing excellent service. I highly recommend them for any kind of Visa application.

Param Tooray

Me and my wife turned to Borders Law Firm when I was trying to migrate to Canada as I am a UK citizen and my wife was born in Canada. They made the process really easy for us guiding us all the way. I am now a permanent resident in Canada thanks to Jenny and Devika. We would definitely recommend this firm to anyone looking to move to Canada you will not be disappointed!!

ravinder kaur

I and my family want to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to Devika, John and the team at Borders Law firm for assisting us with the PRTD application at a time when most processing was closed due to lockdowns. They also worked proactively with us to establish a good strategy with back up plans which gave us sufficient information and assurance. Very responsive and forthcoming with information. Proactive in processing but at the same time they put enough time in the application and the supporting details to have high quality of the application. As a result our application was processed in 1 go at a time when it was critical and sensitive time for the family. Thank you again.

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