Family Class Sponsorship Program
Canadian Immigration Services
One of the many objectives of Canadian immigration law is to see that families are reunited in Canada. The Canadian government places significant emphasis on 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.
Those living in Quebec who want to sponsor someone from the family class to immigrate to Quebec, will need to apply through the Quebec Family Class Program. For more information about family class sponsorship options, contact a Canadian immigration lawyer at First Immigration Law Firm.
Below is a summary and link to the different family members that may be sponsored under the Family Class Sponsorship Program:
- Spousal sponsorship
This includes married couples, common-law partners and conjugal partners (including same-sex relationships).
- Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship
Canadian citizens or permanent immigrants may sponsor their parents or grandparents to help them immigrate to Canada. (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
- Parent and Grandparent Super Visa
Another option for parents and grand-parents to easily visit Canada for up to 2 years at a time with a super visa that can remain valid for up to 10 years.
- Dependent Child Sponsorship and Other Sponsorship
Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents may sponsor their dependent children to reside with them in Canada. This includes adopted children, and other orphaned family members. Other family members may be sponsored under exceptional circumstances.
- Provincial Family Class Sponsorship
Other options to consider are the family class sponsorship programs offered under provincial nominee programs (PNP). Note that these PNPs are at the provincial level and are not a part the federal Family Class Sponsorship Program.
Who can be a sponsor?
Only Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents 18 years or older are permitted to sponsor family class members who wish to immigrate to Canada. If the sponsor is living outside of Canada, the sponsor must provide evidence that he or she will live exclusively in Canada once the sponsored individual becomes a permanent resident.
The sponsor and the sponsored must sign an agreement confirming that each of them understands their responsibilities and obligations. The person sponsoring a family member must also sign a contract where he or she promises to support the family member, for a specific number of years, by providing: food, clothing, utilities, personal requirements, shelter, fuel, household supplies, dental care, eye care, and health care not provided under their public health card. If the person being sponsored will be bringing a dependent child with them, the sponsor must provide evidence that he or she has sufficient income to support the dependent child or children.
Who cannot be a sponsor?
You may not be a sponsor if any of the following applies to you:
- You previously sponsored another person an three years has not passed since that person become a permanent resident;
- You received social assistance for a reason other than disability;
- You are in default of an undertaking, immigration loan, performance bond, or family support payments;
- You were convicted of certain crimes and have not been pardoned/rehabilitated.
- You were previously sponsored as a spouse and it has been less than 5 years since you become a Canadian permanent resident;
- You already applied to be a sponsor and a decision has not been made.
- You are under a removal order;
- You are being detained in a penal institution (prison, jail, etc);
The family class sponsorship program can be broken down into two main steps which must be followed in the order described below:
- The sponsor must submit their sponsorship application;
This application must be initiated by the sponsor and involves an assessment of the sponsor’s eligibility under the family class. The sponsor must first be approved through a separate application in order to become a sponsor.
- The foreign national must submit their application for permanent residency.
This application must be initiated by the foreign national the sponsor wishes to bring to Canada as a permanent resident. The foreign national must first meet a number of requirements under the family class in order to qualify under the family class program, and then another separate application for their permanent residency.
Conditional Permanent Resident Period
Sponsored spouses, including same-sex, common law spouses and conjugal partner, must live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for at least 24 months from the day they acquired their Canadian Permanent Residency or else they risk losing their Canadian permanent residency.
This condition applies to any couples who have no common children together and who meet one of the following circumstances:
- Those who are married for two years or less; or
- those who have dated for four years, but have been married for two years or less; or
- those who have been in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for two years or less; or
- those who have cohabited in a common law relationship for two years or less;
This condition does not apply if the couple:
- have been married for more than two years; or
- have been in a conjugal relationship for more than two years; or
- has cohabited in a common-law relationship for more than two years; or
- they have children in common.