Amending Family Status

CIC News
Published: March 1, 1999

Applicants for immigration to Canada may include close family members as accompanying dependents. This allows issuance of landing documents to such family members at the same time as those of the principal applicant. There are, however, a number of possible instances in which relations which are not included in an application initially, may be included later on, or must be amended to the application.

Fiancé(e)s

The most common occurrence is the case of marriage to a fiancé(e) during the application procedure. A fiancé(e) is not included within the definition of an accompanying dependent, as detailed in the immigration Regulations. As such, it is not technically possible to include such an individual until the marriage has been concluded. In some cases, such relations may be included under Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds, or in the case that their qualifications are considered independently in the skilled worker program. As a general rule, however, inclusion is not part of the normal provisions concerning accompanying dependents.

In the case, however, that the marriage takes place during the application procedure or prior to the landing of the principal applicant, a fiancé(e) may be amended to the application following the marriage. This would entail submission of the appropriate statutory documents (including police clearances) for such an individual, the marriage certificate, the applicable fees, an application form, and a request for inclusion as an accompanying dependent to the visa office. Depending on the stage of the application at the time of the marriage, delays may be only slight to approximately 5 months at most visa offices. Part of the reason for such delays will be the conclusion of necessary medical examinations and associated processing.

In the case of amendment to the application following the issuance of landing documents, the landing documents must be returned to the visa office along with the submission materials outlined above.

Even if the fiancé(e) does not intend to be an accompanying dependent, submission of the appropriate statutory documents for such an individual, the marriage certificate, and an application form must still be submitted to the visa officefollowing the marriage. Failure to do so can lead to significant complications at or following landing.

Children

Following the delivery of a child, the amendment of the newborn to an existing application may also be requested. As medical examinations cannot typically be completed by a pregnant mother, applications with such circumstances will conclude processing only after the delivery.

As in the case of a fiancé(e), amendment to the application is possible by submission of the birth certificate (hospital birth records may substitute in some cases) and other statutory documents (police clearances are not required), the applicable fees, and a request for inclusion as an accompanying dependent to the visa office. Once again, the visa office must be notified of such an additional to the family status of an applicant, even in the case that the child is not to be included as an accompanying dependent.

In the case of amendment to the application following the issuance of landing documents, the landing documents must be returned to the visa office along with the submission materials outlined above.

Costs

The amendment of a family member to an existing application is mandatory and does not have any government costs associated with it. The inclusion of a family member as an accompanying dependent, however, is subject to all applicable government fees, and may be subject to an increase in necessary settlement funds.

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