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    Canada is a country that gives the highest priority to family reunification in its immigration policy. Because of this reason, Canada has a number of Sponsorship Immigration / Family Migration pathways under which, Canadian citizens and permanent residents in the country can sponsor their family members for permanent residence in Canada. As per the Immigration Levels Plan of Canada for 2023-25 period, the country will be welcoming more than one lakh new immigrants through family sponsorship programs during each year of the Plan period. Family sponsorship immigrants will be the second highest after the economic immigrants in the total number immigrants welcomed each year.

    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 the following eligibility requirements

    • He/she must be at least 18 years of age.
    • He/she must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • He/she must prove that they have sufficient income to financially support the sponsored person once they arrive in Canada.

    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
    • Brothers/sisters
    • Adopted children
    • Nephews, nieces and grandchildren if they are minor, orphaned and not married.

    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

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


    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. The requirements include:

    • They must be residing in the same address as their spouse
    • They must have a valid temporary resident status
    • They must meet all the requirements under the spousal sponsorship program

    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.

    Sponsoring dependent children for Canada PR

    Eligibility criteria for the sponsored

    • The child must be 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 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

    Other requirements for sponsoring family members

    Fees: The sponsoring person must pay the required sponsorship fees and other processing fees for family class applications. 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 ends 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.

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

    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 for more than 10 years.

    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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