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Family Sponsorship

Family Sponsorship

In Nov 2022, IRCC has released its details on the Government’s immigration levels plan for 2023-2025.  Canada aims to welcome new permanent residents under the family unification category such as spouses, partners, dependent children (78,000) and parents and grandparents (28,500).  After economic immigration numbers (266,210), family sponsorship immigrants will account for the second largest share of the total number of immigrants admitted each year.

Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada permanently if they become permanent residents of Canada.  Canada is the only country that places the highest priority on family reunification in its national immigration policy. For this reason, Canada has several sponsorship/family migration streams through which Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their loved ones.

The sponsor’s eligibility is first determined by IRCC to decide if the sponsor is an eligible person to sponsor his/her relative.  Once the sponsor’s eligibility has been determined, the IRCC will then initiate the eligibility and admissibility of the foreign person who is also known as the principal applicant. 

Who can sponsor family members for permanent residence in Canada?

To sponsor a family member for permanent residence in Canada, a sponsor must meet the following eligibility requirements

  • be at least 18 years old at the time of submitting their application.
  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • be residing in Canada during the processing of the application (except Canadian citizen with some exceptions).
  • prove that he/she has sufficient income or proof of funds to financially support the sponsored person once he/she arrives in Canada.
  • be solvent (discharged bankruptcy).
  • be not subject to another pending sponsorship undertaking in the past.
  • Be not detained in jail, prison, penitentiary or reformatory.
  • Be not convicted of criminal offence of at least 10 years of sentencing.
  • Be not sponsored within the past 5 years to Canada (applicable to spousal sponsorship)

Who can be sponsored?

Who can be sponsored?

  • Dependent children (under 22 years old and financially dependent on parents)
  • Spouse (married)
  • Common-law partners (not-married, minimum 12 months of physical cohabitation needed)
  • Conjugal partners (non-married, can’t reside together as common-law partners for various restrictions or reasons beyond their personal control)
  • Parents / grandparents (bio-logical)

Inland Spousal Sponsorship

Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are already living with their spouse or common-law partners in Canada can apply to sponsor them through the inland spousal sponsorship category of the family sponsorship immigration program.  The foreign national must have a valid temporary immigration status (international student, visitor, temporary foreign worker) in Canada while their application for permanent residency in being processed from within Canada. 

They must meet the following criteria to be considered under this category:

  • Be residing in Canada at the same residence
  • Be in a genuine marital relationship
  • Ideally should have joint bank accounts, credit cards, investments, car insurance, life insurance, joint lease or proof of joint ownership of property etc
  • The sponsor must be financially solvent to assume 3 years sponsorship undertaking
  • Both the sponsor and the principal applicant (person being sponsored) must not be criminally convicted of crimes

Spouse Open Work Permit (SOWP)

Those who have submitted their application for permanent residence under the In-Canada spousal sponsorship category may apply for an Open Work Permit, which allow the foreign national (principal applicant) to work in Canada until their PR application is approved. Requirements include:

  • live at the same address as their spouse or CLP (cohabitation)
  • have a valid temporary resident status in Canada
  • not plan to leave Canada for an extended period while their PR application is under processing (brief, short intervals of trips allowed though)
  • have submitted a completed application for permanent residency

Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may sponsor their parents and grandparents for permanent residence in Canada under the Parent and Grandparent Program (PGP). The requirements for sponsorship under the Parent and Grandparent Program are as follows:

  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age at the time of application
  • Provide proof of relationship as a child or grandchild of the person being sponsored
  • Meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) LICO requirements per your family size
  • Sign a sponsorship agreement for 20 years to providing for the basic needs of the sponsored persons without any recourse to the social assistance benefits
  • Be an eligible sponsor without any criminality, undischarged bankruptcy or previous pending sponsorship undertaking
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