The Government of Canada has changed the definition of the age of dependants from “under 19” to “under 22,” allowing parents to sponsor or immigrate to Canada with their older children.

The change applies to all applications received by IRCC on or after October 24, 2017.

IRCC is also introducing a temporary public policy to allow more families to benefit from the expanded age of dependants. The public policy allows applicants with permanent residence applications that were in process on May 3, 2017, or whose applications were received between May 3, 2017, and October 23, 2017, to add their eligible children as dependants or to sponsor them later, depending on the status of their application.

Permanent residence applicants have until January 31, 2018, to notify IRCC of their intention to add or sponsor a dependant. They begin by first checking their child’s eligibility using our web tool. If they appear to qualify, parents are instructed to notify IRCC of their intention to add or sponsor their child by submitting a request using a special web form. After IRCC has been advised, they will contact applicants directly to tell them what they need to do to sponsor or add their children.

Changing the maximum age of dependants fulfills a key mandate commitment of the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and reflects the global trend of children living at home longer. It also aligns with two of the main objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act: to see families reunited in Canada and to support social and economic well-being of refugees through family reunification.