Older Children and Canada Immigation

Potential immigrants to Canada often wonder if their older children can accompany them, or if the children must immigrate on their own. The rules can get a bit complicated, however, generally speaking:
  • A child who is less than 22 years of age (and who does not have a spouse or common law partner) can accompany you.
  • A child who has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before age 22 (or if becoming a spouse or common law partner since before age 22, since becoming a spouse or common law partner) and has been a continuous, full-time student in an accredited post-secondary institution or actively pursued professional or vocational training.
  • A child who is 22 or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before 22 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.
  • You should be aware that Citizenship and Immigration Canada will investigate the circumstances around older children. For example, CIC will request attendance and academic records to ensure the child is enrolled full-time.

CIC will request documents of financial support from the parent (so a child funding school subtantially with student loans or his or her own salary may not qualify). Small scholarships won’t likely disqualify older children in school, but comprehensive scholarships may disqualify older children from immigrating to Canada with their parents.

There are many potential pitfalls with older children. As always it is important to seek advice on your particular circumstances.

About the author

Gianpaolo Panusa Gianpaolo Panusa is a Canadian immigration lawyer, writer, and founder of the PanCanadian Immigration Law Group based in Vancouver, Canada. Google+ Profile

  1. August 21, 2008
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