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Canada Raises Immigrant Dependent Age to Under 22

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Family Class

Canada Raises Immigrant Dependent Age to Under 22

Effective October 24, 2017, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will increase the age limit of dependent children new immigration applicants for permanent residency from 'under 19' to 'under 22.' "The change is consistent with the global socioeconomic trend for children to stay home longer, including to pursue their post-secondary education," Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada said. “A higher age limit will have more positive social and cultural impacts by keeping families together. It will also better address humanitarian and safety concerns by enabling more family members of refugees to qualify as dependents.

The immigrant dependent age change from 19 to 21 will provide significant benefits:

  • immigrant dependents will be able to study and attend university in Canada
  • there will be an increase in Canada educated graduates in the job pool
  • more families will view Canada as a desirable migration destination

Immigration and Refugee Protection Act includes 2 main goals:

  1. Reunite families in Canada
  2. Help refugees become socially and economically self-sufficient

"This change provides a wonderful opportunity for immigrant children to be educated in Canada, and Canada will benefit from the skills and abilities these immigrants will bring to Canada", says Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah. "Family reunification is an important criteria for immigrants in their decision to move to Canada, and this change benefits both those families as well as the Canadian economy when skilled immigrants choose to move here."

Anyone with a pending Canada permanent residency application who has dependents in this age range can apply to IRCC to amend their application; IRCC has stated that this will impact application processing times.

Note: This change does not affect dependents over age 22 who have a physical or mental condition and need to continue to be listed as a dependent.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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It is one thing to earn a living; it is another thing to make a difference in the world.

This is our formal thank you note to Evelyn Ackah and the Ackah Law Team for all the effort they put into helping us navigate and finally resolve the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration back in the spring of 2012.

A friend referred us to Evelyn; he assured us that Evelyn would take good care of us. Our friend was confident we were in good hands and said Evelyn would do her very best to help us and she did! At the time we did not know that his referral would go far beyond finding us help. Slowly we realized that it would become our own personal story of how we received grace and were reminded of the power in paying it forward

We wrote a detailed page of our dilemma, explaining how we came to be in the position we were in (overwhelmed with the hurdle that was Canadian Immigration and the uncertainty that we faced as a young family in Calgary). Evelyn agreed to take on our file with her team. They found the time to personally call us and listened intently and understood the details of what we were dealing with. They gave us their time, an honest opinion and provided clear direction which proved to be invaluable advice. Months went by but in time, we received word from Ackah Law that the Immigration office had finally reviewed our file and a decision had been made allowing our family to finally put the immigration matter to rest. We were finally able to focus again to live our lives without fear or pending doom.

Looking back now, even the sun appeared to shine a little brighter that day. At first we didn’t know whether to bake them a cake, drive out to meet their team, find their offices and personally thank them with a mighty hug or simply cry out to the heavens in thankful relief. Instead we emailed them to express our heartfelt thank-you and we hoped that they would know deep in their hearts just how grateful we were for all of their help.

Even though we relied on emails and phone conversations to communicate with them that year, we will always remember their constant professionalism, their kindness and understanding at a time that brought us so much pain not to mention fear. As if all their hard work wasn’t enough, Evelyn then then casually mentions that all their work was done pro-bono! We were thoroughly humbled!

To this day we are still eager to share how wonderful they all are as human beings but even more than that, we continue to pay it forward in honour of them, their service to us and their continued dedication in helping others.

Eternally thankful

– The Brummunds

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