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Family Sponsorship

If you’re a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is 18 years of age or older, you have the ability to sponsor certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada. By becoming a permanent resident, you’ll have the opportunity to live, work, and study in Canada. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you choose to sponsor a relative, you will be responsible for providing financial support upon their arrival.

The family members who may be eligible for sponsorship include:

Basic requirements for family sponsorship for a sponsor:

Explanation of relationships:

If you are legally married to the person sponsoring your immigration application, you are considered their spouse.

Common-law partner:

A common-law partner is someone of the same or opposite sex with whom you have been living in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in a continuous 12-month period without interruption. To be considered a common-law partner, you must provide evidence that you and your partner have combined your affairs and set up a household together.

Conjugal partner:

The conjugal partner category is for partners, regardless of their gender, who cannot qualify as common-law partners or spouses due to exceptional circumstances beyond their control that prevent them from living together.

Dependent children:

To be considered a dependent child for immigration sponsorship purposes, the child must meet either of the following criteria:

Note: It’s worth noting that dependent children who are 21 years old or younger became eligible for sponsorship on November 11, 2017, when changes to immigration legislation came into effect.

Sponsorship obligations:

Sponsors must sign an agreement to provide the sponsored individual with basic necessities from their arrival in Canada until the end of the undertaking. This agreement is a contract between the sponsor(s) and IRCC, obligating the sponsor to repay the government for any social assistance payments provided to the sponsored person. The sponsor remains responsible for the undertaking agreement throughout the entire term, regardless of any changes in circumstances, such as a breakdown in the sponsor’s relationship or a financial setback.
If the sponsored person is a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the sponsor must sign an agreement to reimburse the federal or provincial government for three years from the day they become a permanent resident.
For a child under the age of 19 who is the sponsor’s child or the child of the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the obligation begins on the day the child becomes a permanent resident and lasts for 10 years or until the child turns 25 years old, whichever comes first.
For a dependent child over the age of 19 who is the sponsor’s child or the child of the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the obligation begins on the day the dependent child becomes a permanent resident and lasts for three years.
For parents and grandparents, the sponsorship obligation lasts for 20 years from the date the family member becomes a permanent resident. For all other family members, the obligation is 10 years.
In 2011, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in Attorney-General of Canada vs. Mavi that a sponsor’s obligation to reimburse the state for benefits received by their relatives can be deferred in certain cases but cannot be eliminated altogether.

Canadian citizens who are living outside of Canada:

They are allowed to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent children without dependent children of their own, provided that they have not been convicted of an offence causing bodily harm and can demonstrate that they will reside in Canada after their sponsored landing(s)

Sponsors living outside Canada:

Permanent residents residing abroad are not permitted to sponsor their family from outside of Canada. Additionally, if a spouse or common-law partner is living in Canada, they can only file an in-Canada application to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner if they are cohabiting in Canada. Otherwise, the application must be filed through a visa office. These rules can be complicated and challenging for sponsors.

Spousal Sponsorship: Husband, Wife, Common-law partner

On average, the processing times for sponsorship applications range from 8 to 12 months, which largely depend on the visa office responsible for processing the application. Some larger visa offices, like the one in the USA, can process applications as fast as 4 to 6 months. Both Inland and Outland Sponsorship applications are submitted online, and once the application is considered complete with all the necessary forms and documents, and the sponsor meets the eligibility requirements, it is forwarded to the appropriate visa office for further processing. If an application is deemed incomplete, it will be returned to the applicant within 3 months. The timeline however cannot be guaranteed.

There are Two Types of Applications

Outland Sponsorship:

Inland Sponsorship (Spouse or Common-Law in-Canada category):

You can sponsor the following persons and their dependent children (21 or younger) for Canadian Permanent Residence

Eligibility Requirements for Sponsors

To be eligible to be sponsored by a Sponsor

Qualification Requirements for Sponsorship under Three Categories

Post-Sponsorship Requirements

Overview of Parental Sponsorship Program and Draw in 2023

Individuals who are interested in sponsoring their parents or grandparents for PR will have to participate in a yearly draw and wait to be selected to apply. The annual quota is approximately 20,000 invitations, and the draw dates for 2023 have not yet been announced by IRCC. It is crucial to ensure that you are eligible before entering the draw as any ineligible applications will be refused. Please read below for eligibility criteria.
After receiving an invitation, individuals will have 60 days to submit a complete application to IRCC. It is of utmost importance to submit a complete application; otherwise, it will be returned four months later, and the opportunity to sponsor will be lost. Unfortunately, those who miss the deadline will have to re-enter the draw in the following years and hope to get another invitation to sponsor.
IRCC has also announced that the application submission process will change from a paper-based system to an online electronic submission. Therefore, all PR applications must now be submitted electronically to IRCC.

Eligibility Criteria for Sponsoring

Sponsors must also provide three Notices of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to IRCC to demonstrate that they meet the minimum necessary income requirement.
If you do not qualify for parental PR sponsorship because you do not meet the MNI for the three-year period, you can apply for a Super Visa, as the income required is only for one year and is approximately 30% lower. Read more about the Super Visa.
If you are looking for assistance with any of your Permanent Resident Application, dont look further, Estofa Law Professional Corporation has a team of specialist Immigration lawyers in Burlington who will make the process smooth and stress free for you.