Canada: Upcoming changes to age of dependents, PR conditions, and eTA requirements

Posted by Immigration Law Team|Canada Immigration
Apr 17

In brief:

On May 3, 2017, the Canadian Government is expected to publish amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) affecting age of dependents, permanent residence (PR) conditions, and eTA requirements in the Canada Gazette, Part II.


Age of dependent children

The Canadian Government is expected to publish amendments to the IRPR to amend the definition of “dependent child” from “less than 19 years of age” to “less than 22 years of age” Under current regulations, only children who are under the age of 19 (or, children 19 years of age or older and dependent substantially on the financial support of their parent due to physical or mental condition) can be included as a family member in their parent’s application for permanent residence or other status document.

Elimination of conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses

On May 3, 2017, the Canadian Government is also expected to publish regulations amending the IRPR to eliminate conditional permanent residence for spouses, common-law and conjugal partners sponsored under the family class. Under the current regulations, certain spouses or partners must reside with their sponsor for two years after obtaining PR as a condition of their permanent residence. This condition applies to spouses or partners who have been in a relationship for two years or less and without any children in common, at the time of application.

Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for Brazilian, Bulgarian and Romanian citizens

As of May 1, 2017, certain citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania will be eligible to apply for an eTA as opposed to a visitor visa to enter Canada by air. To be eligible to apply for an eTA, these citizens must:

– have held a Canadian visitor visa within the past 10 years, or

– currently hold a valid US nonimmigrant visa (e.g. B-1 Visa, B-2 Visa, etc.)

Those who do not meet this criteria or wish to enter Canada by car, bus, train, or boat, will require a visitor visa.

IRCC has announced that it intends to lift the visa requirement for all citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania effective December 1, 2017, at which time these citizens will no longer require a visitor visa to enter Canada, regardless of their past visa history or means of transportation.


The amendment to the age of dependent children will allow foreign workers to bring their young adult children with them, enhancing Canada’s competitiveness in the global economy. This will also benefit companies who employ foreign nationals in that they would be able to retain top global talent for longer periods.

Eliminating conditional permanent residence for sponsored spouses may help reduce the vulnerability of certain spouses or partners, particularly those who may be in abusive relationships, by removing the requirement to cohabit with his or her sponsor for two years.

Lifting the visa requirements for citizens of Brazil, Bulgaria and Romania will make it easier to travel through Canada by air by allowing them to apply for an eTA rather than an entry visa or temporary resident visa. Processing times for eTA applications are typically much shorter than for visa applications. Additionally, lifting the visa requirements for these individuals would allow them to apply for work permits at the port of entry, allowing companies to bring in global talent faster.

For further details on the upcoming changes, or on any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team at PwC Law LLP.

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