Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Requirements and Application

Would you consider moving to Canada? Are you a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident with relatives who reside abroad? If so, many immigration schemes in Canada allow for family sponsorship, such as the Family Class and the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa program. Let's examine what these choices represent and how you might utilize them to sponsor your family to immigrate to Canada and live with you.

Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Requirements and Application

The Canadian family sponsorship immigration program makes it easier for certain eligible relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members to become Canadian permanent residents. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, and other eligible relatives.

Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs are often the easiest way to bring your family to Canada, and multiple programs are available depending on your situation. In this guide, we'll explain the basics of these programs, give you tips on how to apply, and provide links to essential resources that will help you with your application.

Understanding the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Family reunification is one of the pillars of Canada's immigration system. The Canadian government emphasizes the importance of family unity and values. Canadian immigration law is designed to reflect that priority through several streams relating to family reunification in Canada. In addition, Canada has sought to welcome immigrants to strengthen its economy and bring families together on humanitarian and compassionate grounds since the Second World War.

Furthermore, the family class is the second-largest category of newcomers welcomed by Canada under its Immigration Levels Plan. Canada is pursuing the highest levels of immigration in its history to support its post-COVID economic recovery. Canada aims to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants annually, of which over 100,000 immigrants per year fall under the family class.

Moreover, the country's immigration system is managed by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The department was previously known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). IRCC establishes and administers Canada's family sponsorship program. This entails establishing program criteria, accepting and reviewing family sponsorship applications, and providing permanent and temporary resident visas.

What is the Canadian Family Sponsorship?

The country offers sponsorship opportunities for citizens or permanent residents who want to bring their relatives to Canada. Certain family members may be granted permanent residency in Canada under these programs. Because Canada understands that family should never be put on hold, one of the most popular immigration streams allows citizens and permanent residents to easily sponsor their spouses and immediate family members to immigrate to Canada with shorter processing timelines.

However, there are two main aspects to sponsorship:

  • First, family sponsorship allows your family member to immigrate to Canada and get permanent residence (PR).
  • It requires you, as an individual, to commit to providing for basic needs and supporting that person financially.

Who Can be Sponsored for Permanent Residency in Canada?

Here's a summary of the family members that may be sponsored under the Family Class Sponsorship Program. 


Spousal and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

A Canadian permanent resident or citizen may sponsor their non-Canadian spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner after the IRCC has approved them. The Canadian government also considers candidates in same-sex relationships. Sponsorships can be through the Outland or Inland Sponsorship.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

This program allows you to sponsor your parents and grandparents for permanent residency in Canada. You must be able to financially support them and their dependents and ensure they don't need social assistance from the government. Potential sponsors must submit documents online to qualify as one of the 10,000 sponsors invited to apply for this sponsorship program.

Dependent Child Sponsorship

This sponsorship applies to both adopted and natural-born children, as long as the sponsor and children receive approval from IRCC. Children qualify as dependents if they're under 22- years old and don't have a spouse or common-law partner. The Dependent Child Sponsorship allows candidates to become permanent residents and study and work in Canada.

Orphaned Family Members and Other Siblings

This program allows you to sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they're related to you by blood and are under 18 years of age. You can also sponsor one relative (brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, or uncle) of any age; if you don't have a closer living relative, you could sponsor instead (spouse, dependent children, parents, and grandparents).

Who Can Be a Sponsor?

Only individuals who are 18 years of age or older and Canadian citizens or permanent residents may sponsor family class members who seek to immigrate to Canada. If the sponsor is already residing abroad, they must demonstrate that they will relocate to Canada after the sponsored person is granted permanent residency.

Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Here are the programs Under the Family Sponsorship Immigration for sponsoring someone from the family class to immigrate to Canada.

Spousal and family

Canadian citizens or permanent residents 18 years or older are eligible to sponsor their spouses and certain relatives to live and work in Canada. You may sponsor:

  • your spouse (you are legally married)
  • common-law partner (you are not legally married but have been living together for at least 12 months in a marital relationship).
  • Conjugal partner (you are not legally married or in a common-law relationship, and they are living outside Canada)

However, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, you must:

  • be 18 years of age, a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada, or a Canadian citizen,
  • demonstrate that you can provide for the basic needs of yourself and your spouse or partner,
  • Prove your relationship with the sponsored person is genuine by providing supporting documentation.

Moreover, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, the sponsored person must be at least 18 years of age and not too closely related to you.

Canada's Super Visa

The Super Visa is a Family Sponsorship immigration program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for immigration to Canada for an extended period. If you are a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen and meet specific criteria, you will be eligible for a Super Visa. This means you can visit family in Canada for up to two years, and the visa provides multiple entries for up to 10 years. This differs from the tourist visa, where you can only visit for up to 6 months at a time.

However, to be eligible under the Super Visa Program, you must:

  • be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
  • have signed a letter of invitation from your child or grandchild,
  • have medical insurance
  • apply for a super visa from outside Canada.

Furthermore, your Canadian child or grandchild must prove that their household meets the minimum necessary income.


Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

The Parents and Grandparents program, also offered through the Family Sponsorship program, allows a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their parent or grandparent's immigration to Canada. A parent or grandparent can be supported in their quest for permanent residency if they are Canadian citizens or permanent residents over 18. What you should know about the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship program is provided below.

However, you must be able to financially provide for your parent or grandparent to be eligible for this program. You will be in charge of them from when they arrive in Canada. This involves providing for their fundamental need, such as food and lodging. In addition, you must ensure that the family member you are sponsoring does not apply for government social assistance. Finally, the sponsor and the sponsored party must adhere to specific standards. This involves the sponsored person passing their background checks and medical exams.

However, to be eligible under the Parents and Grandparents Program, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada,
  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be the child or grandchild of the person(s) you are sponsoring,
  • meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) required for the size of their family unit and provide Canada Revenue Agency-issued notices of assessment as proof,
  • sign a sponsorship agreement that acknowledges your promise to provide for the basic needs of a family member(s) for 20 years,
  • sign an additional agreement if you live in Quebec.

How to Apply for the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Here's an overview of the family sponsorship application process:

  1. First, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to be a sponsor.
  2. Ensure that the relatives you intend to sponsor meet eligibility criteria.
  3. You will need to apply at the federal level to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and, if you are a Quebec resident, at the provincial level to the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI). In addition, you must submit your sponsorship application and the permanent residence (PR) status applications of your family members or relatives together. Once you have been deemed eligible to sponsor, your PR application will be reviewed.
  4. You will be required to pay the family sponsorship application fee.
  5. Send your application to the correct address. You will find this information in the sponsorship guide available on the government website.

Canada Family Sponsorship Application Processing Times

Canada wants to support maintaining intact families. The Canadian Visa Office gives all applications for family sponsorship priority as a result. The processing of family sponsorship applications might take anywhere from 12 to 24 months. It usually takes the longest to sponsor your parents or grandparents.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs.

What if my sponsorship application is refused?

If your sponsorship request is denied, you have 30 days after the rejection to file an appeal with the Immigration Adjudication Division (IAD). IAD appeals are time-consuming, expensive, and not consistently successful. If your case was rejected, you should speak with a lawyer immediately to ensure your appeal is submitted before the deadline.

What do essential needs mean?

When a sponsor agrees to meet a family member's "essential needs," they are responsible for meeting their daily needs for food, clothes, shelter, and health treatment that is not covered by public health services (e.g., dental and eye care).

How long does the Canadian Family Sponsorship application process take?

This will depend on the sponsored family member and the Canadian Immigration Visa Office to which the application was submitted. Priorities include spouses, cohabiting partners, and dependent children, who can be processed in roughly a month, as opposed to parents and grandparents, who can take up to three years.

Final Thoughts

The Family Class Immigration and Spousal Sponsorship procedures are streamlined, and applicants have fewer requirements than other streams of immigration in Canada, which recognizes the value of family and spousal support for its citizens and residents. That is all we have to say about the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Program. Follow the link below to visit the official website of the Canadian immigration authorities for further details.

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