Do you have family members outside Canada that you would like to come and join you? The Federal Government of Canada is keen on promoting the reunification of families. Under the Family Sponsorship program, one can sponsor their family members to immigrate to Canada.

Who can qualify as a Sponsor?

According to IRPR, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, a sponsor must be 18 years or older, who is:

  • A Canadian Citizen
  • Registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • Permanent Resident of Canada

As a Sponsor, you are under obligation to provide financial support for the basic needs of your family members and their dependent children. If you are receiving social assistance, it should be for no other reason than disability.

If you are a Permanent Resident of Canada but are living outside Canada, you won’t be able to sponsor anyone.

Who Can I Sponsor through Family Sponsorship?

If you choose to become a sponsor, you can only sponsor the following members of your family to Canada:

  • Spouse: this is the person you are married to legally, whether of the opposite or same sex. He or she should be over 18 years of age.
  • Common-law partner: he or she is a person who lives with another for a minimum of one year, in a conjugal relationship.
  • Conjugal partner: a person who is in a binding relationship with the sponsor but cannot live with their partner.

A rule that applies to the above individuals that can be sponsored by you is that your relationship should be genuine. It should not be one that was entered to obtain the Permanent Resident Status.

You should also cohabit with your spouse or common-law partner if they apply through the Spouse or Common Law Partner class.

Other members of your family that you can sponsor are dependent children, grandparents, parents, adopted children, and other relatives. If you choose to sponsor your relative(s) to Canada, you should be able to provide for your basic needs and those of the relative(s).

You should also ensure that the relative you want to sponsor doesn’t need social assistance.

Who is a Dependent Child?

The IRPR defines a Dependent Child as a child who depends on the Principal Applicant or Sponsor for financial support and any other form of support. He or she should:

  • Be 18 years old or younger, and without a partner or spouse
  • At least 19 years of age but depends on the financial support of the parents due to a mental or physical condition

Relatives and family members, whom you would like to sponsor, fall under the Family Class. If you choose to sponsor a relative, they may need to undergo medical, criminal, and background checks.

They may not be allowed to enter Canada if they have a criminal record or are a threat to the security of Canada.

To sponsor your parents or grandparents, you will need to:

  • Provide them with financial support and for your needs and theirs, when they arrive;
  • Ensure that they don’t need social assistance

If you live in Quebec, you will need to follow the Quebec Immigration regulations on Family Sponsorship.