If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and have family members who want to immigrate to Canada, you might be able to assist them in doing so.
One of the cornerstones of the Canadian immigration system is still family reunion.
By allowing adults who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor a relative for immigration, the Family Class Sponsorship Program helps to reconnect families.
The applicant for sponsorship must fit the criteria to be eligible.
- Wife, common-law partner, or sexual partner
- Relying child
- Unmarried, under-18-year-old sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild whose parents have passed away.
Except in cases when they are temporarily residing legally in Canada, such as with a work or study permit, the individual being sponsored must reside outside of Canada.
What is a partner or spouse?
People that fit into the following categories are eligible for sponsorship:
- Spouse: Canadian law and a legally binding union in the spouse’s country of origin
- A common-law spouse
- A continuous period of at least one year of cohabitation in a romantic relationship
- Relationship partner: Conjugal relationship lasting at least a year (commitment and permanence similar to marriage or common-law) in which the pair is unable to live together owing to immigration restrictions, religious restrictions, issues with their sexual orientation or marital status, or other factors (e.g. married to someone else, where divorce is not possible in country of origin)
- Same-sex relationships are accepted under these categories for immigration reasons.
A Dependent Child is what?
If the child is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner of their own, the child of the sponsor or the child of the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner may be regarded as a dependent child.
If a child above the age of 22 was financially reliant on their parents before turning 22, and they are unable to support themselves due to a mental or physical condition, they may still be considered dependents.
Children who have a former spouse’s sole custody are still counted as dependents and must be disclosed on the sponsorship application.
If the dependent kid being sponsored has one or more dependents of their own, the sponsor must demonstrate their ability to pay by earning less than a certain amount.
Anyone may sponsor?
An adult Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is at least 18 years old must serve as the sponsor.
A sponsor must live in Canada, unless they are a Canadian citizen who is currently residing overseas and intends to move here when the sponsored person arrives.
A person is not eligible to sponsor if they:
- Are in prison
- Are under a restraining order Are filing for bankruptcy
- Receiving government social aid (except for disability)
- Have failed to make child support payments Have been found guilty of (or attempted/threatened to commit) a violent or sexual offense that resulted in the physical damage of a family member
- Have made late or skipped payments, or have not repaid immigration debts
- Had sponsored a relative in the past, but failed to comply with the requirements
- Have sponsored a former spouse or partner who hasn’t had a green card for more than three years.
- Were themselves sponsored, and less than five years ago, they were granted permanent residency.
Fees Other Requirements
For Family Class applications, the Canadian government mandates payment of sponsorship and processing costs.
Every sponsored relative who is not a dependent child must also pay a “Right of Permanent Residence Amount”; this is the sole fee that will be reimbursed if the application is rejected or withdrawn.
|Family Member||Fees ($CAN)||Total Fees/Person ($CAN)|
|Spouse, partner, or relative age 22 or older||– Sponsorship fee ($75) – Processing fee ($475) – Right of permanent residence fee ($490)||$1,040|
|Relative under age 22 and not your dependent child||– Sponsorship fee ($75) – Processing fee ($75) – Right of permanent residence fee ($490)||$640|
|Dependent child, adopted child or orphaned relative||– Sponsorship fee ($75) – Processing fee ($75)||$150|
Notably, the sponsor must commit to offer financial support for their family member should they become unable to meet their own demands.
This will make sure the new inhabitant won’t need any help from the government.
The person being sponsored determines how long this financial commitment will last:
3 years as a spouse, common-law spouse, or romantic partner
Dependent children: 10 years OR until the child becomes 22 (whichever occurs first); dependent children over 22: 3 years.
Age of a parent or grandparent: 20
It should be noted that even if the sponsored individual acquires Canadian citizenship, gets divorced or separates from the sponsor, or leaves Canada, this financial responsibility still exists.
At the time of application, the sponsored person must provide the findings of a medical examination, which must include biometrics for applicants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
In addition to any other countries where they have lived for more than six months, applicants and each family member over the age of 18 must produce police certificates from the country where they have spent the majority of their lives.
Requirements for Quebec
After the federal requirements are satisfied, the province of Quebec has additional requirements for family sponsorship.
Potential sponsors who reside in Quebec will get an email or letter after submitting an application, along with instructions on how to submit a special agreement to the Quebec government.
An individual may nonetheless be qualified to immigrate through the Express Entry system if they have expertise or skill in a particular profession or occupation even if they do not match the prerequisites specified above and are thus not eligible for Family Class Sponsorship.
Through their Provincial Nominee Programs, a handful of provinces also provide family sponsorship; some of these programs have less qualifications and permit sponsorship of more distant relatives.
Applications cannot be processed immediately through the Family Class Sponsorship program to sponsor an adopted kid.
Canadian provinces and territories handle adoptions, thus prospective sponsors should check their website before submitting an application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Over 18 and a permanent resident of Canada
A sponsor is also not allowed to be under court-ordered removal proceedings, imprisoned, or in default of any prior court-ordered payment or sponsorship commitment.
Last but not least, a sponsor must have filed for bankruptcy or be receiving social assistance for any other cause than incapacity.
In terms of criminal convictions, a sponsor will not be qualified if they have been found guilty of any sexual offenses or offenses that resulted in the physical harm of a member of their family.
The sponsor must typically reside in Canada in order to submit a sponsorship application.
However, if the sponsor will be residing in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a Canadian Permanent Resident, the Canadian citizen may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child while they are living overseas.