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Sponsoring Children To Immigrate To Canada

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A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their dependent children and/or an adopted child to reunite with them permanently in Canada. 

The child, whether biological, step or adoptive, would need to meet the definition of ‘dependent’ and the parent would need to meet specified criteria to be eligible to sponsor in the first place.

To qualify as a sponsor, a parent must be at least 18 years old and have status as either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Who Qualifies As A Dependent Child?

A “dependent child” is either an individual who is:

  • under 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner; or
  • 22 years of age or older, and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 and is unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition.

The age of the child is “locked-in” on the day that the case processing centre receives the application, and remains “frozen in time” for the full duration of the time that it takes to process the sponsorship and applications for permanent residence.

For a dependent child who is younger than 22 years of age at the time of landing, the sponsor parent’s sponsorship duties last for a period of 10 years or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first. For a dependent child who is older than 22 at the time of landing, the sponsor parent’s sponsorship duties are for three years.

Sponsorship Of Adopted Children

Canadian immigration law provides for the adoption abroad of children under 18 years of age and of those 18 years of age or older (if they also meet the above definition of a dependent child). In all cases of adoption, the genuine and informed consent of both biological parents must be provided. In the event that only one parent is able to provide consent to an adoption, visa officers must be satisfied that the second parent is not alive, or has no legal rights with respect to the child.

If adopting a child over the age of 18, the adoption must be in the best interests of the child. If the foreign adoption is not in the best interests of the child, the child will not be considered a member of the family class.

Sponsorship Of Specified Orphaned Relatives

Siblings (including half and step-siblings, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren) may also be admitted as sponsored relatives if they are (1) orphaned; (2) under the age of 18; and (3) and are not a spouse or common-law partner.

Generally, the sponsorship for orphaned relatives who are under 18 years of age, follows the same procedures as those for adopted children under 18 years of age. A visa officer must obtain the written consent of the appropriate authorities in the child’s country of residence, before the child may be removed from that country. Written consent of any legal guardians must also be obtained.

Ksenia Tchern

A founding partner of Abramovich & Tchern, Ksenia started her legal career at one of Canada’s top immigration firms, where she operated her own immigration law practice, with a focus on corporate and individual immigration applications.