Family Class Sponsorship
What is Family Class Sponsorship?
What is Family Class Sponsorship?
Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of 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
How Family Sponsorship Works
If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, age 18 or over, you can sponsor certain family members to become Canadian permanent residents. If you become a permanent resident, you can live, study and work in Canada. If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you are responsible for supporting your relative financially when he or she arrives.
Requirements to be a Sponsor
To be a sponsor:
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- 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 says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.
- You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident.
- You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.
Who You Can Sponsor
You can sponsor:
- Spouse – Outside, Inland, Same-Sex
- Common Law partner – (restrictions apply)
- Conjugal partner – (restrictions apply)
- Dependent children
- parents – (Additional conditions apply)
- grandparents – (Additional conditions apply)
- 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 but only under specific conditions
- accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
Sponsoring Your Spouse
The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence. Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (also called the ‘sponsor’) and the foreign national (the ‘sponsored person’) must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the sponsored person to receive a visa. In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under one of three categories: Spouse Common-law Partner Conjugal Partner Canada does recognize same-sex couples to be eligible for spousal sponsorship. Inland sponsorship is when the couple is together in Canada and the foreign spouse/common-law partner has temporary status in Canada, either as a worker, student, or visitor. An Outland application is generally pursued when the sponsored partner is living outside of Canada.
Sponsoring Your Child
Dependent children, both natural and adopted, may be sponsored to live with their parent(s) as permanent residents in Canada. The child sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class of immigration. To receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and the sponsored person will be required to prove their relationship to one another. Individuals whose adoption proceedings are in the final phases of processing may begin sponsoring their child before the adoption has been finalized.
Who is Eligible for Family Class Sponsorship?
Family sponsorship is a way to reunite families in Canada. In fact, the Canadian government believes in keeping families together, and prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications. There are many options for family members that are Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor a family member living abroad, to become a permanent resident in Canada.
The Canadian family member may sponsor:
His or her spouse
- Common-law partner
- Conjugal partner
- Dependent child
- Adopted children
- Requirements for a Sponsor
In addition to being a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the sponsor must also fulfill a few other requirements in order to be eligible.
The sponsor must:
- Prove that they will be able to financially support their family member and any dependent, if necessary
- Enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada or Quebec, as well as the sponsored relative, where the sponsor will agree to support the family member for a certain amount of time. The sponsored relative must make an effort to support themselves, as well.
- Either reside in Canada prove their intention to live in Canada when the sponsored relative arrives in Canada
- Be at least 18 years old
- Not be incarcerated or charged with a serious offence
- Not be bankrupt
- Not be under a removal order if a Permanent Resident
The 3 Most Common FAQs about Sponsorship
What If My Sponsorship Application is Refused?
If your application for sponsorship is refused, you can appeal the case to the Immigration Adjudication Division (IAD) within 30 days of the refusal. IAD appeals are lengthy, costly and by no means guaranteed. If your case was refused, you should contact a lawyer immediately in order to ensure your appeal is filed on time.
What Does “Essential Needs” Mean?
When agreeing to provide for a family member’s “essential needs”, the sponsor must take care of basic requirements of everyday living (eg. food, clothing, shelter), and health needs not covered by public health services (eg. dental and eye care)
How Long With The Sponsorship Application Process Take?
This will depend on to which Canadian Immigration Visa Office the application was forwarded, and the type of family member sponsored. Spouses, common-law partners and dependent children are priorities, and can take about a month, whereas parents and grandparents can take more than three years.
Why Legal Help for Family Sponsorship is Important
Although the government prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications, being successful is by no means a given. All of the requirements must be met, and even the slightest error on an application can lead to a refusal. In order to take advantage of this great opportunity, individuals should enlist the help of a legal professional who knows how to send a package that will provide an applicant with the best chance to be sponsored.
Why Hire Us to Assist Your Family Sponsorship Case?
With over 15 years experience specializing in helping to reunite families from across the world, we know what immigration officers are looking for when reviewing a sponsorship application. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get Canadian permanent residence through family sponsorship, and we can help you too!