Meaning of Dependent Child

25th Jul 2017 Comments Off on Meaning of Dependent Child

Last updated on April 23rd, 2020

Last Updated on April 23, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

A “dependent child” is defined in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, SOR/2002-227 as:

dependent child, in respect of a parent, means a child who

(a) has one of the following relationships with the parent, namely,

(i) is the biological child of the parent, if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner of the parent, or

(ii) is the adopted child of the parent; and

(b) is in one of the following situations of dependency, namely,

(i) is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or

(ii) is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before attaining the age of 22 years and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition. (enfant à charge)

In setting 22 as the limit, the Government of Canada stated that its rationale was:

The Government of Canada has established as a priority for the immigration program the goal of family reunification, which is about giving family members the opportunity to live with or near each other, instead of being separated by borders and long distances. It is recognized that many young adults remain with their parents for a longer period of time. Given the importance placed on education, it is not unusual for some children to remain with their nuclear family while pursuing higher education before entering the labour market. The current definition of “dependent child” in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) is limited to persons less than 19 years of age and is therefore too restrictive (p.

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Solicitor Client Privilege at the Port of Entry

14th Jul 2017 Comments Off on Solicitor Client Privilege at the Port of Entry

Last Updated on July 14, 2017 by Steven Meurrens

The Canada Border Services Agency has confirmed to the Law Society of British Columbia that border officials have been instructed not to examine documents where the officer suspects that they may be subject to solicitor-client privilege.

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Borderlines Podcast Episode 16 – The History of the Immigration Consultant Profession in Canada

12th Jul 2017 Comments Off on Borderlines Podcast Episode 16 – The History of the Immigration Consultant Profession in Canada

Last updated on October 24th, 2020

Last Updated on October 24, 2020 by Steven Meurrens

In this episode we discuss the history of the immigration consultant profession in Vancouver and current issues that the profession faces from a regulatory and governance perspective.

Ron McKay is a past Chair of the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council’s Board of Directors. He is a former Immigration Officer who spent ten years at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo, Japan. He is also a past National President of the Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants.


3:30 – We discuss the history of immigration consultants in Canada, including an in depth discussion of the Mangat case, in which the Supreme Court of Canada determined that the federal government could allow non-lawyers to practice immigration law. We also discussed the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants (“CSIC”), the first regulatory body of immigration consultants in Canada.

24:00 – We get into governance issues at regulatory oversight issues at both CSIC and the ICCRC.

38:30 – We talk about ghost consultants and what the immigration consultancy profession can do about it.

50:00 – We discuss how the immigration consulting profession needs to be regulated yet at the same time be independent of the government.

53:00 – Steven asks how the ICCRC determines how many consultants there should be. Are we reaching a saturation point? Should there be limits as to which aspects of immigration law they can practice?




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Weeding Out Crooked Immigration Consultants

4th Jul 2017 Comments Off on Weeding Out Crooked Immigration Consultants

Last Updated on July 4, 2017 by Steven Meurrens

The following is an article that I wrote for Policy Options.

The first paper that I wrote in law school was about legal ethics. I submitted a seven-page essay arguing that restricting the practice of law to graduates of law school was unethical, given the crisis of access to justice that so many face, and that the free market should instead regulate who can and cannot charge fees to provide legal representation. I got my lowest mark in law school.

The study and practice of law moderated many of my views, and my opinion on who should be able to practise law has been adjusted accordingly. It has become clear to me that those who receive fees in exchange for the provision of legal advice must be regulated, and that in an era of easy Internet marketing, paid-for reviews and fake news, the free market is incapable of performing this role. However, I still believe that access to the ability to practise law should be extended beyond those who have completed three years of law school.

It may not be surprising then that, unlike many immigration lawyers, I do not consider the existence of immigration consultants to be inherently problematic. When I started practising immigration law, a local immigration consultant was an important mentor to me, and some of the most passionate people I know who are advocating for greater justice and fairness in Canada’s immigration system are consultants.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to practise immigration law for long before encountering people who have been the victims of immigration consultants who provided extremely bad representation, ranging from sheer incompetence to fraud. In many other cases,

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