Family Sponsorship Program

In order to sponsor your family member or a close family relative, one must be at least 18 years old with a status of Canadian permanent resident or a Canadian citizen. A Canadian citizen can sponsor even residing outside Canada, however, most cases require the sponsor to be inside Canada. You must be able to support them financially and must not be on social assistance. Individuals who are to be sponsored must not be inadmissible to Canada for any reason. An entitled sponsor can sponsor any of the following individuals; parents, spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, children, dependent children, grandparents, an orphaned grandchild, siblings, niece, nephews and in special cases any other relative. 

In order to process the application, a processing fee and a “right for permanent residence” fee have to be paid. The processing fee is non-refundable. The processing fees are as follow:

  • Sponsoring family members above 22 = CAD$ 550
  • Sponsoring family members below 22 = CAD$ 150

There are several types of sponsorship under family sponsorship program:

In order to sponsor a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner a proof of the legitimacy of relationship must be shown and the sponsored person must be 18 years or above. A Canadian Citizen can sponsor, spouse and common law whilst residing outside of Canada whereas under conjugal sponsorship program they should be residing apart and could not be together under circumstances beyond their control. Spousal sponsorship application can be applied shortly after the marriage whereas, for the common-law relationship and conjugal relationship, the relationship should be of at least one year, before applying.

In each case, the relationship should be genuine and there can be many things to prove the genuineness of relationship. Some of the evidence may include travel tickets, photographs of ceremonies, life insurance policies etc. The sponsored person must not have any criminal convictions or serious health problems.

In order to sponsor more than one dependent child, a separate application form for each child must be submitted. This includes adopted children. A dependent child categorizes as someone who is under 22 and unmarried. If the child is 22 years and above he/she should be enrolled in a full-time study and/or be dependent financially upon parents.

Sponsoring a parent and grandparent can be done through two programs. For permanent residence, the Family Class Program and for temporary residence Parent & Grandparent Super Visa program. In order to sponsor a parent/grandparent, the sponsor must be residing in Canada to submit an application while the applicant can be either in Canada or abroad at the time of application. Both types of applications i.e. permanent residence application and temporary residence application can be applied simultaneously. These applications can be submitted online on Immigration, Refugees and Citizen Canada (IRCC) website or can be filed a paper-based application through Visa Application Centres (VAC) to the relevant Canadian High Commissions, Embassies or Consulates as per the nationality of an applicant or his/her current country of residence.

Proof of financial support for parents/grandparents is requisite to carry out the sponsorship. The Super Visa program allows parents & grandparents a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for a long time visitor. This enables them to obtain a multiple visit visa up to 10 years. In some cases parents/grandparents from a visa exempt may also require a super visa to stay for the longer duration of up to 2 years, depending on their nationality.

To sponsor a sibling to Canada, the sibling must be under 22 years of age and their parents must be deceased. However, this is condition can be waived under certain circumstances such as the sponsor having no other close relatives. The sponsor must be financially sound to sponsor his/her sibling.

The following circumstances prevent a sponsor from sponsoring:

  • If the sponsor has been convicted of violent or sexual offenses.
  • If the sponsor receives social assistance for reasons other than social disability and cannot financially support the person he/she wishes to sponsor.
  • If the sponsor is in jail or under a removal order.
  • If the sponsor is going through bankruptcy.
  • If the sponsor has already sponsored a spouse or a family member and a verdict has been not passed.
  • If the sponsor has sponsored a spouse or a family member and three years or ten years of time (depending on the type of sponsorship) haven’t been passed since this person has become a permanent resident.

Medical examinations will be required for each sponsored individual to be attached with the application. Along with that security checks and criminality, checks are also requisite along the application.

Processing times vary from country to country and to nature of the application.