Calgary man frustrated he can’t sponsor 21-year-old son’s immigration

June 2, 2017

By CTV News |

A Calgary father is pleading with the federal immigration minister to help him get past a frustrating rule change that he says is keeping him from his youngest son.

Andy Buck came to Calgary from the United Kingdom in 2008 after landing a job with the city. His sons, who were 14 and 17 at the time, stayed back with his ex-wife.

“It was an opportunity for me to better myself, but the by-product of all that was the fact it would create opportunities for my two boys also,” Buck told CTV Calgary

Andy became a Canadian citizen three years ago and when his older son, Alex, turned 19, Buck sponsored him as a dependent child to come to Canada. Now 25, Alex works for an engineering firm in Calgary.

In January, 2015, Buck’s younger son, Benjamin, decided he wanted to join them too, but the family soon hit a roadblock.

They learned that the former Conservative government had adjusted the rules on sponsoring adult children in 2014, changing the age of dependency from children under the age of 22, to children under the age of 19.

Under those rules, only children 19 and older who were unable to support themselves because of a mental or physical condition could be considered dependents. Young adults not considered dependents would have to apply to come to Canada on their own merits, or as foreign students.

Ben, who had just turned 19, learned he was too old to qualify as a dependent.

“It is very frustrating. I just want to follow my dad’s and brother’s footsteps,” he said in a video call from the U.K.

But just last month, the Liberal government announced it would be changing the policy back, and returning the age of dependency to 22. It said in the announcement that the change was “consistent with the global socioeconomic trend for children to stay home longer” and would allow immigrant children to study in Canada.

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