Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration, Explained

Are you a citizen of Canada or a permanent resident with relatives who reside abroad? If so, there are several Canadian family sponsorship immigration programs that can make this possible, including the Family Class and the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa program. Let's examine what these choices represent and how you might utilize them to sponsor your family to immigrate to Canada and live with you.

Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration, Explained

The Canadian family sponsorship immigration program makes it easier for certain eligible relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members to become Canadian permanent residents. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, common-law partners, marital partners, and other eligible relatives.

The most straightforward approach to bringing your family to Canada is frequently through one of the numerous available programs depending on your circumstances. We'll go through the fundamentals of these programs in this article, offer advice on how to apply, and provide connections to valuable tools to aid you in your application.

Overview of the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Family reunification is one of the pillars of Canada's immigration system. The Canadian government emphasizes the importance of family unity and values. This goal is reflected in Canadian immigration legislation through several family reunification-related streams. However, since the Second World War, Canada has worked to welcome immigrants to boost its economy, reunite families, and for humanitarian and compassionate reasons.

Furthermore, the family class is the second-largest category of newcomers welcomed by Canada under its Immigration Levels Plan. Canada is pursuing the highest levels of immigration in its history to support its post-COVID economic recovery. Canada aims to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants annually, of which over 100,000 immigrants per year fall under the family class.

Furthermore, the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada oversees the country's immigration system (IRCC). Previously, the division was known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The Canadian government's family sponsorship program was created and managed by IRCC. To do this, program requirements must be established. Additionally, applications for family sponsorship must be accepted and evaluated.

What is the Canadian Family Sponsorship?

Canada offers sponsorship programs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada that wish to bring their loved ones to Canada. These programs allow certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada. One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs, makes it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouses and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.

However, there are two main aspects to sponsorship:

  • First, family sponsorship allows your family member to immigrate to Canada and get permanent residence (PR).
  • It requires you, as an individual, to commit to providing for basic needs and to support that person financially.

Who Can be Sponsored for Permanent Residency in Canada?

Here's a summary of the family members that may be sponsored under the Family Class Sponsorship Program. 

Spousal and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

A Canadian permanent resident or citizen may sponsor their non-Canadian spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner after the IRCC has approved them. The Canadian government also considers candidates in same-sex relationships. Sponsorships can be through the Outland or Inland Sponsorship.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

This program allows you to sponsor your parents and grandparents for permanent residency in Canada. You must be able to financially support them and their dependents and ensure they don't need social assistance from the government. Potential sponsors must submit documents online to qualify as one of the 10,000 sponsors invited to apply for this sponsorship program.

Dependent Child Sponsorship

This sponsorship applies to both adopted and natural-born children, as long as the sponsor and children receive approval from IRCC. Children qualify as dependents if they're under 22- years old and don't have a spouse or common-law partner. The Dependent Child Sponsorship allows candidates to become permanent residents and study and work in Canada.

Orphaned Family Members and Other Siblings

This program allows you to sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they're related to you by blood and are under 18 years of age. You can also sponsor one relative (brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, or uncle). If you don't have a closer living relative, you could sponsor instead (spouse, dependent children, parents, and grandparents).

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. In addition, if the sponsor lives outside of Canada, the sponsor must provide evidence that they will live exclusively in Canada once the sponsored individual becomes a permanent resident.

Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Here are the programs Under the Family Sponsorship Immigration for sponsoring someone from the family class to immigrate to Canada.

Spousal and family

Canadian citizens or permanent residents 18 years or older are eligible to sponsor their spouses and certain relatives to live and work in Canada. You may sponsor:

  • your spouse (you are legally married)
  • common-law partner (you are not legally married but have been living together for at least 12 months in a marital relationship).
  • Conjugal partner (you are not legally married or in a common-law relationship, and they are living outside Canada)

However, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, you must:

  • be 18 years of age, a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada, or a Canadian citizen,
  • demonstrate that you can provide for the basic needs of yourself and your spouse or partner,
  • Prove your relationship with the sponsored person is genuine by providing supporting documentation.

Moreover, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, the sponsored person must be at least 18 years of age and not too closely related to you.

Canada's Super Visa

The Super Visa is a Family Sponsorship immigration program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for immigration to Canada for an extended period. If you are a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen and meet specific criteria, you will be eligible for a Super Visa. This means you can visit family in Canada for up to two years, and the visa provides multiple entries for up to 10 years. This differs from the tourist visa, where you can only visit for up to 6 months at a time.

However, to be eligible under the Super Visa Program, you must:

  • be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
  • have signed a letter of invitation from your child or grandchild,
  • have medical insurance
  • apply for a super visa from outside Canada.

Furthermore, your Canadian child or grandchild must prove that their household meets the minimum necessary income.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

The Parents and Grandparents program, also offered through the Family Sponsorship program, enables a Canadian citizen or permanent resident to sponsor their parent or grandparent's immigration to Canada. However, you can support a parent or grandparent in their quest for permanent residency if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over 18. What you should know about the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship program is provided below.

You must be able to provide your parent or grandparent with financial support to be eligible for this program. When they arrive in Canada, you will be in charge of them. This involves providing for their essential requirements, such as food and lodging. In addition, you must ensure that the family member you are sponsoring does not apply for government social assistance. Finally, the sponsor and the sponsored party must adhere to specific standards. This involves the sponsored person passing their background checks and medical exams.

However, to be eligible under the Parents and Grandparents Program, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada,
  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be the child or grandchild of the person(s) you are sponsoring,
  • meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) required for the size of their family unit and provide Canada Revenue Agency-issued notices of assessment as proof,
  • sign a sponsorship agreement that acknowledges your promise to provide for the basic needs of a family member(s) for 20 years,
  • sign an additional agreement if you live in Quebec.

How to Apply for the Canadian Family Sponsorship

Here's an overview of the family sponsorship application process:

  1. First, ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to be a sponsor.
  2. Ensure that the relatives you intend to sponsor meet eligibility criteria.
  3. You will need to apply at the federal level to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and, if you are a Quebec resident, at the provincial level to the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI). In addition, you must submit your sponsorship application and the permanent residence (PR) status applications of your family members or relatives together. Once you have been deemed eligible to sponsor, your PR application will be reviewed.
  4. You will be required to pay the family sponsorship application fee.
  5. Send your application to the correct address. You will find this information in the sponsorship guide available on the government website.

Canada Family Sponsorship Application Processing Times

Canada wants to help keep families together. For this reason, the Canadian Visa Office prioritizes all Family Sponsorship applications. Unfortunately, family Sponsorship applications can take 12-24 months to process. Typically, sponsoring your parents or grandparents take the longest.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Canada recognizes the importance of family and spousal support for its citizens and residents. Therefore, the Family Class Immigration and Spousal Sponsorship procedures are simplified, and applicants have fewer requirements compared to other streams of immigration. That's all we have on the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration program. Proceed with the link below for more information at the official Canadian immigration authorities website.

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