Family Sponsorship








Canada recognizes the importance of family reunification. The Canadian Family Class Sponsorship program gives permanent residents and citizens the opportunity to sponsor their close family members and relatives.

As a sponsor, you must meet certain criteria that will allow you to go forward with your application to sponsor someone. These are:

  • being a Canadian citizen or a Permanent resident of Canada.
  • intending on residing in Canada if you live outside of the country, once the family member you are sponsoring becomes a permanent resident.
  • must be living in Canada at the time of sponsorship if you are a permanent resident.
  • must be able to financially support sponsored family members or relatives.
  • must not be in jail, prison, reformatory, or a penitentiary.
  • must not be in default of child support payments.
  • must not have recently filed for bankruptcy.
  • must not be in receipt of social assistance (unless it is for disability).

Who can be sponsored?

  • Sponsor's spouse/common-law partner or conjugal partner (16 years of age or older and can include same sex relationships).
  • Dependent child of the sponsor is defined as someone who is:
    1. below the age of 22 and doesn't have a spouse or common-law partner;
    2. is a full-time student and is substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since before the age of 22, or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner (if this happened before age 22); or
    3. is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.
  • Sponsor's mother or father
  • Grandparents of the sponsor
  • Orphaned sibling/niece/nephew/grandchild of the sponsor
  • One other relative only if the sponsor is entirely alone in Canada with no other sponsor-able relatives mentioned above
  • Legally adopted child (both under and above 18 years of age) with a well established parent/child relationship

In addition to all this, the sponsor must also sign a promise with the government that he/she will "undertake" the sponsored and his/her dependent family members for a set period of time. Essentially, this means that the sponsor is financially responsible for the individuals he/she has sponsored. The set period of time can range from a minimum of 1 to 10 years depending on who they are and what their age is.