APPLYING FOR FAMILY SPONSORSHIP IN CANADA

IT’S LONELY IN CANADA WITHOUT YOUR LOVED ONES.

When you are separated from your family members, every day seems like an eternity. The stress of worrying about your families’ immigration applications is added to the stress of separation; and sorting out how to get applications done properly and quickly can be a frustrating experience. Successful family sponsorship applications require so much more than just completing a few forms. We encourage you to reach out to us - and watch your stress levels immediately decrease. Working with The Way Immigration gives you the insight and support needed so you can relax, all while saving you time and money because your application is done right, the first time. Our professional approach will save you months, even years spent away from those you love the most.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SPONSOR A FAMILY MEMBER?

When you agree to sponsor a foreign national for immigration to Canada, you are agreeing to provide financial support for the sponsored person(s) for a specific period of time, so that there is no cost to the Canadian taxpayer because your family member came to Canada. During this undertaking period, the sponsored person is not supposed to receive social assistance benefits (welfare or subsidized housing) in Canada. If the sponsored person receives any such payments during the undertaking period, then the Provincial government involved will collect the funds from you, the sponsor. It’s important to note that this obligation survives any breakdown in your relationship. If, for some reason, your relationship with the sponsored person ends prior to the conclusion of the undertaking period, you are still financially responsible for the sponsored person until the end of the specified period of time.

WHO CAN BE SPONSORED FOR IMMIGRATION TO CANADA?

Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada are eligible to sponsor the following family members for immigration to Canada:

▼ Spouse, Common Law Partner or Conjugal Partner 

In order to be eligible under the partner sponsorship immigration pathways, your relationship with your spouse or partner must not have been created specifically for immigration purposes, and it must meet one of the following definitions:

‣ Spouse: you are legally married to the person you wish to sponsor and the marriage is legally recognized in the country where it took place as well as in Canada. Note that both of you must have been physically present for the marriage in order to meet Canadian immigration requirements.

‣ Common-law partner: you have lived together with the person you wish to sponsor for a minimum of 12 consecutive months in a conjugal relationship and you have combined your affairs in a relationship that is intended to be permanent

‣ Conjugal partner: you and the person you wish to sponsor have had a relationship for at least one year with the same level of commitment as a marriage or common law partnership, but circumstances beyond your control prevent you from either co-habiting or getting married. This category would be appropriate to use in situations where it is impossible for you to marry or to live together, such as same sex relationships from countries where same sex relationships are illegal.  If it is possible for you to live together, then you are expected to apply as a common law couple after 12 months.

If your relationship fits within one of those definitions, then there are two pathways by which you can sponsor your spouse, common law or conjugal partner to immigrate to Canada.  Both of these pathways currently have a 12 month processing time.

Inland Sponsorship

If you would like to apply via inland sponsorship, the sponsored person must be living inside Canada.  The key aspects of an inland sponsorship are as follows:

‣  the sponsored person must be living inside Canada
‣  the sponsored person should not plan to travel outside of Canada until Permanent Residence is achieved
‣  if the sponsored person has valid temporary status in Canada, they can apply for an open work permit which is issued approximately 4 months after the application is submitted
‣  you must reside together with your partner in Canada while the application is being processed
‣  if the sponsored person does not have legal immigration status in Canada even though they reside here, they can still apply through the inland sponsorship pathway, but the open work permit will not be issued until much further into the processing timeframe
‣  no appeal is possible for refusal (you must apply again, if eligible)

Overseas Sponsorship

If you would like to apply via an overseas sponsorship, the sponsored person can be living inside or outside of Canada.  If you are both residing outside of Canada, the sponsor must be a Canadian Citizen in order to apply to sponsor.  Permanent Residents are required to be inside Canada before submitting a sponsorship application.  The key aspects of an overseas sponsorship are as follows:

‣  the sponsored person can travel outside of Canada if needed
‣  the couple does not need to reside together during the processing of the application
‣  if an interview is required, the sponsored person will need to attend an interview at an overseas embassy
‣  there is no option for a work permit to be issued as part of an overseas sponsorship, the sponsored person will not be able to work in Canada until after they are landed as a Permanent Resident
‣  if the sponsored person is inside Canada, they need to have legal immigration status
‣  appeal is possible for refusals

Requirements to Sponsor a Spouse or Partner

In order to sponsor your spouse or partner, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident and meet the following general criteria:

‣  you are at least 18 years of age
‣  you were not sponsored to immigrate to Canada as a spouse within the past 5 years
‣  you meet residency requirements if you are a Permanent Resident
‣  you are not in prison, charged with a serious crime, bankrupt or under a removal order
‣  you do not owe money related to a previous immigration sponsorship, alimony or child support
‣  you are not receiving social assistance except for reasons of disability

Requirements of the Sponsored Spouse or Partner

If you are the sponsored person, you must be in a genuine relationship with the Canadian sponsor and meet the following general criteria:

‣  you are at least 16 years of age
‣  you are not inadmissible for criminality, security or past misrepresentation
‣  you do not have an illness that poses a threat to public health in Canada
‣  you must plan to make every effort to support yourself in Canada

Obligations of the Sponsor

As the sponsor, you are agreeing to provide financial support to your partner for a period of 3 years from the time that your partner will receive Permanent Resident Status in Canada.  If your partner has children who are also included in the sponsorship, you are financially responsible for the child for either ten years after landing, or until the child turns 25 years old, whichever deadline comes first.  If your partner has grandchildren who are included in the sponsorship, you will have a ten year sponsorship undertaking for them, and you will have to demonstrate that you meet a certain level of income before you can be approved as a sponsor.


Read more:

Spouse or Common Law Partner Sponsorship to Canada FAQ

Common-Law status and Immigration to Canada

Canadian Spousal or Common Law Partner Sponsorship Top Tips

▼ Parents or Grandparents

The Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to sponsor parents or grandparents for immigration to Canada; however, it allows a limited number of applicants each year.  The program typically opens early in each calendar year and accepts a specified number of applications within a short period of time until it closes for the remainder of the year.  There are always more people who want to sponsor through this program than spots available in any given year, so permission to sponsor is given by invitation only.

If you would like to sponsor your parents or grandparents to immigrate to Canada, you will first notify Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that you meet the eligibility requirements once the sponsorship application process opens for that year; and then wait to see if you are chosen to sponsor.  If you are chosen to sponsor, you then submit a complete application for processing.

Parents and Grandparents who achieve permanent residence in Canada through sponsorship enjoy all of the benefits of Permanent Resident status, including Provincial health care coverage.  They are also required to maintain residency in Canada for 2 years in every 5 year period of time, in order to keep their status as Permanent Residents of Canada.

Requirements to Sponsor a Parent or Grandparent

In order to sponsor your parents or grandparents for immigration to Canada, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident and meet the following general criteria:

‣  you are at least 18 years old
‣  you live inside Canada
‣  you meet residency requirements if you are a Permanent Resident
‣  you have enough income to support your own family plus your parents or grandparents; based on your past three income tax filings
‣  you are not in prison, charged with a serious crime, bankrupt or under a removal order
‣  you do not owe money related to a previous immigration sponsorship, alimony or child support

Note that when you are calculating the amount of income required to sponsor, you must include all the members of your family (yourself, spouse and dependent children) plus all of the members of the family for those you wish to sponsor (parent or grandparent, their spouse and any dependent children).  Sometimes family size changes during the processing of the application, such as when a new baby is born.  In this situation, you will need to count the new baby in the total number of family members and demonstrate an increased level of income in order for the sponsorship application to proceed.  You can combine the income levels of you and your spouse in order to meet the minimum required levels if necessary.

Requirements of the Sponsored Parent or Grandparent

If you are the parent or grandparent of the Canadian sponsor, you meet the following general criteria to be eligible for sponsorship:

‣  you are the parent or grandparent of the Canadian sponsor (by blood or adoption)
‣  you are not inadmissible for criminality, security or past misrepresentation
‣  you must pass an immigration medical exam
‣  you must make every effort to support yourself in Canada

Obligations of the Sponsor

As the sponsor of your parent or grandparent, you are agreeing to provide financial support for your parent or grandparent, and their accompanying dependent children (if applicable) for 20 years from the date they land as a Permanent Resident.

Other Options instead of Sponsoring

In some cases, it may not be possible for you to sponsor your parents or grandparents due to income levels or because you were not successful in being invited to sponsor.  It may still be possible to bring your loved ones to Canada as a visitor with a regular TRV or on a Super Visa


Read more:

Parental Sponsorship to Canada

▼ Dependent Children 

If you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident with children living overseas, you may be able to sponsor them for immigration to Canada.

Requirements to Sponsor your dependent children

As the sponsor, you must meet the following requirements:

‣  you are at least 18 years of age
‣  you meet residency requirements if you are a Permanent Resident
‣  you are not in prison, charged with a serious crime, bankrupt or under a removal order
‣  you do not owe money related to a previous immigration sponsorship, alimony or child support
‣  you are not receiving social assistance except for reasons of disability
‣  you will need to meet income requirements if your dependent child has children of their own

Who is considered a dependent child?

In order to qualify as a dependent, your child must be less than 22 years of age and without a spouse or common law or conjugal partner.  In some instances, a child over the age of 22 can be considered a dependent if they depend on the support of their parents financially due to a health condition.

Obligations of the Sponsor

As the sponsor of your dependent child, you are agreeing to provide financial support for your child for 10 years from date of landing, or until your child becomes 22 years old, whoever comes first.  If you are sponsoring a child who is over the age of 22 the length of your undertaking is 3 years.

▼ Orphaned Relatives less than 18 years old

As a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident, you may be eligible to sponsor a brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild who has been orphaned if they meet all of the following conditions:

‣  they are less than 18 years of age
‣  both their mother and father have passed away
‣  they are not married or in a common law relationship

Requirements to Sponsor

In order to sponsor an orphaned relative, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident and meet the following general criteria:

‣  you are at least 18 years old
‣  you live inside Canada
‣  you meet residency requirements if you are a Permanent Resident
‣  you have enough income to support your family and the sponsored family members
‣  you are not in prison, charged with a serious crime, bankrupt or under a removal order
‣  you do not owe money related to a previous immigration sponsorship, alimony or child support

Obligations of the Sponsor

When you sponsor an orphaned relative, you are agreeing to provide financial support for the sponsored person for 10 years from the date they receive Permanent Residence in Canada.

▼ Any Relative – Loneliest Person Category  

If you are a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident without any immediate family members in Canada and you have no family members overseas who are eligible to be sponsored, you may be able to sponsor one relative, of any age, related by blood or adoption.  If the relative that you are sponsoring has family members such as a spouse or children, they are to be included on the application for Permanent Residence as well.

Requirements to Sponsor

As the sponsor, you must be a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident and meet the following general criteria:

‣  you are at least 18 years old
‣  you live inside Canada
‣  you meet residency requirements if you are a Permanent Resident
‣  you have enough income to support your family and the sponsored family members
‣  you are not in prison, charged with a serious crime, bankrupt or under a removal order
‣  you do not owe money related to a previous immigration sponsorship, alimony or child support

Obligations of the Sponsor

When you sponsor a relative through the loneliest person category, you are agreeing to provide financial support for the sponsored person for 10 years from the date they land as a Permanent Resident. 

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