Permanent Residents of Canada, 0 to 24 Years of Age, by Immigration Category, 2012

In 2012, 257,887 immigrants became permanent residents of Canada. Of those, 84,499 were children and youth between birth and 24 years. Of the permanent residents under age 25, the majority, or 66% (56,085) received residency status under the economic immigration class. Of those who immigrated to join family members already living in Canada (family class immigrants), there were 15,368 children and youth – making up 18% of children and youth. Another 10,810 people under age 25 obtained permanent residency status in Canada as refugees after fleeing their home countries (13% of all child and youth immigrants).

Immigrants to Canada are grouped into four classes: Economic, Family, Refugee and Other.

Economic Immigrants: “Permanent residents selected for their skills and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy.”1

Family Immigrants: “Permanent residents sponsored by a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living in Canada who is 18 years of age or over. Family class immigrants include spouses and partners (i.e., spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner); parents and grandparents; and others (i.e., dependent children, children under the age of 18 whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren who are orphans under 18 years of age, or any other relative if the sponsor has no relative as described above, either abroad or in Canada). Fiancés are no longer designated as a component of the family class under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.1 The definition of ‘dependent child’ changed in 2014 to include children under 19 rather than children under 22.2

If an economic immigrant sponsors his or her spouse and children to immigrate to Canada once he or she has already arrived, the spouse and children are considered family class immigrants.

Refugees: “Permanent residents in the refugee category include government-assisted refugees, privately sponsored refugees, refugees landed in Canada and refugee dependents (i.e., dependents of refugees landed in Canada, including spouses and partners living abroad or in Canada).”1

Other: “Permanent residents in the other immigrant category include post-determination refugee claimants in Canada, deferred removal orders, retirees (no longer designated under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act), temporary resident permit holders, humanitarian and compassionate cases, sponsored humanitarian and compassionate cases outside the family class, and people granted permanent resident status based on public policy considerations.”1

1Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Facts and figures 2011 – Immigration overview: Permanent and temporary residents.

2Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Notice – Changes to the definition of a dependent child.

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