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New Family Sponsorship Rules for Dependents in Canada

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A father is carrying his son together with his beautiful wife.New restrictions on dependent immigration to Canada recently went into effect on August 1, 2014 that have changed who is eligible for family sponsorship. If you have a pending application to sponsor a family member that was dated prior to August 1, 2014 then the new laws will not affect you. But if you have not gone ahead with the application process, the new laws may have implications for your family and who is eligible to immigrate with you under a sponsorship program. Our Toronto immigration law firm will help you get it sorted.

Family Sponsorship in Canada

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor family members to immigrate to Canada provided you and your family members meet basic eligibility requirements. Prior to August 1, 2014 this meant that you could sponsor your spouse or domestic partner and any dependent children up to the age of 22, provided you could prove you were financially able to cover their basic needs and they would not need financial support from the government.

Your family members would also have to pass the same medical examinations and criminal and background checks that you did.

What has changed under the new law that went into effect on August 1, 2014? Dependent children are now only eligible for sponsorship up to the age of 19. The other requirements and eligibility rules remain the same. Which law will affect your family depends on the date of your application.

Applications dated prior to August 1, 2014, even if they are still pending processing, will be processed under the old law and dependent children up to the age of 22 will be eligible. Applications dated after August 1, 2014 will fall under the new law and children will only be eligible if they are 19 or younger.

How Will Family Sponsorship Changes Affect Me?

If your application is dated before August 1, 2014 but is still pending, there will be no affect. If you have yet to file an application for family sponsorship, these are the changes to keep in mind:

  • The age of a dependent child is 19 and younger.
  • There is no exception for student status, regardless of age.
  • Children over the age of 19 who are dependent on you due to a physical or mental condition are still eligible for sponsorship.
  • Children over the age of 19 who are students can apply on their own terms for immigration under foreign student status.
  • Children over the age of 19 who are not student can apply on their own terms using other available programs, such as worker programs.
  • Spouses and domestic partners are still eligible.

There are transitional programs in effect for certain groups who have started the immigration process prior to August 1, 2014 but have not filed an application yet. 

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