All about the Children: Maximum Age of Dependants to be Reduced to Age 18 from Age 22

By Author: Admin | May 27, 2013

The phenomenon of “Courier parents” – parents who are sponsored primarily so that a non-Canadian sibling of the sponsor can accompany the sponsored parents to Canada shall be sharply curtailed.

Under a recent immigration Department proposal, all family class dependents must be 18 and younger, rather than 22 years or younger (or over 22 years and in full-time school). Anyone older is encouraged to apply for another program , such as a study visa – specifically, this will force more young applicants to be enrolled as foreign students in Canada, thus providing a windfall to Canada’s post secondary institutions.

An additional proposal will eliminate the concept of “overage dependents” – those dependants who are financially supported by their parents, and enrolled in a full-time course of study can (currently) be sponsored based on that financial dependency. Statistically, the proposal to eliminate overage dependents may be construed as aggressive window-dressing (to curry favour with anti-immigrant sentiment), given the fact that (based on 2012 statistics), dependent children under the age of 19 constituted 90% (64,757) of all sponsored children, while those overage dependents were 10% (7,237). 7237 applicants out of roughly 260,000 immigrants per year is clearly a pittance. Unchanged, however, will be an exception for overage dependents who are financially dependent on their parents due to a mental or physical disability – again, this humanitarian sounding exception is practically speaking, very rarely utilized under the current regime but will be used to portray a pro-immigrant point of view.

Another side effect of the proposed changes would be that the phenomenon of fraudulent marriages (particularly, those in which a Canadian sponsor is paid to fraudulently sponsor a spouse as well as overage dependent children – “a courier sponsorship”) will theoretically become less popular.

The financial obligation for sponsors shall be higher, as the criteria shall no longer be The Low Income Cut Off, but rather, the Low Income Cut Off figure plus 30% – immigration Canada characterizes this as a “modest increase” which is mathematically odd when an increase in the amount of people being sponsored can compound this figure significantly.

Flexibility in terms of how income can be detected will be reduced in that only a Canada Revenue Agency Notice of Assessment will be used to determine income. By contrast, under the current law, more open-ended evidence such as bank deposits and rental receipts and job reference letters can be considered as evidence of income -this will theoretically streamline the financial component of an immigration officer’s assessment.

Most importantly, there will be a cap in the amount of applications for the year 2014, numbering 5,000 applications. The makes it effectively incumbent on sponsors to retain a competent immigration lawyer, as files that are improperly submitted to the immigration department will be returned unprocessed, resulting in a strong likelihood of missing the cap.


For more information, consult your Toronto Immigration Lawyer today!.

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