Canadian citizens or permanent residents may sponsor certain close family members who are citizens of other countries to immigrate to Canada. Sponsorships proceed as an application to the Canadian Immigration authorities who will process the application, and will issue permanent resident status to the family member if all the requirements are met.
Requirements to sponsor
The basic requirements to qualify as a sponsor are the following:
The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident;
He/she must be 18 years of age and reside in Canada
The sponsor must have sufficient income to support their relatives once they arrive in Canada
The sponsor must enter into a written agreement with the Government of Canada to support their relatives for the following time periods: Three years for spouses, common law partners or conjugal partners; ten years for children; and 20 years for parents and grandparents
Relatives who can be sponsored
The following relatives may be sponsored under the family class:
1. Spouse of sponsor
A spouse is a husband or wife who is legally married to the sponsor. If the marriage did not occur in Canada, it may be accepted by Canadian Immigration Authorities if the marriage is legal in the country in which it occurred.
2. Common Law Partner
If the sponsor has lived together with a person continuously for at least one year in a conjugal or marriage-like relationship, then that partner would be regarded as a common law partner of the sponsor.
3. Conjugal partner
A conjugal partner is a person who has been in a marriage-like relationship with the sponsor for at least one year – even though they have not lived together due to extenuating circumstances. Note that fiance’s do not qualify under this category. It is intended to provide an exception category for people who have been unable to marry or live with their partner.
A sponsor’s dependant children who are under the age of 19 and unmarried.
The sponsor’s mother or father. It should be noted that when parents are sponsored, they may also bring in their dependant children with them. The children who are the sponsors siblings have to be under the age of 19 to qualify.
The sponsor’s grandmother or grandfather
Where a person is under the age of 18 and unmarried, and both their parents are deceased, they may be sponsored. The orphan may be a brother or sister, niece or nephew or grandchild.
8. Adopted Children
A person who is under the age of 18 who the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada may be sponsored.
9. Other relatives
Where a sponsor does not have any spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece living in Canada, and no relative living abroad who may be sponsored under the regular categories, then they may sponsor any other relative regardless of their age.
Relatives who can not be sponsored
Brothers and sisters cannot be directly sponsored under the Family Class. Brothers and sisters may only be sponsored as accompanying dependants of sponsored parents.