In our previous posts, we introduced you to the different immigration programs and pathways for Canada and explained how Express Entry works. In this post, we will discuss another popular way to immigrate to Canada with your loved ones: family sponsorship.
What is family sponsorship?
Family sponsorship is a program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their relatives, including their spouse, partner, children, parents, grandparents, and others to immigrate to Canada.
The sponsor must be at least 18 years old and must meet certain eligibility requirements, such as income level, financial support, and legal obligations. The sponsored person must also meet certain eligibility requirements, such as health, security, and relationship.
How does family sponsorship work?
Family sponsorship works in two steps:
- Apply to sponsor: The sponsor must download and complete the PDF forms in the application package, pay the fees, and submit the application by mail or online (if available). The sponsor must also provide proof of their relationship with the sponsored person, such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, adoption certificate, or other documents. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking agreement that states that they will provide financial support for the sponsored person and their dependents for a certain period of time.
- Apply for permanent residence: The sponsored person must fill out the online or paper forms in the application package, pay the fees, and submit the application by mail or online (if available). The sponsored person must also provide proof of their identity, such as passport, travel document, or other documents. The sponsored person must also undergo medical exams, police checks, and biometrics (if required).
The processing time for family sponsorship applications varies depending on the type of relationship, the country of origin, and the volume of applications. You can check the current processing times on the IRCC website. You can also link your paper application to your online account to check the status of your application.
Who can you sponsor?
You can sponsor different types of relatives under family sponsorship, depending on your situation:
- Spouse, partner or dependent children: You can sponsor your spouse or common-law partner who is at least 18 years old and who lives with you in Canada or abroad. You can also sponsor your dependent children who are under 22 years old and who do not have a spouse or partner. If your dependent children are over 22 years old, they must be unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition.
- Parents and grandparents: You can sponsor your parents or grandparents who are related to you by blood or adoption. You can also sponsor their dependent children (your siblings or half-siblings) who are under 22 years old and who do not have a spouse or partner. If you want to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you must submit an interest to sponsor form online during the annual intake period. IRCC will then invite potential sponsors to apply based on a random selection process.
- Other relatives: You can sponsor other relatives in specific situations, such as your brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandchild, or orphaned family member who is under 18 years old and who does not have a spouse or partner. You can also sponsor one relative of any age if you do not have any other relatives who could be sponsored or who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
These are some of the types of relatives you can sponsor under family sponsorship. You can find more information about each category on the IRCC website.
We hope that this post has given you a clear overview of how family sponsorship works and how you can apply for permanent residence with your family members.
In our next post, we will discuss provincial nominees, another way to immigrate to Canada by being nominated by a Canadian province or territory.