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    Canada’s immigration policy gives the highest priority to family reunification. As a result, Canada has several family sponsorship programs through which Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their family members for permanent residence in Canada.

    Approximately 100,000 immigrants are welcomed into the country every year through family sponsorship. Majority of these immigrants come in through the Spouses, Partners and Children program. About a fifth of the entrants are brought in via Parents and Grandparents program.

    In certain specific situations, relatives such as a sibling, aunt or uncle and so on can be sponsored as well.

    Who can sponsor their family members for permanent residence in Canada?

    To sponsor a family member for permanent residence in Canada, a person must meet these eligibility requirements:

    • Must be at least 18 years of age.
    • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • Must prove that they have sufficient income to financially support the sponsored person once they arrive in Canada.
    • Must be able to prove their relationship to their family member.

    Who cannot sponsor family members?

    • Those punished with imprisonment
    • Those who have been declared bankrupt
    • Those who have sponsored a family member earlier, but failed to comply with the conditions of the sponsorship agreement.
    • Those who have been accused of a serious crime

    Who can be sponsored?

    • Dependent children
    • Parents
    • Grandparents
    • Spouse/common-law or conjugal partner
    • Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild

    A person can sponsor as many family members as possible. However, they need to submit separate applications for each of them.

    Sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner for Canada PR

    Eligibility criteria

    1. At least 18 years of age
    2. Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    3. Demonstrate your ability to financially support the persons whom they plan to sponsor
    4. Provide documents to prove the sponsor’s relationship with the sponsored person

    The following are some of the documents that can be provided to establish proof of relationship:

    1. Birth certificates, marriage certificate,
    2. letters, emails, photographs, employment and insurance benefits

    The person being sponsored must also be at least 18 years of age. They must not be closely related to the person sponsoring them.

    Spousal Open Work Permit(SOWP)

    Those who have submitted their permanent residence application under the spousal sponsorship program may apply for an Open Work Permit with which they can work in Canada until their application for PR is approved, which normally takes up to 12 months’ time. The requirements include:

    • They must be residing in the same address as their spouse
    • They must have a valid temporary resident status
    • They must have submitted an application for a work permit for a maximum duration of two years.
    • They must meet all the requirements under the spousal sponsorship program

    Sponsoring dependent children for Canada PR

    Eligibility criteria for sponsoring children:

    • The child must not be married or in a common-law relationship
    • They must be under 22 years of age.
    • If they have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves, they will be considered dependent, even if they are above 22 years of age.
    • They must be approved by the IRCC to obtain a visa
    • Must provide document proof for the sponsor’s relationship with the child.

    Sponsoring relatives for Canada PR

    In addition to dependent children, there are certain circumstances where it’s possible to sponsor relatives such as:

    • Brother or sister
    • Aunt or uncle
    • Nephew or niece
    • Grandchild

    Sponsorship becomes possible if the following conditions are met:

    • Both parents of the sponsored have been died
    • The individual being sponsored is under 18 years of age and single
    • Related either by blood or adoption

    Sponsorship will not be possible if a parent is still alive, missing, in prison or have abandoned them.

    Sponsoring parents/grandparents

    Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their parents and grandparents for permanent residence in Canada under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP). The eligibility requirements to be a sponsor under the Parents and Grandparents Program are as follows:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Prove the relationship as a child or grandchild of the persons being sponsored
    • Meet the Minimum Necessary Income(MNI) requirements
    • Sign a sponsorship agreement indicating that you would provide for the basic needs of the persons being sponsored for 20 years

    It allows them to gain significant Canadian work experience, which may help them to land in a better job once they obtain their Canada PR.

    Fees: The required sponsorship fees and other processing fees for family class application has to be paid. Right to Permanent Residence Fee is one among these fees, which has to be paid for all family members being sponsored, other than dependent children.

    Sponsorship agreement: This is an undertaking a sponsor signs with the Canada government saying that they would financially support the persons being sponsored, if they cannot provide for their own needs. However, different categories of family members have different lengths of obligation, in this agreement. It is as follows:

    • Spouse/common-law or conjugal partner: Three years
    • Dependent child: 10 years or until the child turns 22. For dependent children above the age of 22, it is three years.
    • Parent/grandparent: 20 years,

    The person who signs this agreement is legally obliged to provide food, shelter, clothing and other basic needs of the person being sponsored. This obligation does not expire even if the sponsored person becomes a Canadian citizen after a few years. In the case of spouses or partners, the agreement persists even if the spouse becomes estranged. Neither does the sponsor’s obligation end if they lose their employment or run into financial trouble. Those who come to Canada under family sponsorship won’t have any access to government assistance such as social assistance, disability and other provincial benefits. If the person being sponsored receives any benefit from the government, the sponsor will have to pay it back.

    1. Medical examination: The person being sponsored must clear the medical exam for immigration.

    2. Police clearance: If the sponsored person is above the age of 18 years, they must submit a police clearance certificate from the country where they resided most part of their life as well as any country where they lived during the last 10 years for 6 months or more in a row.

    Submitting applications for family migration online

    On September 23, 2022, Canada introduced a significant change and as per this change, family sponsorship immigration applications can now be submitted online. This change was introduced with an aim to speed up the application process for family class sponsorship. This has made applying for family migration easier and faster.

    Do you need help to submit application for sponsoring your family members for Canada immigration? Talk to the Canada immigration experts of CanApprove.



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