Government quietly sets August 1 to restrict child immigration


STARTING August 1, 2014, parents may only sponsor children to Canada who are under 19 years of age. This also applies to any applicant for permanent residence, who wants to include their children in their application. Children over 18 years of age may only be sponsored or included in an application if they are dependent on the parent and unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental condition. The rule changes were published without any news release in the Canada Gazette on Wednesday.

The government had initially proposed these changes in May, 2013, to be effective January 1, 2014. Late last December the Immigration Minister said the government had postponed a decision on the changes after many public groups had expressed opposition to the changes. Despite the opposition, the government has moved ahead with the changes. Like other changes to the rules, the government justifies it on economic grounds. It says that older children are less able to adjust to moving to Canada and do not have Canadian work experience and education that is better recognized by Canadian taxpayers.

Applications to sponsor dependent children include sponsorship forms completed by a parent or parents, and the applicants complete application forms. Under the current rules, children under age 22 can be sponsored or included in an application. It also includes children over age 21 who are dependent and continuously enrolled in and attending a post-secondary institution approved by a government, and are actively pursuing a course of academic, professional or vocational training on a full-time basis.

Applications properly filed before August 1, 2014, will be considered under the current rules. The applications have to be complete and in order. If anyone has concerns about the application process, they might consider retaining the services of an experience immigration lawyer or qualified immigration consultant.




William Macintosh started practising as an immigration lawyer in 1984. You can reach him for advice or help on any immigration or citizenship matter at 778-714-8787 or by email at