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 Migration

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Family sponsorship

Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • permanent resident of Canada

Eligible to sponsor relatives

Some of your relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

If you have relatives who want to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class:

  • you must sponsor them
  • you and your relatives must meet certain requirements

Your relatives need to have:

  • medical exams
  • criminal checks
  • background checks

We may not allow them to enter Canada if they have a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security. They may have to get a police certificate from police in their home country.

The application kit explains medical, criminal and background checks.

Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you’re 18 years of age or older and a:

  • Canadian citizen or
  • Person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
  • Permanent resident of Canada

You must live in Canada to sponsor eligible relatives unless you:

  • Are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and
  • Plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate and
  • Are sponsoring your:
  • Spouse or
  • Common-law or conjugal partner or
  • Dependent children who have no dependent children

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after we approve you as a sponsor. This includes signing an “undertaking” with the province. This is a contract that binds your sponsorship.

Your responsibilities

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:

  • Meet set income guidelines
  • Agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them:

o             Beginning on the date they become a permanent resident

o             For up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you’re related)

The person you sponsor must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves. This includes sponsored dependent children 18 or older. Dependent children under 19 don’t have to sign this agreement.

Who isn’t eligible to sponsor a relative

You may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • Are in prison
  • Have not paid your alimony or child support payments
  • Have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been released from it yet
  • Got social assistance for reasons other than being disabled
  • Didn’t pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments
  • Sponsored another relative in the past and didn’t meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement were convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as:

o             The type of offence

o             How long ago it was

o             Whether a record suspension was issued (formerly called “pardons” in Canada)

Other things not on this list may stop you from being able to sponsor a relative.

Who you can sponsor

Depending on your circumstances, there are two options for who you can sponsor.

Option 1: orphaned close relatives

You can sponsor close relatives only if they meet all conditions. This means they must be:

  • Orphaned
  • Under 18
  • Without a:

o             Spouse

o             Conjugal partner

o             Common-law partner

  • Related to you by blood or adoption, such as:

o             Brothers or sisters

o             Nephews or nieces

o             grandchildren

Option 2: other relative

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you meet all of the conditions, including:

  • you don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:

o             Spouse

o             Common-law partner

o             Conjugal partner

o             Son or daughter

o             Parent

o             Grandparent

o             Brother or sister

o             Uncle or aunt

o             Nephew or niece

  • you don’t have any of the above-named relatives who is:

o             A Canadian citizen

o             A permanent resident

o             Registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

Other options: Express Entry

If your relative does not qualify for sponsorship they may still be able to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant through Express Entry. This program:

  • Manages applications for certain economic immigration programs
  • Selects applicants for their:

o             Skills

o             Experience

o             Ability to contribute to Canada’s economy

  • Awards points to some candidates who have family living in Canada
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