Family Sponsorship Reunites Family Members in Canada
Family Sponsorship is appropriate for Canadians and Permanent Residents who wish to sponsor a close relative for Permanent Residence. Reunification is one of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s highest priorities. Individuals who are being sponsored by a family member, usually a spouse or a parent, do not have to meet the point system or discretionary selection criteria used in the other application categories. Instead, they are sponsored by a family member in Canada who will provide assistance in the individual’s ability to establish themselves in Canada. Individuals being sponsored must undergo medical examinations and provide police clearance certificates during the application process.
Family Sponsorship: Who Can Be Sponsored?
Only the following members of the family class may be sponsored:
- Spouses, common- law or conjugal partners 18 years of age or older;
- Parents and grandparents;
- Dependent children, including adopted children;
- Children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt;
- Children or guardianship; or
- Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans; under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship.
Family Sponsorship: Responsibilities of Sponsors and Co-Sponsors
Sponsors assume a legal obligation to help the person being sponsored and therefore, may have to meet certain income requirements set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
Sponsors and Co-Sponsors must be Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens over the age of eighteen (18). Sponsors and Co-Sponsors must be residing in Canada, or if a Canadian Citizen, show that they plan on returning to Canada with the sponsored relative. Sponsors and Co-Sponsor cannot be bankrupt, in default of a previous undertaking to sponsor, in prison, under a removal order or charged with a serious criminal offense.
The Sponsors and any Co-Sponsor are responsible for providing the essential needs for the person being sponsored and their dependents for a period of three to twenty years after their relative’s arrival in Canada. Should the Canadian Sponsor fail to support the Foreign National, and the Foreign National receives social assistance, the authorities may take legal recourse to be reimbursed for any money given to the sponsor.
Co-sponsors become necessary when a single individual cannot meet the minimum financial requirements for Parent and Grandparent sponsorship. Married and common-law partners who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens may be Co-sponsors. Co-Sponsors assume the same obligations and responsibilities as the sponsor must also sign the application forms for sponsorship, and undertake to support the sponsoree when he/she arrives in Canada.
Family Sponsorship: Adopting a Child from Another Country
To adopt a child from another country you must first go through the appropriate government agency authorized to assist in adoption. Once the adoption has been granted, you must then begin the family sponsorship and immigration process. For further information regarding international adoptions, please contact us.
Family Sponsorship: Appeals
Should an immigration officer refuse an application for family sponsorship, the sponsor and the individual being sponsored will be advised in writing of the reasons for the refusal. The sponsor may be eligible for an appeal.
For further information regarding the procedures for applying for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Family Class category, please contact us.
Family Sponsorship: Spousal, Partner, or Child Sponsorship
To successfully sponsor a spouse, partner or child for Permanent Residence you must qualify as a sponsor.
- Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident;
- Be at least 18 years old;
- Live in Canada or if you are a citizen, then you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a Permanent Resident;
- Satisfy Quebec specific laws regarding sponsorship if you live in Quebec; and
- Be able to prove that you have enough income to provide basic needs of the person or people that you are sponsoring.
You cannot be a sponsor if you:
- Were sponsored by a spouse or partner and became a Permanent Resident less than five years ago;
- Were sponsored by a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a Perment Resident;
- Are in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking;
- Are in the process of a bankruptcy proceeding;
- Receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability;
- Were convicted of a violent or sexual offence or are in jail;
- Are under a removal order; or
- Have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision has not yet been made.
If you are sponsoring a spouse or partner, the sponsored spouse must be at least 18 years old and the relationship must be a genuine one.
If you are sponsoring a child, the child must be under 22 years old and unmarried. If the child is older than 22 years of age and dependent on the parent’s financial support because of a mental or physical condition, then that child may also qualify to be sponsored despite being older than 22 years of age. Once the sponsorship application is in process, sponsored family members over the age of 18 years old will need to submit police certificates and all family members will need to have a medical exam.
There are two separate streams for spousal or partner sponsorship applications:
- Overseas sponsorship application – For spouses or partners living outside of Canada.
- In-land sponsorship application – For a spouse or partner who is living in Canada. Applicants under this category may also be eligible to apply for a work permit when the sponsorship application is filed.
If you would like to sponsor your spouse, partner, or child to come to Canada please contact us to arrange a consultation.
Family Sponsorship: Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship
The Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program is one of Canada’s most popular immigration programs. The program permits Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada.
The program operates using a lottery system and only a limited number of applications will be accepted each year. The program typically opens on the first business day of January.
Interested sponsors will complete an online form during the month of January and then the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) will randomly choose 10,000 individuals from those who filled out the form, and those people will be invited to send in their full application to sponsor their parents and grandparents. Sponsors will have 90 days to submit their complication to the IRCC.
If you would like to sponsor your parents or grandparents to come to Canada, please contact us to arrange a consultation.