Immigrant advocates are concerned over regulation changes that will no longer allow children over the age of 19 to qualify as dependents.
Prior to the change, immigrants were able to include dependent children up to the age of 22 on their applications, with an increase to that limit if the adult child was studying full time.
“We talk about Canada being a country that honours family values and here we are finding another way to tear families apart,” says Rose Dekker, an advocate whose Burlington-based organization has helped resettle thousands of refugees over the past three decades.
However, the Citizenship and Immigration Canada says that its intention with the new law is not to tear families apart and that there are plenty of other avenues of entry for those over the age of 19 who want to immigrate to Canada.
For instance, the government says, anyone over the age of 18 can apply for immigration themselves. If they don’t have the right training or experience to enter as a skilled worker, they can always come to Canada as an international student and then apply for permanent residency upon graduation.
Critics are not buying it, however, pointing out that international students often pay nearly triple the tuition fees that Canadian students pay. Furthermore, argues Dekker, many 19 year olds are hardly independent enough to even move out of their parents’ homes, let alone immigrate to a new country on their own.
The new law will go into effect starting January 1, 2014.
Source: Toronto Star