The Book Immigration Challenge About Blog Qualify Now! Login

Can I sponsor any family member?

Probably one of the most requested and common questions we receive is “Can I sponsor a Family Member?”

Well, the short answer is: “Maybe.”

Canadian Immigration has inherently built into the system the ability to bring your family members or relatives to Canada for immigration purposes under the family sponsorship category of immigration. This is a pillar of the immigration system as one of the main goals of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act is to “Reunite Family.”

However, not everyone can be sponsored to come to Canada. As with any immigration program, there are requirements that they need to meet. Also, to sponsor a family member or relative, there are requirements that you, as the sponsor, will have to meet to be considered eligible. There are also limitations that could prevent you from becoming a sponsor.

The general requirements for sponsoring certain relatives to come to Canada include being:

  • at least 18 years old; and
  • a Canadian citizen OR a permanent resident of Canada, OR a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act.

One of the limitations is inadmissibility. Inadmissibility means that they are not allowed to enter Canada. If the family member you are trying to sponsor is inadmissible, they cannot be sponsored.

Depending on who you are trying to sponsor to come to Canada, the requirements will be different. In this post, we will be talking about the family members or relatives that you can sponsor. For each category, we’ll discuss the eligibility of a sponsor, the individuals you can sponsor, and the requirements for certain individuals you may want to sponsor to come to Canada.

Spouse, Partner, or Dependent Child 

Fees:

Spouse, partner - $1,050 CAD

Child - $150 CAD

Processing Time:

Spouse, partner – about 12 months

Child – varies by country


Eligibility
Earlier, we mentioned the general requirements, which apply to sponsoring a spouse, partner, or dependent child. If you are a Canadian citizen living outside of Canada, you must also show that you plan to live in Canada when the people you want to sponsor become permanent residents. If you are a permanent resident, you may not sponsor someone if you are living outside of Canada.

In addition to those general requirements, you need to prove that you are not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability and that you can provide for the basic needs of any person you want to sponsor. If you do sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent child, you must be able to support them financially and make sure they won’t need social assistance from the government.

For sponsors living outside of Quebec, another requirement is to agree to an undertaking. An undertaking is a promise to financially take care of the people you are sponsoring. It requires the sponsor to provide financial support starting from the time they become permanent residents. The sponsor is responsible to repay any social assistance the sponsored family members received during the time of the undertaking. The length of the undertaking for a spouse, common-law, or conjugal partner is three years. The length of the undertaking for a dependent child is 10 years or when they turn 25. The undertaking for a dependent child who is over 22 years old at the time of sponsorship and is still considered dependent based on the criteria below, is three years.

During the period of the undertaking, the responsibilities of the sponsor and the sponsored family member are agreed to under a sponsorship agreement. The sponsorship agreement means that the sponsor will provide the basic needs of the sponsored family members and that the person being sponsored will make an effort to support themselves.

Generally, there is no income requirement to sponsor a spouse, partner, or dependent child. You only need to prove you meet the income requirements if:

  • you are sponsoring a dependent child that has a dependent child, or
  • you are sponsoring a spouse that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has a dependent child

There are limitations to people who can sponsor their spouse, partner, or child. You cannot sponsor if you do not meet the general requirements, or if:

  • you will not live in Canada when the people you want to sponsor become permanent residents
  • you are a temporary resident
  • your permanent residence application is still in process
  • you do not have enough funds to support the people you want to sponsor

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse or partner if you:

  • were sponsored and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago
  • are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that you sponsored


Who Can You Sponsor?
You may sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent children. Before we define the requirements for each, let’s differentiate each term. A spouse is someone that you are legally married to, whereas a common-law partner is someone who isn’t married to you but has been living with you for at least 12 consecutive months. Your conjugal partner is someone who isn’t married to you, but they are in a relationship with you. They are unable to live with you or marry you because of significant reasons.

For children to qualify as a dependent, they need to be under 22 years old and single. If they are 22 years old or older, they are dependents if they’re unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition. The dependent child must continue to meet these requirements until their application has finished processing.

Adopted Child 

Fees:

$150 CAD

Processing Time:

Varies by country


Another family member you may want to sponsor is an adopted child from another country. This process is known as an intercountry adoption. There are two processes that you will need to go through when you adopt a child from another country; the adoption process and the immigration process.

There are two processes that you may choose from when applying to bring a child to Canada. These are the citizenship process and the immigration process. The citizenship or immigration adoption process must be completed before the child is brought to Canada.

The citizenship process allows an adopted person to receive Canadian citizenship and the immigration process allows an adopted person to become a permanent resident. The immigration process must be used if neither parent was a Canadian citizen when the adoption took place, or if both parents are permanent residents at the time of adoption. If at least one adoptive parent was a Canadian citizen at the time of adoption, the citizenship process can be used. The following sections on eligibility and requirements are with respect to the immigration adoption process.

Eligibility
To be considered eligible to sponsor an adopted child from another country, the general requirements apply. In addition, you must live in Canada or plan to live in Canada when the adopted child becomes a permanent resident.

For the adopted child to be eligible for permanent resident status, you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen, applying on behalf of a child who is under 18 years old
  • an adopted person who is 18 years old or older and was adopted by a Canadian citizen
  • a legal guardian applying on behalf of an adopted child under 18 years of age at the time of application if the child had at least one Canadian parent
  • a non-Canadian adoptive parent applying on behalf of an adopted child under 18 years of age at the time of application if the other parent is a Canadian citizen


Requirements
The immigration process allows two types of adoptions. Depending on the laws of the child’s home country, intercountry adoption must be completed outside or in Canada.

For Canadian immigration purposes, all intercountry adoptions must:

  • be legal in the child’s home country and in the province or territory where you live;
  • end the legal relationship between the adopted child and their biological parents;
  • meet the requirements of your province or territory;
  • create a genuine parent-child relationship;
  • be in the best interests of the child.

Children adopted outside Canada may be sponsored to come to Canada if:

  • informed consent has been given by the child’s biological parents;
  • your child has been legally adopted outside Canada; and
  • the requirements of the Hague Convention must be met (if applicable).


Lastly, adopted children must complete a medical exam before becoming a permanent residents. The requirements are different depending on the province or territory you live in, so it is best to contact the authority for information on eligibility and the requirements.

Parent or Grandparent  

Fees:

From $1,050 CAD

 

Processing Time:

20-24 months


To sponsor a parent or grandparent, you must submit an Interest to Sponsor Form and be invited to apply. If you are invited to apply, you can sponsor your parents and grandparents to come to Canada. Sponsoring your parents and grandparents means that you must support them and their dependants financially and make sure they will not require social assistance from the government.

Eligibility
To be eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents, the general requirements apply. In addition, you will need to be living in Canada and have enough money to support the people you want to sponsor. To prove this, you will need to submit proof of income.

If you live outside of Quebec, you must also agree to an undertaking as a sponsor. The undertaking will last up to 20 years and begins as soon as the parent or grandparent becomes a permanent resident.

You and your sponsored family members will also need to agree to a sponsorship agreement. The agreement confirms that you will provide the basic needs of the sponsored family members and that the person being sponsored will make an effort to support themselves in Canada.

Who Can You Sponsor?
Now, who can you sponsor? You can sponsor your parents or grandparents, by blood or by adoption. In the case of divorce or separation, you can sponsor your parents’ or grandparents’ spouses.

Your parents and grandparents must be eligible to be sponsored and can prove this by providing all required documents with their application. They may also be asked to provide additional information, such as medical exams, police certificates, and biometrics.

There are also instances where you cannot sponsor a parent or grandparent. You cannot sponsor your spouse’s parents and grandparents, but you can co-sign their application. Also, you cannot sponsor someone inadmissible to Canada.

A step unique to a parent or grandparent sponsorship is that you need an invitation to apply. This invitation allows you to submit your sponsorship application. The first step is to submit an Interest to Sponsor Form. If you are invited to apply, you will need to submit your application to become a sponsor and your parents or grandparents will need to apply for permanent residence. These are to be submitted at the same time.

Other Relatives 

Fees:

Adult (22 years and older) - $1,050 CAD

Child - $150 CAD

Processing Time:

Varies by country


Eligibility
If you choose to sponsor a relative to come as a permanent resident, you must support your relative financially when they arrive, provide all basic needs, and make sure that your relative will not require social assistance.

In order to be eligible as a sponsor, the general requirements noted above apply. In addition, you generally must live in Canada and are sponsoring your spouse or dependent children who have no dependents.

Your responsibilities when sponsoring a relative include meeting income requirements and providing financial support to your relative. These obligations start the day they become a permanent resident and last for up to 20 years. The relative being sponsored should also make the effort to support themselves.

Who Can You Sponsor?
Relatives including a sibling, aunt, or uncle can be sponsored in specific situations. There are certain criteria they need to meet, and there are two options for relatives that you can sponsor.

Option 1: You can sponsor an orphaned sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they meet the following:

  • they are related to you by blood or adoption
  • Both parents have passed away
  • they are under 18 years old
  • they are single 

You cannot sponsor your sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild if these conditions apply to them:

  • One of the parents is alive
  • No one knows where their parents are located
  • Their parents abandoned them
  • Someone else other than their parents is taking care of them
  • Their parent is in jail

Option 2: You may sponsor one relative if you meet the following conditions:

  • The sponsor does not have a living relative you could sponsor instead
  • The sponsor does not have any relatives who are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada


Like the previous categories, you cannot sponsor someone inadmissible to Canada. Similar to sponsoring your parents or grandparents, you will need to submit an application for sponsorship and your relatives will need to apply for permanent residence.

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article was a helpful introduction to the process of sponsoring family members or relatives. As you can see, for each category, several requirements need to be met. In addition, you need to be eligible as a sponsor, and the people you’re sponsoring also need to not be inadmissible, meaning they need to be allowed to come to Canada.

If you have any questions about the process or your eligibility, please reach out to Second Passport and we will be able to guide you as to how best you can reunite with your family here in Canada.


Ready to get started? Here are three ways we can help: 
1. Join our Facebook Community to connect with an amazing group of Second Passporters... This is a space where the community can share information, updates, and connect as a group of people all the same goals!
2. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to help you prepare for your new journey of immigrating and settling in Canada!
3. Ready to begin your journey? Join our 5-Day Immigration Blueprint ChallengeBy the end of the 5 days, you will have an Immigration Blueprint™ outlining your pathway to Canada.

Close

50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.