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Family Sponsorship

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Canada is a country with a commitment to keeping loved ones together and family reunification. It has built immigration pathways, Family Sponsorship programs, which allows permanent residents or citizens of Canada to bring their loved ones to Canada to live with them.  

Family Sponsorship program, is an immigration program which grants your family members to immigrate to Canada and get permanent resident (PR). Family Sponsorship requires an individual (the sponsor) to make a commitment to provide for the basic needs and financial support for that person (the sponsored).

How can i be a Sponsor?

The following are the requirements to sponsor a family member to Canada, you must be:

  • 18 years  of age or older
  • a Canadian citizen or Permanent resident of Canada
  • living in Canada, or plan to return to Canada once your spouse or partner becomes a permanent resident of Canada
  • able to support the sponsored person for several years

Who can i sponsor to come to Canada?

The following are the family members that can be sponsored under the family sponsorship program:

  • Spouses, Common-law partner or Conjugal partner
  • Dependent children (child under 22 years and unmarried)
  • Parents 
  • Grandparents

Under special circumstances, it may be possible to sponsor a non-immediate family member (for example, orphaned brother, sister, or uncle, 

  • you (the sponsor) do not have any other immediate family members you could sponsor, or
  • you (the sponsor) have legally adopted them and they meet the definition of a dependent child.

Spouse: is someone you have legally married.

Common-law partner: is partner you have lived with for 12 consecutive months.

Conjugal partner: is a partner you’ve had an emotional relationship with for at least 12 months but could not live together due to certain circumstances or reasons.

Who is not eligible to sponsor in Canada?

The following are cases scenarios in which a citizen of Canada or permanent residence is ineligible to sponsor a relative to Canada, if the sponsor:

  • is currently in prison
  • has not paid alimony or child support payments
  • has declared bankruptcy and is not yet released
  • has received social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • has failed to pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments
  • has previously sponsored another relative and failed to meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement
  • has been convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case

Types of Family Sponsorship

Spousal or common-law Sponsorship: You may be able to sponsor your spouse or common-law partner or conjugal partner to Canada under different family sponsorship programs. If your partner is already living in Canada, then you can apply through inland spousal sponsorship. If your partner is living overseas, then you can apply through overseas spousal sponsorship. If the person you are sponsoring is in Canada, that person can apply for an open work permit that grants a chance to work for any employer in Canada while the sponsorship application is being processed. 

Dependant Child Sponsorship: You can sponsor your dependent children, whether biological or adopted, to live with you as permanent residents in Canada as long as they are 22 years of age, unmarried and have no children of their own. If a child is over 22 years of age can be considered a dependant if they are suffering form a mental or physical disability which prevents them from being able to support themselves.  A birth certificate or adoption papers are required for proof of the relationship.

Parent and grandparent Sponsorship: Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor their parents and grandparents through this family sponsorship program. A sponsor must meet the necessary minimum income (MNI) requirements and agree to provide financial support to the sponsored parents or grandparents.  Sponsors who are unable to permanently support their parent or grandparent may be eligible for a Super Visa, an always open long term, multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It’s possible to apply for Super Visa and Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program at the same time.

How much does it cost to sponsor a family member to Canada?

If a candidate is sponsoring the spouse, a $1,050 payment fee is required. If a candidate is sponsoring a dependant/adopted child, a $150 payment fee will be required for each child included in the application. The following are government processing fees to sponsor a family member/relative in Canada: 

Sponsoring fee $75
Principal applicant processing fee$475
Right of permanent residence processing fee$500

If the sponsor lives in or intends to live in Quebec upon the issuance of permanent residence, an additional fee of $289 CAD will be needed to the total fee mentioned above.

What are the income requirements to sponsor family members to Canada?

Sponsors are required to sign a commitment which promises that they will provide financial support for the sponsored family members basic needs (food, shelter, clothing and health needs not covered by the public health services), this commitment is called a Sponsorship Agreement. 

Canadian citizens or permanent residence must meet or exceed the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for some types of family sponsorship. Also, they must provide Canada Revenue Agency issued Notices of Assessment (NOA) as proof that they have met the required MNI for the last three consecutive years. Sponsors are required to meet the above requirements when they are sponsoring: 

  • A spouse or partner who has a dependent child and that dependent child has one or more children of their own, or
  • A dependant child who has one or more dependent children of their own, or
  • Parents and grandparents 
  • Eligible orphaned relatives, or
  • those eligible under the “lonely Canadian” policy.

Canadian citizens or permanent residence who are sponsoring their spouses or dependant children are not required to meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI). 

For those residing in Quebec, they will have to meet Quebec’s sponsorship requirements and their income will be assessed by the Quebec immigration ministry.  

What is sponsorship undertaking?

Sponsorship undertaking is a promise that a sponsor must make which declares the sponsor is financially responsible for the family members under the sponsorship for a period of time. This promise “undertaking” is required for all sponsorship applications and acknowledges a sponsor’s promise to repay social assistance benefits paid to the sponsor and their family member(s) for the length of the undertaking. 

The length of undertaking is the time period a sponsor is responsible for the financially support of the person you sponsor. The length of the undertaking depends on:

  • the age of the person you sponsor
  • their relationship to you, and
  • Where you live. The length of undertaking for residents of Quebec is slightly different

The undertaking will still stay in effect even when:

  • Your relationship with the person you sponsored changes (for example, divorce or separation).
  • The person you sponsored becomes a Canadian citizen.
  • Your financial situation gets worse (for example, job loss or debt).
  • You sent IRCC a request to withdraw your sponsorship application and its received  after the person you sponsored has become a permanent resident.
Sponsored Person Length of undertaking (excluding Quebec)
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependant child (biological or adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada under 22 years of age10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependant child 22 years or older3 years
Parent or Grandparent20 years
Other relative10 years

For Quebec residents,

Sponsored Person Length of undertaking (excluding Quebec)
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependant child under 13 years of age10 years, or until age 18, whichever comes first
Dependant child 13 years of age and older3 years or until age 22, whichever is longer
Parent or Grandparent10 years
Other relative10 years

How long does Family Sponsorship take in Canada?

Family Sponsorship applications take approximately 12 months to process from start to finish. Though the IRCC aims to process everything within 12 months, they can take longer depending on the nature of your case. The processing for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship Program (PGP) takes approximately 20 to 24 months. 

Hello! Do you want to sponsor your family to Canada?Contact us today to see how can help you.

Questions about Family Sponsorship? You’re covered.

Yes, the undertaking to provide basic needs can be shared by a co-signer. The co-signer must be the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner.

The undertaking, once made, cannot be cancelled or modified by the sponsor at any time after the Sponsored family members have arrived in Canada. The failure to meet any of the commitments provided for in the undertaking may result in legal action being taken against the sponsor and the co-signer.

A Canadian citizen or permanent citizen can sponsor as many eligible family members as possible. There is no limit. However, sponsors (applicants) must submit separate applications for each family member to be sponsored.

If your marriage is for the sole purpose of helping your spouse to immigrate to Canada, then it will be considered a marriage of convenience. If your marriage is considered of convenience, it can be constituted as fraud and misrepresentation.

There are no MNI requirements when you want to sponsor your spouse as long as they don’t have an accompanying dependent child.

Yes, it is possible for the sponsored person to work, as long as they have a work permit. They can as well apply for a Spousal open work permit if the they don't have a work permit.  While spousal or common-law partner applications are being processed, sponsored persons  are required to maintain their legal status in Canada (visitor, student or worker).

When adopting a child and you are in the final stage, you can begin the sponsorship process right away. No, you don't have to wait.

Under normal circumstances, it's difficult to sponsor your brother or sister ti Canada.  A brother or sister can be sponsored to Canada only if you meet the criteria for a “Lonely Canadian,” or if they are included as dependents on your parental sponsorship application.

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