Resettlement: Dependent family members and separated-unaccompanied children

(REF-OVS-7)

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Legal versus de facto dependent
Defines legal versus de facto dependent and processing considerations.

When dependent resides in different location from principal applicant
How to examine dependents who are residing in a different location from the principal applicant, regardless of whether they intend to immigrate with the principal applicant.

Add a new dependent (immigrating with principal applicant)
How to process a request to add a new dependent to application before principal applicant departs to Canada.

One-year window of opportunity (immigrating after principal applicant is in Canada)
How to process a request for immigrating a dependent abroad after principal applicant has been resettled to Canada.

DNA testing to confirm biological relationship
IRCC procedures for DNA testing to evaluate relationship of dependent and principal applicant, along with specific procedures for resettlement applicants.

Considerations for separated and unaccompanied children
How to assess and process applications for separated or unaccompanied children, including those with consanguineous or de facto family members and/or those without any known family. Describes different situations and considerations including best interests of child, guardianship protocols during travel and in Canada, and specific requirements of provinces.  See instructions:


Cases for priority or special processing
Considerations for assessing and processing special or priority case groups. Includes cases referred for urgent protection, vulnerable cases, public policies, applicants who are persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity expression (SOGIE-LGBTQI) and other groups requiring special attention.

Resettlement: Program delivery partners – roles and responsibilities
Key partners within and outside of IRCC and their respective responsibilities regarding resettlement.

For processing stages of all resettlement programs, refer to:

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