Dependent Child Sponsorship



The laws of Canada that govern immigration make it a priority to ensure that families are united. As such, there are streams in Family class that allow for people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (PR) to sponsor their dependent children; the children of their spouse/partner; or children that are adopted, as long as they meet the requirements as laid out by the government and are proven to still be dependent on the parental sponsor.


To be eligible as a sponsor, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.
    • Note: if you’re a permanent resident living outside Canada, you are not eligible to sponsor. If you’re a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you can sponsor but you must show that you plan to live and settle back in Canada with the persons you want to sponsor. Canadian citizens travelling as tourists are not considered to be living abroad.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Provide basic needs for the ones who you are sponsoring and prove you are not receiving any kind of social assistance. There is no income requirement for sponsorships of those who plan to live outside of Quebec.
    • The exception if is:
    • you’re sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or
    • you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.

For Dependent Children

  • IRCC has provided an online tool for checking if dependent children are eligible.
  • To be considered a dependent child, they must meet both requirements:
    • they’re under 22 years old and
    • they don’t have a spouse or common law partner
  • A child can be older than 22 and be considered dependent if they meet both requirements:
    • they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
    • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

You can do the sponsorship overseas or in Canada. If the child is in Canada, they must have valid temporary residence status, such as a study permit or visitor record.



Qualifying under this program will make the applicant a Permanent Resident (PR) of Canada. As a Permanent Resident, you can do anything that a Canadian Citizen can do, except vote or join the military. As a PR, you are able to travel more freely and enter many countries without needing a Visa. As a Permanent Resident, you can do anything that a Canadian Citizen can do, except vote or join the military. Additionally, this will entitle you to all of the other benefits extended to all Canadians and PR’s, such as universal healthcare coverage, tax benefits and stable job opportunities. Lastly, after you satisfy the residency requirements as a PR, you can then apply for Canadian Citizenship.


While everyone’s case and circumstances are different, there are some common traps, pitfalls, and misconceptions when it comes to applying under this program. Here are some general and common ones we have experienced and encountered throughout the years:

Dependent children must be declared for permanent residency applications, even if they are not accompanying. You can’t add a child after you land and become a PR. To confirm whether a child qualifies as a dependent child, check the tool at the link.

The age limit for dependents changed from “under 19” to “under 22 on October 24, 2017. However, you can sponsor a child who is 22 years of age or older if they meet both requirements:

  • They have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22, and
  • They are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

There is commonly confusion regarding family members and what is required from them, especially whether they are accompanying or non accompanying. If there is a dependent child that has dependent children of their own, or you are dealing with a spouse’s children, then you will also need to meet the applicable financial thresholds. Furthermore, if they are children from a past relationship that has ended, you will need to be responsible for any documents required from a non-accompanying parent as this is needed.

Depending on your country of citizenship and/or residence, there will be different requirements based the Visa office that will process the file. There should the government form for the Sponsorship checklist and the country specific checklists. Being aware of the different requirements can save you from having incomplete applications or issues.

Babies who are not yet born can’t be taken into account for sponsorship or when calculating financial ability for family size as under the immigration legislation they are not factored in.


We understand that information can be found on the Internet and there are lots of other consultants or lawyers out there, so things can certainly get confusing very quickly for you. However, our value is in our services and how can simplify a sometimes-complicated process while anticipating and proactively making this whole process easy for you, from the start to the end of your immigration journey. We will guide you and provide:

  • An affordable service with an individualized payment schedule to suit any budget
  • Comprehensive documents required for the process, including information and tips that can’t be found on the IRCC website
  • Personalized immigration advice and solutions that are tailored to your case
  • Collaboration with a licensed immigration professional who will communicate and represent your case on your behalf
  • Support and Assistance through every stage of the process, from the application to the arrival in Canada.


A: It is highly suggested that you speak to a professional and book a consultation should there be any possible complicated factors in your case. This can be very tricky and while we have seen this before we know the issues that can crop up and they are not very easy to deal with.

A: All dependent children will need to do medicals however police checks will depend on the age of the child. Children over 18 years of age will need to provide police check (s) for any countries they have lived in cumulatively for more than six (6) months.

A: This will depend on the age of the child. Children who are 14 years of age and older must do biometrics.

A: This question is complicated, but the short answer is yes. After you applied and got the AOR (Acknowledgement of Receipt), that means your application passed the completeness check. Your child’s age was locked in at the time the AOR was received. If they were 18 at the time you applied, then that means they were considered at that age and are considered a dependent child, even if they are now older in real time.

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