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HOW CAN YOU SPONSOR YOUR FAMILY?

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Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or

  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or

  • permanent resident of Canada

One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs make it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouse and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times, because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.

WHO ARE ELIGIBLE?

The Family Class Sponsorship Program reunites families by enabling adult permanent residents or citizens to sponsor a relative for immigration to Canada. To be eligible, the person seeking sponsorship must be a:

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Spouse, common-law or conjugal partner

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Dependent child

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Parent

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Grandparent

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Sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild under 18 years who is unmarried and whose parents are deceased

SPONSORSHIPS AND THEIR REQUIREMENTS

1. Spouse or Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

Take advantage of an accelerated 12-month processing period by sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence, whether they are living in Canada with a valid, temporary visa, or residing abroad. Applicants who are living in Canada may also qualify for an open work permit, giving couples the chance to relieve some of their financial burdens.

Your spouse

Your spouse can be either sex and must be:

  • legally married to you

  • at least 18 years old

Your common-law partner

Your spouse can be either sex and must be:

  • isn’t legally married to you

  • can be either sex

  • is at least 18 years old

  • has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months, meaning you’ve been living together continuously for 1 year in a conjugal relationship, without any long periods apart

    • Any time spent away from each other should have been

      • short

      • temporary

If you or your common-law partner choose to end the relationship, we consider the relationship to be over. You’ll need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

Your conjugal partner

Your conjugal partner:

  • isn’t legally married to you or in a common-law relationship with you

  • can be either sex

  • is at least 18 years old

  • has been in a relationship with you for at least 1 year

  • lives outside Canada

  • can't live with you in their country of residence or marry you because of significant legal and immigration reasons such as

    • their marital status (for example, they’re still married to someone else in a country where divorce isn’t possible)

    • their sexual orientation (for example, you are in a same-sex relationship, and same-sex relationships are not accepted, or same-sex marriage is illegal where they live),

    • persecution (for example, your relationship is between different religious groups which is not accepted and they may be punished legally or socially)

You’ll need to give proof that you could not live together or get married in your conjugal partner’s country (for example, proof of refused long-term stays in each other’s country).

A spousal open work permit gives sponsored individuals the ability to work in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed. Since Canada recognizes common-law partnerships, you may be eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship if you and your partner are not married but have been living together for a period of at least one year.

2. Child or Other Dependant Sponsorship

A child of the sponsor, or a child of the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner, can be considered a dependent child if they are under age 22 and don’t have a spouse or common-law partner of their own. Children over age 22 can be dependents if they relied on their parents for financial support before age 22, and are unable to financially support themselves due to a mental or physical condition.  

Children in sole custody of a previous spouse are still considered dependent children, and must be declared on the sponsorship application. If a dependent child being sponsored has one or more dependent children of their own, then the sponsor must prove their financial capacity by meeting a low income cut-off.

Dependent children

Children qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they’re under 22 years old

  • they don’t have a spouse or common law partner

Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements:

  • they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition

  • they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22

With the exception of age, your dependent child must continue to meet these requirements until we finish processing your application.

If they qualify as a dependent child, you can sponsor

  • your own child

    • If you’re a Canadian citizen, your child may also be a Canadian citizen, even if they weren’t born in Canada. You can’t sponsor your child for permanent residence if they’re Canadian citizens already. Check if your child is already a Canadian citizen.

    • If you’re sponsoring just your child, without sponsoring your spouse or partner, you’ll name your child as the principal applicant in the application. You’ll have to show that the other parent or legal guardian agrees to your child immigrating to Canada. See your checklist for what you’ll need to provide.

    • If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own (your grandchild), you’ll include your grandchild as a dependant in the application.

    • If you want to sponsor your adopted child or an orphaned family member, follow the instructions to sponsor your adopted child or orphaned family member instead.

  • your spouse or partner and their child

    • If you’re sponsoring your spouse or partner and a child (either their own child or a child you’ve had together), you’ll name your spouse or partner as the principal applicant and the child as the dependant in the application.

    • If the child you want to sponsor has a child of their own, you’ll include the grandchild as a dependant in the application.

If you or your common-law partner choose to end the relationship, we consider the relationship to be over. You’ll need to give proof of your common-law relationship.

3. Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship

Canada’s commitment to family reunification extends to parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents through the parent and grandparent sponsorship program. In order to sponsor a parent or grandparent, citizens and permanent residents will be required to demonstrate that they can financially support their family by meeting the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for the size of their family unit. They must also agree to financially support their sponsored family members, if needed.

 

Sponsors who are unable to permanently support their parent or grandparent may be eligible for a Super Visa, a long-term, multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Examples of who you can sponsor:

1. Sponsoring your mother and father, together as a couple

You can sponsor your parents together as a couple. On the application, one of them (either your mother or your father) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.

  • If you designate your mother as the principal applicant, your father will be the dependant.

  • If you designate your father as the principal applicant, your mother will be the dependant.

If you have brothers or sisters, you can include them in the application only if they qualify as dependent children. If they’re older than the age limit or they don’t meet all the requirements, they can’t be added to your parents’ application as dependent children. They’ll have to immigrate to Canada on their own.

2. Sponsoring your father, your step mother and their son

You can sponsor your father, his spouse and their son (your half-brother). On the application, your father must be the main applicant, called the principal applicant, because he’s related to you. Your step mother can’t be the principal applicant. She’ll be listed as your father’s dependant. Your step-brother can be added as a dependant only if he qualifies as a dependent child.

3. Sponsoring your grandparents, your mother and your step father

In this situation, you’ll have to submit 2 separate sponsorship applications: 1 per couple.

On your grandparents’ application, one of them (either your grandmother or your grandfather) will be designated as the main applicant, called the principal applicant. The other will be designated as a dependant.

  • If you designate your grandmother as the principal applicant, your grandfather will be the dependant.

  • If you designate your grandfather as the principal applicant, your grandmother will be the dependant.

On your mother’s application, your mother must be the principal applicant, because she’s related to you. Her partner can’t be the principal applicant. He’ll be listed as your mother’s dependant.

 

Who you can’t sponsor

You can’t sponsor:

  • your spouse’s parents and grandparents (your in-laws)

    • However, you can be a co-signer on your in-laws’ application.

  • someone who is inadmissible to Canada

    • This means they are not allowed to come to Canada.

ELIGIBILITY OF THE PEOPLE YOU ARE SPONSORING

To show they meet the eligibility requirements, your spouse, partner, dependent child and their dependent children (if applicable), parent, grandparents etc must provide:

  • all required forms and documents with their application

  • any additional information we request during processing, including

    • medical exams

    • biometrics

    • police certificates

Sponsorship Agreement

Notably, the sponsor must agree to financially support their family member in the case that their relative cannot provide for their own needs. This is to ensure that the new permanent resident will not require government assistance. The length of this financial obligation depends on the individual being sponsored:

  • Spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner: 3 years

  • Dependent child: 10 years OR when the child reaches age 22 (whichever comes first); 3 years for a dependent child over age 22.

  • Parent or grandparent: 20 years

 

Note that this financial obligation does not disappear if the sponsored person becomes a citizen, divorces or separates from the sponsor, or moves away from Canada.

Contact Us

Go ahead and book your appointment with us to get in touch with our team of experts.