Section 2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) defines a dependent child as a child who:
- Has one of the following relationships with the parent:
- Is the biological child of the parent, if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner of the parent or,
- Is the adopted child of the parent AND,
- Is in one of the following situations of dependency:
- Is less than 19 years of age and is not a spouse or a common-law partner or,
- Is 19 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent prior to being 19 years of age and is unable to financially self-support because of a physical or a mental condition
This definition has been in effect since August 01, 2014.
The authorities acknowledge that raising the minimum age of a spouse from 16 to 18 years could result in a scenario where an individual, who is 16 or 17 years of age, married or in a common-law relationship, but financially dependent on the parents, might be left alone and potentially vulnerable overseas. If this situation arises, officers would need to consider these individuals as dependent children and / or de facto family members. This is because, in accordance with the provisions of the regulatory amendment, the authorities would not consider these individuals as spouses. It is worth noting that this interpretation of the regulations remains consistent with the objective of the policy of raising the age of a spouse to prevent misuse or render young women vulnerable.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration