1105-250 Consumers Rd, Toronto, ON M2J 4V6
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Immigration Office Canada

Family Sponsorship Canada

Moving abroad and leaving your loved ones on opposite coast is not easy. One of the objectives of Government of Canada is to see that families are reunited. Certain family members may qualify to settle in Canada long-term and become permanent residents under family class category. After becoming permanent residents, they can live, study and work in Canada, thus you no longer need to apply for visitor visa and provide letter of invitation. Like other immigration categories, family class sponsorship has certain requirements, such as minimum necessary income which should be met by sponsor. If you are wondering how to sponsor someone to Canada, you should start from reviewing family sponsorship applications, eligibility and requirements. You may be eligible to sponsor a child, spouse or a common-law partner living outside or inside Canada if you are 18 years of age or older, and you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

When you are sponsoring a family member, whether it is your dependent child or spouse/common-law partner, you promise to support them financially. Therefore, you must work in Canada and meet certain income requirements. Sponsoring a family member to Canada is a big commitment, as you must sign an undertaking agreement. Kindly note, that family sponsorship in Canada is not eligible for a tax receipt. Below you’ll find more information on how to sponsor a relative to Canada, what are family sponsorship income requirements, how you should be sponsoring a child born outside of Canada, as well as surrogacy and immigration considerations.

Can I sponsor ...?

Immigration Office Canada

Dependent Child

For immigration purposes the age limit of dependent children has changed from “under 19” to “under 22.” This change will apply to all new applications received on or after October 24, 2017. In order to qualify as a dependant, your child must be within the age limit, as well as meet the requirements of a dependent child. Children qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements: they’re under 22 years old, and they don’t have a spouse or partner. Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they meet both of these requirements: they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22, and they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition.

Immigration Office Canada

Brother or Sister

Currently there is no direct sponsorship program for brothers and sisters of Canadian citizens or permanent residents.  However, their siblings can apply for permanent residency as economic class immigrants and receive fifteen additional points under Express Entry. There are two other ways for brothers and sisters to apply for immigration under the family class. The first option would include dependent children under parents’ sponsorship. In this case the parent(s) may include their child  as a dependent.  To qualify as a dependent, sponsored child must meet certain requirements. In some exceptional circumstances brothers and sisters may be sponsored under orphaned close relative program.

Immigration Office Canada

Adopted Child

For international adoptions, you must complete the adoption process and the citizenship or immigration process, before you may bring your child to live with you in Canada. In order to sponsor your adopted child to Canada, it is necessary to apply for Citizenship or Immigration (Permanent Residency). Adopted child receives a direct grant of citizenship through the citizenship process. While, adopted child will receive status of permanent resident  through the immigration process. If parents engage in the surrogacy process outside of Canada,  newborn is  legally the child of the sponsor or their spouse/partner in that jurisdiction, there are different avenues on bringing the child back to Canada.

Immigration Office Canada

Friend

Currently there is no direct sponsorship program for friend of Canadian citizen or permanent resident. However, friends of permanent residents or Canadian citizens may apply for visitor visa, if they are from non-visa-exempt country. Visa office will ask to submit a letter of invitation from friend living in Canada. The applicant must then send this letter to the Canadian embassy or consulate outside of Canada when he or she applies for a temporary resident visa. A letter of invitation does not guarantee that officer will issue a visitor visa, as there is several   criteria used to assess the applicant. Countries whose citizens require a visitor visa to enter Canada can be found on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website.

Immigration Office Canada

Relative

In certain circumstances you may qualify to sponsor your relative under “last remaining relative” exception program.  This program allows a permanent resident or citizen of Canada to sponsor any relative (related by blood or adoption) regardless of age, if sponsor doesn’t have any of the below-mentioned relatives in Canada, who are either permanent residents or citizens: spouse/common-law partner, child, parent(s)/grandparent(s), sibling, niece/nephew, aunt/uncle. In addition, sponsor should not have any members of family class (who could be sponsored) outside of Canada. If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must support your relative financially.

 

 

Immigration Office Canada

Someone Else

Through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, you may be able to help sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. Your role as a sponsor will be to support the refugees for the length of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food, as well as social and emotional support.  There are also many organizations that signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are called Sponsorship Agreement Holders. They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees. Note, that Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Who Can I sponsor Under Family Class Immigration?

The following categories of individuals can be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident:

  • the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner
  • a dependent child of the sponsor
  • the sponsor’s mother or father
  • the sponsor’s grandmother or grandfather
  • the sponsor’s brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild whose parents are deceased, under 18 years of age, and not married or in a common-law relationship

If the sponsor has no above-mentioned relative eligible to be sponsored, and does not have any of the above-mentioned relatives who is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, then he or she may sponsor any person related by blood or adoption.

Can Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Sponsor Family to Canada?

You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

Can I sponsor my Brother-In-Law who is over 18 to Canada?

You may not sponsor your brother-in-law under family class category, however the Express Entry system awards 15 additional points to candidates with siblings in Canada. To get these points, candidates will need to show that the sibling (your spouse) is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and is 18 years of age or older.

In some exceptional circumstances siblings may be sponsored under orphaned close relative option only if they meet all conditions. This means they must be:

  • orphaned
  • under 18
  • without a:
    • spouse
    • conjugal partner
    • common-law partner
  • related to sponsor (your spouse) by blood or adoption, such as:
    • brothers or sisters

Can I sponsor one of my friends to immigrate to Canada?

The individuals you are eligible to sponsor to Canada are your spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner, parents, grandparents, certain relatives  and dependent children.  Even though you may not sponsor your friend to Canada for the purpose of obtaining permanent residency, you can send them a letter of invitation to apply for a Visitor Visa.

I am on TRV Status in Canada. How Can My Sister Sponsor me to Live in Canada Permanently?

You may not be sponsored as sister under family class category, however the Express Entry system awards 15 additional points to candidates with siblings in Canada. To get these points, candidates will need to show that the sibling  is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and is 18 years of age or older.

In some exceptional circumstances siblings may be sponsored under orphaned close relative option only if they meet all conditions. This means they must be:

  • orphaned
  • under 18
  • without a:
    • spouse
    • conjugal partner
    • common-law partner
  • related to sponsor by blood or adoption, such as:
    • brothers or sisters

Who is considered Eligible Relative to Sponsor?

You can sponsor close relatives only if they meet all conditions. This means they must be:

  • orphaned
  • under 18
  • without a:
    • spouse
    • conjugal partner
    • common-law partner
  • related to you by blood or adoption, such as:
    • brothers or sisters
    • nephews or nieces
    • grandchildren

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you meet all of the conditions, including:

  • you don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:
    • spouse
    • common-law partner
    • conjugal partner
    • son or daughter
    • parent
    • grandparent
    • brother or sister
    • uncle or aunt
    • nephew or niece
  • you don’t have any of the above-named relatives who is:
    • a Canadian citizen
    • a permanent resident
    • registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

How long am I financially responsible for the family member or relative I sponsor?

The length of undertaking for other relatives depends on:

• the age of the person you sponsor

• their relationship to you, and

• where you live

How can I show proof of income to sponsor my Family Memners?

You will need to provide your Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for each of the three taxation years immediately preceding the date of your  sponsorship application.

Does the change in age of dependants affect sponsorship undertakings?

Yes, the change in age of dependants affects sponsorship undertakings.

As of October 24, 2017, the length of undertaking (the length of time you are financially responsible for the person you sponsor) for dependent children has changed:

  • If your dependent child is less than 22 years of age when they become a permanent resident, you are financially responsible for them for 10 years after they become a permanent resident, or until they turn 25 years old, whichever comes first.
  • If your dependent child is 22 years of age or older when they become a permanent resident, you are financially responsible for them for three years after they become a permanent resident.

I already became a permanent resident. Can I still add my dependent child to my application?

No. You can’t add a dependent child to your application.

However, you may sponsor your child if:

  • you meet the sponsorship eligibility requirements, and
  • your child qualifies as a dependant (meets the age limit and requirements for dependent children)

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