Sponsor Your Family and Reunite in Canada

If you are an immigrant to Canada and permanent resident or Canadian citizen already, you have the right to sponsor family members and close relatives. Family members who can be sponsored include your spouse, conjugal partner, common-law partner, same-sex partner, and dependent children who apply outside of Canada. To sponsor close relatives and family members, you have to be 18 years old or older.

Under previous legislation, common law partners and spouses of permanent residents and Canadian citizens could benefit from the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class. This, however, was only available to family members of persons who had a valid temporary immigration status while others had to apply under the humanitarian and compassionate class. Under the new policy, having a legal immigration status is no longer required for common law-partners and spouses of permanent residents and citizens. The application can be made for family members who live in the country or abroad.

What factors are taken into consideration? You may complete a family class sponsorship questionnaire to find out if you are eligible. You will be asked to provide your current place of residence, email address, and daytime telephone number. Other personal information to include are your sex and date of birth, as well as whether you are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen. You are asked whether you are an undischarged bankrupt or in receipt of any form of social assistance. You are also asked whether you have been convicted of a criminal offence.

In addition, you have to provide information about the family members you seek to sponsor. If you want to sponsor your spouse/ common law partner/ same-sex partner, you are asked whether you are married and if not, whether you have lived together over the past twelve months. There are questions about the province of destination as well as where the marriage is expected to take place. Of course, you have to answer some questions related to your partner. For example, do they have a criminal record? Does your spouse or partner suffer from any medical condition? If you are to sponsor a child, do they have a criminal record? Do they suffer from a serious medical problem? Is your child dependent on you financially? If you want to sponsor your parents, there is a separate set of questions. The answers to these questions may have an impact on your chances of becoming a sponsor. family
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their grandparents as well. CIC has increased the number of support staff and temporary duty officers at visa offices with a large number of applications. The government’s plan to invest $36 million on a yearly basis for two years has aimed at having more applications processed and covering the costs of integration. With these changes taking place, the government estimated that the number of grandparents and parents who immigrate to Canada would triple.

Notably, all permanent residents and Canadian citizens may apply to support close relatives and family members who seek to become permanent residents. It has been estimated that up to 30 percent of new permanent residents who come to Canada belong to the family class.

To support a family member, you have to sign an undertaking, with which you promise to provide for your spouse or relative’s basic requirements and if applicable, for their family members. In addition, sponsored persons sign an agreement confirming that both parties understand their mutual responsibilities and obligations. Of course, you should prove you have income that is equal to or higher than the necessary minimum determined by the Canadian government on an annual basis. This income is known as LICO or low income cut-off. Regarding your income, you have to supply documentation showing your income sources over the past twelve months.