The constantly-changing state of Canadian immigration rules has thrown up another restriction by lowering the age limit for dependent child visas from 22 to 19.
The change will be brought in on 1 January next year, and will not affect dependent children whose applications are already in the pipeline. However, it will affect the age exception for older children in full-time study, as this concession will be withdrawn.
Although the new rules are only expected to impact on around 7,000 dependent children a year, they will seriously affect refugees and live-in caregivers. Immigrants in these categories have to wait for years to obtain permanent residence visas, risking that their overseas dependent children may be too old to be allowed to join them.
The recent changes in Canada’s visa structure reflect the changing immigration focus from families to skilled workers and entrepreneurs able to fill the skills shortage or create new jobs to stimulate the country’s fragile economy. According to the brief issued on the new rule, younger migrants will find it easier to adapt to Canadian culture and social norms via the education system.
Immigration officials are charged with determining the worth to the country of each immigrant, and consider that those who can take advantage of Canada’s education system due to their age will be of more benefit economically. The suggestion that dependent children older than 19 years of age should enter the country by applying for a place at a Canadian university would seem to be discriminatory financially, as students for overseas are charged triple the tuition fees paid by domestic students.
June 6′ 2013