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Family Sponsorship

Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada, 18 years of age or older, may sponsor close relatives or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. Sponsors must promise to support the relative or family member and accompanying family members for a period of three to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.

You can sponsor relatives or family members from abroad if they are:

  • spouses, common-law or conjugal partners 16 years of age or older.

  • parents and grandparents.

  • dependent children, including adopted children.

  • children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt.

  • children under guardianship.

  • brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans, under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship.

  • any other relative if you have none of the above relatives or family members, either in Canada or abroad.

A son or daughter is dependent when the child:

  • is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner

  • became a full-time student before the age of 22 and has been substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since that time.

  • became a spouse or common-law partner before the age of 22 and has been substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since that time; or

  • is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.

You may also sponsor a spouse or common-law partner who has legal status in Canada.

 
Sponsoring a Relative or Family Member

If you want to sponsor any of the above listed relatives or family members, you may have to meet certain income requirements.      If you have previously sponsored relatives or family members who have received social assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a considerable commitment so you should take this obligation seriously.
To sponsor a relative or family member you must sign a legal contract with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. This is called the Undertaking to Sponsor. You must also sign an Agreement with your relative or family member that outlines your mutual commitments to each other.
 
Applying as a Sponsored Immigrant
If you wish to become a permanent resident of Canada, your relative or family member in Canada must first apply to sponsor you. You must be one of the relatives or family members listed above to be eligible for sponsorship.

Both you and your sponsor need to sign an agreement. The agreement outlines your mutual obligations to each other. Your sponsor must promise to support you and your family members financially for three to 10 years so that you will not need to apply for social assistance. You must promise to make every effort to become self-supporting (unless you are elderly.)

Adopting a Child From Another Country
To adopt a child from another country you must go through both the adoption process and the sponsorship and immigration process.
 
Applications for Sponsorship and Immigration to Canada from Abroad
Before your relative or family member can immigrate to Canada, you must sponsor that person. Your relative or family member must then apply for immigration.

Requirements for sponsor
133. (1) A sponsorship application shall only be approved by an officer if, on the day on which the application was filed and from that day until the day a decision is made with respect to the application, there is evidence that the sponsor
(a) is a sponsor as described in section 130;
(b) intends to fulfill the obligations in the sponsorship undertaking;
(c) is not subject to a removal order;
(d) is not detained in any penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison;
(e) has not been convicted of a sexual offence or an offence under theCriminal Code against
(i) a relative of the sponsor, including a dependent child or other family member of the sponsor,
(ii) a relative of the sponsor's spouse or of the sponsor's common-law partner, including a dependent child or other family member of the sponsor's spouse or of the sponsor's common-law partner, or
(iii) the conjugal partner of the sponsor or a relative of that conjugal partner, including a dependent child or other family member of that conjugal partner;
(f) has not been convicted outside Canada of an offence that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence referred to in paragraph (e);
(g) subject to paragraph 137(c), is not in default of
(i) any undertaking, or
(ii) any support payment obligations ordered by a court;
(h) is not in default in respect of the repayment of any debt referred to in subsection 145(1) of the Act payable to Her Majesty in right ofCanada;
(i) subject to paragraph 137(c), is not an undischarged bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act;
(j) if the sponsor resides
(i) in a province other than a province referred to in paragraph 131(b), has a total income that is at least equal to the minimum necessary income, and
(ii) in a province referred to in paragraph 131(b), is able, within the meaning of the laws of that province and as determined by the competent authority of that province, to fulfil the undertaking referred to in that paragraph; and
(k) is not in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than disability.

Exception -- conviction in Canada
(2) Despite paragraph (1)(e), a sponsorship application may not be refused
(a) on the basis of a conviction in Canada in respect of which a pardon has been granted and has not ceased to have effect or been revoked under the Criminal Records Act, or in respect of which there has been a final determination of an acquittal; or
(b) if a period of five years or more has elapsed since the completion of the sentence imposed for an offence in Canada referred to in paragraph (1)(e).

Exception -- conviction outside Canada
(3) Despite paragraph (1)(f), a sponsorship application may not be refused
(a) on the basis of a conviction outside Canada in respect of which there has been a final determination of an acquittal; or
(b) if a period of five years or more has elapsed since the completion of the sentence imposed for an offence outside Canada referred to in that paragraph and the sponsor has demonstrated that they have been rehabilitated.

Exception to minimum necessary income
(4) Paragraph (1)(j) does not apply if the sponsored person is
(a) the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and has no dependent children;
(b) the sponsor's spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and has a dependent child who has no dependent children; or
(c) a dependent child of the sponsor who has no dependent children or a person referred to in paragraph 117(1)(e) or (g).