Family Class Sponsorship

Canada’s family sponsorship program allows certain family members of Canadians or permanent residents to immigrate. The Family Class category includes a spouse, common-law and conjugal partner, dependent children, adopted children, parents, and grandparents. Other relatives can be brought to Canada in exceptional cases or through provincial programs.

Four Categories For Family Reunification In Canada
Canadians can sponsor their certain family members and relatives to become permanent residents of Canada. This is a pathway to immigrate to Canada with the primary goal – family reunification. The Canadian Government supports this initiative, which is reflected in its immigration levels plan for the next years.

Start by selecting a proper category of relationships under the Family Class Program.
Spouse, Common-law or Conjugal Partner
  • Spouse includes a husband or wife to whom a sponsor is legally married. A marriage license or certificate usually proves this type of relationship. Spouses may live together in Canada or separately until the immigration process is finalized for a foreign national.

  • Common-law partners are not legally married. The key is that a common-law couple must have been living together for at least 1 year, continuously and without any long periods apart. Either can leave another just for a short and temporary period and only for family, work or business reasons. In most cases, cohabitation is in Canada. Canadian citizens, however, may live in a common-law relationship outside Canada and still be eligible for sponsorship. That requires proof of intent to return to Canada when an immigration visa is approved.

  • Conjugal partnership exists if a couple can not marry or live together because of the barriers beyond their control. Such a reason could well be the immigration barrier, religious, sexual orientation, war, etc. In this case, a significant degree of attachment for at least one year must be proved.

  • Canada recognizes same-sex marriages and relationships. Therefore, family sponsorship is an option for all of the above type relationships. Read more about spousal and partner sponsorship and type of application – inland or outland that is suitable for your situation.
Dependent Children

Dependent child is the one under the age of 22 years old and includes adopted children. In addition to the age limit, only those who don’t have a spouse can qualify as dependents.

However, children 22 years old or older can also qualify as dependents if they are unable to financially support themselves because of a condition and have financially depended on parents since before the age of 22.

Children must continue to meet the above requirements until a family immigration process is completed.

Read more about child sponsorship.

Parents and Grandparents (PGP)

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can bring parents and grandparents to Canada. Canada has a cap on the number of family class applications it accepts every year under the PGP program. Also, sponsors are subject to income requirements too.

As parental immigration takes almost two years and given the age, apply for a Super Visa to bring them to Canada as soon as possible.

Read more about sponsorship of parents and grandparents.
Other Close Relatives

Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren can be sponsored if they are orphaned, i.e., lost both parents. The orphaned relative must also be:

under 18 years old, and
single, i.e., not married, and
related by blood or adoption (brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, and grandchildren).

Any other blood relative can immigrate through family class if a sponsor does not have any relative in Canada or abroad who he can apply for instead under the regular categories (spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, son or daughter, parent, grandparent, brother or sister, uncle or aunt, nephew or niece).

Read more about sponsorship of other close relatives.

Family Sponsorship for Quebeckers

Sponsors who approved by the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as eligible, must then meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements. They must sign a financial undertaking with the province of Quebec too. The Quebec ministry – Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) – in charge of immigration will assess income.

Family Immigration to Canada Nuances

The four categories of family immigration discussed above have common features. Thus, any application has two main stages. However, processing time varies from 12 to 24 months on average depending on the category of relationship, which you can also check here. Sponsoring one adult person to Canada will require payment of around 1,045C$ fees, which is lower for minors and higher if more then one member included in an application. Check government fees for all family class categories.

Difficult Family Cases
Canada has a long tradition of supporting family reunification. However, some cases are complex because applicants do not meet all of the program’s requirements. Do not deprive your loved ones of the opportunity to be with you using your judgment. Get legal advice from the immigration lawyer whether your family circumstances justify an exception from a specific immigration requirement on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) considerations.

If you would like to know more , you may call +1 587-930-7017 or email or message us using the contact form.

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