Support the child or other dependent
The Family Support Program helps Canadians or permanent residents who are the parents of a child abroad to reunite their family to support their child or other dependents living permanently in Canada.
Definition of dependent child
To be eligible for financial support, children must meet the definition of a dependent child. Whether they are a biological child or the adopted child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, a child is considered dependent if he or she is not married or in a customary relationship and is under 22 years of age. Children over the age of 22 are considered dependent if they suffer from a physical or mental condition that does not prevent them from being supported.
Requirements for dependent child support
As with all family support programs, the sponsor and the person being supported must have the necessary conditions for the child to be able to stay permanently. Parents who want to support their child should:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- Be at least 18 years old
- Not charged with a serious crime or bankruptcy
Parents are also asked to prove their connection to the child, either by presenting a birth certificate or an adoption certificate. For parents who are in the final stages of the adoption process, they can support their adoptive parents before the adoption is finalized. In addition to meeting the definition of a dependent child, the sponsored person must be the biological child of the sponsor or the spouse of the sponsor or the adopted child of the sponsor or spouse.
Support for a dependent child in Quebec
If a Canadian sponsor resides in Quebec, he or she must commit to a financial company to support the family members he or she supports. The duration of this task depends on the nature of the relationship. If the dependent child is under the age of 16, the sponsor must commit to sponsoring them for 10 years or longer until the child turns 18. If the dependent child is 16 years of age or older, the sponsor must commit to sponsoring them for three years or longer until the child is 25 years old.
Minimum income required to support a dependent child
Canadian citizens or permanent residents who support dependent children are not required to receive the required minimum income (MNI), provided the dependent child has no children. If the dependent child being supported has dependent children, the sponsor must provide the MNI required for the size of the family.