Canadian Family Class Sponsorship Guide

Understanding Family Class Sponsorship in Canada: An In-Depth Guide

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Comprehensive Guide on Canadian Family Class Sponsorship

Family unification is a cornerstone of Canada’s immigration policy. Through Family Class Sponsorship, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their eligible relatives, including spouses, partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, for Canadian permanent residence.

Introduction to Family Class Sponsorship

Family Class Sponsorship allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their eligible family members for Canadian permanent residence. The person seeking sponsorship must intend to live outside of Quebec, as Quebec has its own sponsorship program.

Sponsoring a Spouse, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for Canadian permanent residence. This includes same-sex partners.

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Requirements:

  • The sponsor and the applicant must be at least 18 years old.
  • The relationship between the sponsor and the applicant must be recognized under Canadian law.
  • The sponsor must sign an undertaking to provide for the basic needs of the applicant and their dependent children.

Application Process:

  1. Ensure that both the sponsor and the sponsored person meet the eligibility requirements.
  2. Prepare your application package using the guide provided by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  3. Pay the application fees.
  4. Submit your application.

Sponsoring Dependent Children

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their dependent children, including adopted children.

Requirements:

  • The child must be under 22 years old and not have a spouse or common-law partner. Children 22 years old or older qualify as dependents if they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22 and they are unable to financially support themselves due to a mental or physical condition.
  • The sponsor must sign an undertaking to provide for the basic needs of the child.
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Application Process: The application process is the same as that for sponsoring a spouse or partner.

Parents and Grandparents Program

The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and grandparents for Canadian permanent residence.

Requirements:

  • The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  • The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
  • The sponsor must sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the parent or grandparent.
  • The sponsor must meet minimum necessary income level (MNI) requirements and provide proof of income to the Canadian government.
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Application Process:

  1. Check your eligibility for the Parents and Grandparents Program.
  2. Apply online to show your interest when the application process opens. IRCC will randomly invite potential sponsors to apply.
  3. Prepare your application package using the guide provided by IRCC if you receive an invitation to apply.
  4. Pay the application fees.
  5. Submit your application.

Sponsoring Other Relatives

In specific situations, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may also sponsor their siblings, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren if these relatives are orphaned, under 18, and not married or in a common-law relationship.

Also, if the sponsor does not have any relatives who can be sponsored as a family member (spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son or daughter, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece), they may sponsor any relative regardless of age.

Frequently Asked Questions on Canadian Family Class Sponsorship

1. Who can I sponsor through Family Class Sponsorship in Canada?
You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents, and, in some specific situations, your siblings, nephews, nieces, and grandchildren.

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2. What are the financial requirements for Family Class Sponsorship?
Sponsors must demonstrate they have sufficient income to provide for the basic needs of their sponsored family members. This is known as the Minimum Necessary Income, and it varies depending on the size of the sponsor’s family.

3. How long does the sponsorship undertaking last?
The length of the undertaking depends on the age of the sponsored person and their relationship to the sponsor. For example, the undertaking for a spouse or partner is three years, and for a parent or grandparent, it’s 20 years.

4. What happens if my sponsored family members receive social assistance?
If the sponsored person receives social assistance during the period of undertaking, the sponsor will be required to repay the amount of benefits received. The sponsor may also be ineligible to sponsor other individuals in the future.

5. Can I sponsor someone if I live outside Canada?
Canadian citizens living abroad can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, and dependent children while living outside Canada, provided they prove they plan to live in Canada when their sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.

Conclusion

Family Class Sponsorship is a fantastic way for families to reunite and live together in Canada. It offers a path for eligible family members to achieve Canadian permanent residence, allowing them to work, study, and enjoy the same benefits as Canadian citizens. Understanding the application processes and meeting the requirements are crucial steps towards a successful sponsorship. As always, consulting with an immigration expert or lawyer can provide additional assistance tailored to your specific situation.

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