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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Dependents Now Classified as Children under 22

Dependents Now Classified as Children under 22

All Canadian Immigration Applications now Consider Children under 22 as Dependents

There are many immigration applications that permit dependents to be included within the application. However, this can be challenging if the dependent is between the ages of 19 and 22 years old as previously only children under the age of 19 were authorized to be classified as a dependent. Yet, now, there have been new changes implemented. For instance, children that are under 22 years of age will now be considered dependents on all immigration applications that are administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Therefore, in this article, I will explain the new changes with regards to dependents on immigration applications, the benefits of permanent residency in Canada and the many different programs one can choose from to immigrate to Canada.

New Changes to Dependents on Canadian Immigration Applications

On October 24, 2017, new changes were implemented with regards to dependents on Canadian immigration applications. Specifically, children under the age of 22 are now considered dependents. This new change also applies to any economic immigration program and for refugees as well. It is important to note, however, that children who are either 22 years of age or older can still be classified as dependent children so long as they still rely on their parents due to a physical or mental condition.

For the past three consecutive years, dependent children were only classified as children that were 19 and younger. Additionally, the new changes will not be retroactive for applications that were submitted on or after August 1, 2014 and before October 24, 2017. The reasoning for this is thoroughly explained by IRCC and they explain that applying the change to applications that are already in process will result in a pause on the finalization of permanent residence applications and thus it would also affect the processing times for many other immigration programs in Canada.

This new change is actually quite beneficial for Canadian society. The Canadian government believes that a higher age limit for dependents will actually create a more positive social and cultural impact on maintaining family reunification. They also believe that this will aid Canada’s economy and labour market by encouraging skilled immigrants to choose Canada as their home country.

The Benefits of Permanent Residency in Canada

First and foremost, prior to receiving permanent residency in Canada, there are important factors and information that must be taken into consideration. For instance, in order to be a permanent resident in Canada, the Canadian government must have duly authorized and issued you permanent residency status within Canada. Being a permanent resident of Canada brings with it many benefits, such as the ability to reside in Canada without having any additional authorization to work or study.

Furthermore, with having permanent residency status in Canada, there are specific rights and responsibilities that must be met in order to maintain your residency.

As a permanent resident of Canada, you will have the following rights:

  • Health Care & Social Benefits
  • Ability to live, study or work anywhere in Canada
  • Protection under Federal law
  • Rights & Freedoms granted by the Charter of Rights & Freedoms
  • Ability to apply for Canadian citizenship after permanently residing in Canada for a specific designated time period

A permanent resident of Canada, you will have the following responsibilities:

  • To abide by all municipal, provincial, & federal laws of Canada
  • To face conviction should you commit any serious criminal offence

Please note that if you do face any criminal convictions, this may cause your permanent residency in Canada to be revoked.

Residency Obligation in Canada

As previously mentioned, a permanent resident of Canada can only apply for Canadian citizenship after permanently residing in Canada for a designated time period. This is also the case if the permanent resident of Canada would like to renew their permanent residency status. This specific designated time period is often referred to as the residency obligation. To successfully meet the residency obligation, you must complete a total of two years of residing within Canada within a five year period since receiving your permanent residency status. During these two years, you must also be physically present in Canada. However, it is important to note that there are different circumstances that may count towards your residency obligation while being outside of Canada. For instance:

  • Travelling with a Canadian citizen spouse or common-law partner;
  • A child that is travelling with their parent(s) who is/are a Canadian citizen;
  • An employee of a Canadian business that is travelling outside of Canada for business reasons.

As a result, in order to maintain your permanent residency status in Canada, you must abide by all of the aforementioned rights, responsibilities and obligations. If not, there is a high chance of getting your permanent residency status revoked.

Different Programs to Immigrate to Canada

In order to obtain permanent residency in Canada and successfully immigrate, a foreign national can apply for several different programs, as long as they’re eligible. The following programs can be chosen to immigrate to Canada:

  • Family Class Sponsorship (i.e. sponsorship of spouses, common-law partners, and other close family members)
  • Canadian Experience Class program (i.e. individuals with valid work or study experience in Canada)
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Provincial Nominee Program (i.e. allows provinces to nominate prospect permanent residents)
  • Business & Investor Programs
  • Refugee Sponsorship Programs

Therefore, if you would like to obtain permanent residency in Canada but do not know which program to apply to or if you qualify, it is always important to seek professional guidance and advice before applying. This is especially the case if you are planning to include your dependent child in the application.

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is essential that you have taken all of the aforementioned factors and information into consideration before you attempt to apply for permanent residency in Canada. If you want to apply for permanent residency in Canada, it is extremely important to note that these are difficult applications to pursue on your own. It is highly recommended that you seek out professional and experienced help before attempting to submit the application. Here, at Akrami & Associates, we work and have experience with many different immigration issues. We have helped many of our clients gain permanent residency in Canada though different programs and they are now happily living within Canada. If you believe that you may be eligible for permanent residency, please feel free to contact Akrami & Associates at our office at 416-477-2545 for more information or if you would like to book a consultation with an immigration professional for more advise.

With Akrami & Associates, there is always a way!

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