You can sponsor certain relatives if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 years of age or older.
There are two different processes for sponsoring your family. One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.
You may not be eligible to sponsor a relative if you:
- failed to provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
- defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
- received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
- were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence-depending on circumstances, such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a pardon was issued
- defaulted on an immigration loan-late or missed payments
- are in prison or
- have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.
Other factors not mentioned in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.
When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must promise to support that person and their dependants financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives who later turned to the Canadian government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.
To be a sponsor:
- You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Dependent children under age 22 do not have to sign this agreement. Quebec residents must sign an "undertaking" with the province of Quebec-a contract binding the sponsorship.
- You must promise to provide financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec's immigration sponsorship requirements after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor.
If you are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and plans to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or your dependent children who have no dependent children.
To sponsor any other eligible relatives (for example, parents and grandparents), you must be living in Canada.
Sponsoring spouses and dependent children
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor her or his spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, or dependent children to come to Canada as permanent residents.
An application for Family Class sponsorship can be made if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live inside or outside Canada.
The first step is for you to apply as the sponsor. Both you, as the sponsor, and your relative must meet certain requirements.
Sponsoring other eligible relatives
Certain relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.
You can sponsor:
- brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
- another relative of any age or relationship if none of the above relatives could be sponsored, and you have no other relatives who are Canadian citizens, persons registered as Indians under the Indian Act or permanent residents and
- accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).