A dependent child is legally defined as a person who is:
- Less than 22 years of age, and not a spouse or common-law partner
- 22 years or older, has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22, and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition
A dependent child can be sponsored for permanent residence if it is the biological or adopted child of the sponsor and/or spouse/partner, and if the child has not been adopted by another person.
Adoptions from Abroad
In case of a adoption of a child abroad, the genuine and informed consent of the biological parents must be provided. The adoption must be in the best interest of the child and create a genuine child-parent relationship. The adoption has to have occurred in accordance with the laws of Canada, as well as the country where the adoption took place. Note that a foreign child that has been adopted accordingly by a Canadian citizen is eligible for Canadian citizenship, without first having to apply for Permanent Residence.
Orphaned siblings (including half and step siblings), nephews, nieces and grandchildren may also be sponsored if they meet the following criteria:
- They are orphaned;
- They are less than 19 years of age, and not a spouse or common-law partner him or herself; and
- Written consent of the legal guardians of the child, and from the appropriate authorities of the country of residence, is obtained
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