Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents can apply to sponsor their family members to Canada. There are many programs to sponsor different family members, such as your spouse or your parents, for example. The requirements vary for each of the categories. An application for sponsorship does not provide a guarantee to Canada.
How can I qualify to be a sponsor?
Sponsors must meet the following conditions:
- Be at least 18 years old;
- You are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada, or;
- You are not under an undischarged bankruptcy;
- You must live in Canada. Only Canadian citizens living abroad can sponsor while living overseas.
- You are not in jail, not in default of child support payments, or not on social assistance.
- You do not have a criminal record involving crimes against relatives, violent or sexual offences.
For some family class categories, the sponsor may need to submit proof of sufficient income to the sponsor.
Who can I sponsor?
Spouse, Common-law partners (CLP), and dependent children.
When you sponsor your spouse or CLP you can include your and their family members to apply for permanent residence in Canada. Family sponsorship means immigration to Canada for the whole family.
Family members are considered as:
- Your spouse: the person to whom you are legally married.
- Your common-law partner: the person (either sex) you have commonly lived in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 months.
- Your dependent children: must be under 22 years old and not married or in a common-law relationship.
You will need to provide birth certificates, marriage certificates, or proof of cohabitation in your documents to sponsor your husband, wife, or partner to Canada.
Your family members will need to provide proof of medical examination to be issued a visa.
Parents & Grandparents Program (PGP)
After you become a permanent resident or a Canadian Citizen, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents if you meet the minimum income requirements as a sponsor. The income requirement is based on the family size of the sponsor.
Your parents can include in their application their dependent children if:
They are under 22 years old at the time of application;
Are not married or in a common-law relationship.
The PGP uses a lottery-like system to select the application to meet the quotas set out each year by the Minister of IRCC. Sponsors can apply to be in the pool of eligible applicants and wait for the invitation to apply for permanent residence. However, being selected is not a guarantee to Canada since all applicants must meet the criminal background checks and medical examination.
If you are adopting a child internationally, you will need to sponsor your child to Canada. The adoption process can vary from one country to another, but applying for a permanent residence visa is the same.
You will need to qualify as a sponsor based on the requirements listed in the previous section. Then, you can apply for the visa on behalf of your child. Once your child arrives in Canada and becomes a permanent resident, you can apply for Canadian citizenship for your child.
As part of your application for the Canada visa, you will need to demonstrate that there is an existing parent-child relationship between you and the child you are sponsoring. You cannot adopt a child solely for the purpose of obtaining a visa.
Orphaned brother, sister, grandchild, nephew, or niece.
You can sponsor any of the above only if the person you wish to sponsor meets all of these conditions:
- You are both related by blood or adoption
- Must be an orphan, meaning both their mother and father passed away
- The person is under 18 years of age
- The person is single, not married, or in a common-law relationship
You cannot sponsor if:
- One of the person’s parents is still alive
- The whereabouts of the person’s parents are unknown.
- The person’s parents abandoned them.
- The person has a caretaker, not their parents, while one or both their parents are alive.
- Their parent is in jail or otherwise detained
You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:
- You, the sponsor, do not have a living relative you could sponsor from the above categories.
- You, the sponsor, don’t have any relatives who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
How can I apply for the family class sponsorship?
For the sponsorship to be approved, you will need to follow 2 steps.
- The application to sponsor: this part of the application will assess if your sponsor in Canada is eligible to sponsor. If your sponsor’s application is approved, your application for the visa will be transferred to the visa office abroad responsible for processing the family class sponsorship.
- The application for permanent residence: the forms for your permanent residence visa will be assessed at the visa office. You may need to provide more documents if required or attend an interview. If approved, you will be asked to provide your passport for the final visa.
Need help navigating through this process? Contact us today for a free assessment!