Age Lock-in Date for Dependent Children in Immigration to Canada

When you are immigrating to Canada, your children could accompany you. However, they must be dependent and meet one of the following two requirements:

  • They are single and under 22
  • They are 22 years old or older but financially and emotionally dependent on you due to significant physical or mental issues before turning 22 and to date.

In this article

What is the age lock-in date?

When you send an application to IRCC, they lock your children’s age at a set date. Consequently, if your child was less than 22 at the time of age lock-in date, then it won’t matter how long it takes for IRCC to process your application (exemptions apply). Let’s say you apply on June 1, 2021, and your child is 21 at the time. However, the officer finalizes reviewing the application on June 1, 2023, when your child is 23. Since IRCC locked your child’s age on June 1, 2021, they will keep them in the application as long as they are still single.

Age lock-in date for federal applications

Federal applications currently include the following:

When you apply under these programs, you receive a Submission Confirmation letter from IRCC, which clearly says the package’s day. Consequently, the date they mention in that letter reflects the age lock-in date for your child. An alternative name for that letter is AOR or Acknowledgement of Receipt. Of course, AOR reflects the date IRCC receives the complete permanent resident application.

What if my federal immigration option involves an ITA?

In some methods of federal immigration, you go through two major stages:

  1. Submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  2. Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA)

In these situations, the age lock-in date is when you respond to the ITA, and IRCC receives your complete application.

What if my child or I have a work permit or study permit before immigration?

Unfortunately, work permits or study permits or TRVs do not constitute an age lock-in date. Regardless of your previous status, IRCC relies on the date they receive the complete permanent resident application. However, if your work permit is because of a PNP application, then continue reading this article.

What is a complete permanent resident package?

A complete package means you have filled out all the forms entirely and included all necessary supporting documents. Of course, an IRCC officer reviews the package and decides whether it is complete or not. Regardless, they may request more documents in the future. However, asking for supplementary documents won’t make your initial application package incomplete. If you have received an AOR, it means your package was complete.

Age lock-in date for humanitarian cases and refugees

This group covers the following applications:

The age lock-in date for all these applications is the date IRCC receives the complete package. However, for the family member group, the lock-in date is the date the principal applicant submitted their package.

PNP – Provincial Nominee Programs

PNP applications usually consist of two stages: the EOI and the ITA. When you fully respond to the ITA and submit all your documents, you also set the age lock-in date for your dependent children. Of course, if the process is just one stage, then the lock-in date is when the province receives your complete package. Regardless, the approach to both cases reduces anxiety due to the gap between the province’s approval and then submission of the final package to IRCC.

Age lock-in date for Quebec immigration categories

When you apply via the Quebec programs, you initially apply for the CSQ. Consequently, the age lock-in date for your children is when Quebec receives the complete set of documents and forms for the CSQ. Of course, the Quebec options are currently the following:

  • Skilled worker
  • Self-employed
  • Entrepreneur
  • Immigrant investor
  • Quebec Distressful Situations
  • Quebec Collective Refugee Sponsorships

The lock-in date for the last program is when Quebec receives the sponsor’s complete undertaking package.


You may include your child as a dependent if they meet the definition of a dependent family member on the lock-in date. However, IRCC will boot them out if they marry or become a common-law partner after the lock-in date. Please also consider reading the following article:

Let us help!

If you hire my team and me, we will assist you in submitting your application. Consequently, you do not need to worry about “age lock-in date” or other questions. Remember that some mistakes on the forms could result in the refusal of the application or even inadmissibility. If you would like to hire us, fill out our free assessment form or book a consultation session. Of course, you may alternatively fill out the following form:

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai

    This article has been expertly crafted by Al Parsai, a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University. A respected member of CICC and CAPIC organizations, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.