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Immigrate to Canada the Easy Way

Written by Amine

look at this case

Skilled workers have applied for a work visa in Canada. She has two sons, a 21-year-old and a 22-year-old. She wants to include them on the application as her dependent children. Technically, children 22 and under are considered dependents. However, because the application took more than a year to process, her children would have turned 22 when the application was approved. By then, her children must have finished school and were defined as independents. The question is, are the sons eligible to immigrate as dependents?


The answer is yes, but the process still depends on the definition of “dependency”. Before defining, it is important to review the case against the following background.

Many overseas workers apply to Canada as skilled workers. Skilled workers have years of experience and education in a specific field, creating skills specific to that field. These types of immigrants are favored in Canada and other Western countries. Applicants under the skilled worker category can include their spouse and dependent children on their application. After approval, spouses and children can also immigrate to Canada.

For skilled worker applications, a dependent child is legally defined as a person 22 years of age or younger. However, there is one exception to this definition. Children over the age of 22 are still considered dependents if they were already heavily dependent on remittances from their parents before reaching that age. In addition, those who continue to attend classes before reaching this age are considered dependents.

On the other hand, an important factor to consider with respect to this definition is not the statutory rule, but the state of application. Sometimes, information about dependents is “locked” or “frozen”. In other words, the child’s age and financial dependency can be calculated or considered in three different situations: as of the date of application, as of another date, or when ordered by the immigration officer.

age lock date

In this case, Canadian immigration officials (Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC) have internal policies regarding the age of children. They fix the lock-in date on the day the skilled worker applies. Lockout dates are defined by the following adaptation from the CIC Policy Manual:

The lock date is used as a reference point to freeze certain factors before applications are processed. This definition is not subject to any act or regulation. However, it does not violate any laws that applicants must abide by.

For refugees or people belonging to an economic class, age locking occurs when a visa officer accepts an application for submission. This policy does not conflict with any jurisprudence, which generally overrules CIC policy when a conflict arises.

In this case, the youngest son in the example qualifies as a dependent. Also, even after a year and a half, he still qualifies as a dependent because he was under 22 at the time of the age lock.

Lock-in Date for Financial Dependency

In contrast, the lock-in date for financial dependencies is the date on which a decision is made for the application. This means that the eldest son is not considered a dependent on the date the immigration officer decides on the application. After a year and a half, he no longer considered financial dependence. This is under previous Canadian immigration policy.

This policy has been revised. In 2005, Hamid (Federal Court of Canada) stated that in the absence of a statutory requirement to the contrary, the lock-in date of financial dependency for children of skilled workers is the date of application. This rule is still followed today.

The Hamid court logically deduced that the lock-in definition for age must also be the same as the lock-in for economic dependence. Furthermore, there are insufficient grounds to hold applicants liable for delays in the application process. Since this is beyond their control, it is favored today to give them more opportunities to have their dependent children immigrate with them.

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