Canadian Spousal, Parents / Grandparents, Common-Law Partner, Conjugal Partner, Dependent Child, Refugee, and more

There are many programs available

There are many programs available for immigrants wanting to make Canada their home. Most of these programs can be classified into Economic, Family, & Refugee/Protected Persons Categories. Canada’s immigration objectives are designed to include the enrichment and strengthening of the social, economic, and cultural fabric of Canadian society, while facilitating the unification of families in Canada.

There are many programs available to unite families in Canada. Some are temporary as in the cases of visitors; others are permanent as in the cases of sponsorships and adoptions.

There have been on average 260,000 Permanent Residents accepted each year from 2014 to 2018 under the Family Class program (mainly sponsorships) in Canada.

In general a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident may qualify to sponsor the following family members, and in each case, eligibility will depend on the family unit and its specific situations:

  • Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner.
  • Dependent child (or adopted). Typically less than 22 years, or 22 years and older if substantially dependent on parent since before turning 22 and is unable to self-support financially due to physical or mental condition.
  • Parents and grandparents.
  • Orphaned siblings, nephews/nieces, or grandchildren of the sponsor, as long as the orphaned relative is under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship.
  • Other relatives, regardless of their age, if the Sponsor does not have Canadian relatives.

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Sponsorship Process

The process for sponsoring a family member is a two-step process. One is the Sponsorship Application, the Second being the Permanent Residency Application. The Sponsorship is initiated by the sponsor and at the same time, the Permanent Residency application is initiated by the family member being sponsored.

Sponsor Eligibility

Generally, Sponsors must meet the following requirements for eligibility:

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident
  • File an application to sponsor family member
  • Reside in Canada (or in some cases abroad as long as the Sponsor demonstrates their intension to reside in Canada when the family member becomes a Permanent Resident)
  • Not be subject to any bars to sponsorship
  • Fulfill financial requirements, unless exempt
  • Sign an Undertaking* and a Sponsorship Agreement

* The sponsor is financially responsible for the family member being sponsored for a duration that ranges anywhere from 3 to 20 years, depending on the relationship of the person being sponsored. This commitment is referred to as the ‘Undertaking’.

There are specific rules and requirements defining a Family Sponsorship, and what constitutes a Spouse, Common-Law partner, Conjugal partner, Dependent child etc. for the purposes of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. There are also some considerations when looking at Bars to Sponsorships, and it is therefore important to work closely with an experienced licensed immigration consultant in considering the best options and preparing applications when Sponsoring a family member or loved one.

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