Sponsoring your family’s move to Canada

To act as a sponsor for family members who may wish to move to Canada, you need to first establish your eligibility.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over the age of 18, possible family members to sponsor include your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children (adopted or biological), or other eligible relative such as a parent or grandparent.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) requires that you be financially responsible for the family members you successfully sponsor into Canada, meaning your relatives will be ineligible to apply for financial assistance from the Canadian government.

For children, financial support must be provided for 10 years or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.

For a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, you must provide financial support for three years from the date they become a permanent resident. Your spouse or partner will be expected to make every effort to support and provide for him or herself.

Not every Canadian citizen and permanent resident will be eligible to sponsor family members. If you failed to provide financial support for another sponsored relative in the past, have defaulted on a court-ordered support order, received government financial assistance for any reason other than disability, have been convicted of a violent crime or sexually-related offence, defaulted on a immigration loan, are applying from prison or are currently in a state of declared bankruptcy, your sponsorship application is likely to be denied.

Sponsoring a spouse, partner or child

What is required?

First you must apply to sponsor your family members; then they must apply for Canadian residency. To sponsor your entire family, such as your spouse and all your children, all of the applications must be submitted together to avoid having them accepted at different times.

You family applicants must undergo medical, criminal and background screening, and your partner must be over the age of 16, cannot be the common-law or conjugal partner of another person, and you cannot have sponsored another spouse/partner less than three years ago.

If you live in Québec, you must also meet Québec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.

Your spouse/partner and/or children may be living either inside our outside Canada’s borders at the time of application for residency, but keep in mind that the application kits for both are not the same.

If your spouse, partner or dependent children already live with you in Canada, use the Application for Permanent Residence in Canada—Spouse or Common-law Partner. If your spouse, partner or dependent children live outside Canada, you must use the Application to Sponsor a Member of the Family Class.

Your application forms will include a guidebook that will help you to further prepare for the application process. It is vitally important to read this guide carefully, as your application will not be refunded to you if it is determined you were ineligible to apply.

If any part of your application is found to be untrue, the application may be barred and you will be unable to sponsor them at any time in the future.

What evidence must I show to sponsor my spouse?

  • If you were married in Canada, you must show a marriage certificate issued by the Canadian province or territory where the wedding took place.
  • If you were married outside Canada, you must show evidence of a legally valid marriage.

What evidence must I show to sponsor my same-sex partner as a spouse?

  • If you were married in Canada, you must show a marriage certificate by a Canadian province or territory on or after the following dates:
  • - British Columbia (on or after July 8, 2003)
    - Manitoba (on or after September 16, 2004)
    - New Brunswick (on or after July 4, 2005)
    - Newfoundland and Labrador (on or after December 21, 2004)
    - Nova Scotia (on or after September 24, 2004)
    - Ontario (on or after June 10, 2003)
    - Québec (on or after March 19, 2004)
    - Saskatchewan (on or after November 5, 2004)
    - Yukon (on or after July 14, 2004)
    - All other provinces or territories (on or after July 20, 2005)
  • If you were married outside Canada, you must show that the marriage is legally recognised according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under Canadian law. This applies to same-sex marriages performed in Belgium, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Norway and the US states of Massachusetts Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont (effective September 1, 2009) and California (June 16, 2008 – November 5, 2008).

What evidence must I show to sponsor my common-law partner?

According to Canadian law, a common-law partner is an opposite or same-sex partner with whom you have been living in a conjugal relationship for a continuous period of at least one year.

You must show proof that you and your common-law partner have a shared life and home though such evidence as joint bank accounts or credit cards, joint home ownership, joint residential leases, joint rental receipts, joint utilities, joint management of household expenses, proof of joint purchases or mail addressed to either or both people at the same address.

What evidence must I show to sponsor my conjugal partner?

The conjugal partnership category applies to permanent, committed partners (opposite or same-sex) who have been unable to live together in a common-law or spousal relationship due to circumstances beyond their control.

You must show evidence as to why you and your conjugal partner have been unable to live together as spouses or common-law partners. If you were able to live together but chose not to, you will not qualify to sponsor your partner as a conjugal partner.

What evidence must I show to sponsor my dependent children?

You must show that you have a biological or adopted son or daughter who is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner.

If you child is over the age of 22, you must show that he or she is a full-time student who has been substantially dependent on you or another parent since before the age of 22, or has been financially dependent on you or another parent before the age of 22 because of disability.

Sponsoring another relative

What is required?

For relatives other than a spouse, partner or dependent child, immigration to Canada may be possible through the Family Class scheme. Potentially eligible family members include parents; grandparents; siblings, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphaned, under the age of 18 and not in a common-law or married relationship; other relatives of any age or relationship if no other relatives can be sponsored and you have no Canadian citizen relatives; and accompanying relatives of those previously mentioned (for example, spouse, partner or dependent children).

You must be living in Canada to sponsor a relative. If you live in Québec, you must also meet Québec’s immigration sponsorship requirements, after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.

Under current immigration law, siblings over the age of 18 and adult independent children cannot be sponsored under the Family Class scheme. However, if they apply under the Skilled Worker Class, they may receive extra points for adaptability given that they have a relative in Canada.

Your first step is to download the application package. Your application forms will include guidebook that will help you to further prepare for the application process.

It is vitally important to read this guide carefully, as your application will not be refunded to you if it is determined you were ineligible to apply. If any part of your application is found to be untrue, the application may be barred and you will be unable to sponsor them at any time in the future. If your sponsorship application is approved, you will then be sent the permanent residence application kit to forward to your relative(s) overseas.

How long will it take?

Visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website to see an estimate of how much time it will take to process your application. Processing times are updated weekly.

Paying the applicable fees

You must pay all applicable fees to have your application considered. All fees are quoted in Canadian Dollars:

  • $75 for the sponsorship application
  • $475 for the principal applicant
  • $150 for a dependent child of the principal applicant who is under 22 and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • $550 for a dependant of the principal applicant who is 22 or older, or who is under 22 and married or in a common-law relationship
  • $490 for the right of permanent residence fee, which your spouse will be required to pay before the status is granted

SOURCE: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

 
 

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