Family & Spousal Sponsorship
Canada recognizes the importance of family and spousal support for its citizens and residents, therefore, the Family Class Immigration and Spousal Sponsorship procedures are simplified and applicants have fewer requirements compared to other streams of immigration. IRCC does not limit the annual number of applications.
If you are a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident living in Canada you may apply for sponsorship of your spouse, common-law partner, children, parents, and/or grandparents. Here is the list of programs that are focused on reuniting family members. You may sponsor more than one relative/group of relatives, once the 3 year period after sponsoring the previous one has passed and you can still meet all the sponsorship requirements:
According to Canadian immigration regulations, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for permanent residence. In the course of application approval, both the Canadian citizen and the foreign national must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Both parties must prove that their relationship can be defined under three categories.
- Common-law partner
- Conjugal partner
Under the above categories, same-sex partners are also eligible to apply, provided that they meet all other eligibility requirements.
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident of at least 18 years of age, must be able to prove that they are not receiving social assistance (for reasons other than disability) and able to provide for the basic needs of the person they are sponsoring. If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada once the sponsored relatives become permanent residents.
A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a person under spousal sponsorship, with these requirements:
- The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age
- The sponsor must be a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen
- The sponsor cannot be in prison, under a removal order (if a permanent resident), or charged with a serious offence
- The sponsor cannot be bankrupt and must present proof of income or funds
- If the person, who is at least 18 years of age, has already been living with you in Canada for at least 1 year, and it can be proven by corresponding documentation (bills, lease agreement, etc.)
- The sponsor was not sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse within the last 5 years
The sponsored person must meet the following requirements:
- The sponsored person must be at least 16 years of age
- The sponsored person must not be too closely related by blood to the sponsor
In the application process, you will be required to attach all the required documentation proving your marital status, receipts, and bills proving your cohabitation.
Dependent Child Sponsorship
If you are sponsoring a partner, their dependent children must be included in the application form. It is important to note that Canadian citizens cannot be sponsored. Also, if you have a child who was born after you have become a Canadian citizen, they might already be a Canadian citizen.
If you want your relatives to be able to visit you, but settling permanently in Canada is not an option for them, you can always apply for the Super Visa, a multi-entry visa that will allow them to enter Canada over the span of 10 years. To find out more about the Super Visa application process, please visit our Super Visa page.
Who can sponsor relatives to become permanent residents under Family Class Immigration?
A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident living in Canada, of at least 18 years of age, who is able to prove that they are not receiving social assistance (for reasons other than disability) and able to provide for the basic needs of the person they are sponsoring. If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada once the sponsored relatives become permanent residences.
You cannot apply for sponsorship of relatives through Family Class Immigration if:
- You are a permanent resident living outside Canada
- You have outstanding debts on an immigration loan, performance bond, family support payment, or have undergone bankruptcy
- You have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously sponsored relative, are under a removal order or are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
- You receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- You were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, caused bodily harm to a relative, or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences
- Also, you cannot apply to sponsor an inadmissible person (a person who has a criminal record, is a threat to Canadian society, or has outstanding warrants or debts in their country of origin or any other country)