Canada immigrationCanadian Family SponsorshipFamily sponsorship canada

6 Reasons Your Sponsorship Application Could Be Denied

Published on: September 8th, 2017

Once you have obtained permanent residence in Canada, the obvious step ahead is to sponsor your spouse, dependent children and other eligible family members like parents or grandparents for permanent residence in Canada.

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The fact that someone is being sponsored by a family member living in Canada does not, in any way, make the process simpler or easier. Permanent residence through family sponsorship is an elaborate process where the applicant could easily be denied or rejected if the detailed rules and procedures are not followed. Here are six reasons why your sponsorship application could be denied.

1. Ineligible to Sponsor

It is important to note that simply being a permanent residence of Canada or Canadian citizen does not make you eligible to sponsor your family member. You must fulfill the minimum requirements to become a sponsor. You should be an adult residing or intending to reside in Canada post completion of the sponsorship process.

If you are sponsoring anyone other than your spouse/partner or dependent children, you also have to meet minimum income requirements for the three taxation years preceding the sponsorship application.

Immigration Tip: If you are only sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent children, there is no minimum financial requirement!

Other eligibility requirements include that the sponsor should not have defaulted on repayment of loans, bonds, or family support payments. The sponsor must also have a clean criminal record, should not have failed to provide for basic needs of a sponsored family member in the past, and should not be receiving social assistance.

2. Ineligible to be Sponsored

The family member being sponsored must fulfill the basic eligibility requirements applicable to all permanent residence applicants. This is to ensure ineligible individuals don’t bypass mandatory requirements and obtain permanent residence in Canada through family sponsorship.

Only certain types of relatives are eligible for Canadian family sponsorship. One of the most frequent questions we are asked is “Can I sponsor my fiance(e)?” The simple answer is no. Engagement is not sufficient to be eligible for family sponsorship. However, you may meet the definition of common-law or conjugal partner with your fiance(e). If you don’t, you’ll have to wait to apply for sponsorship until after you are officially married.

One who is a security risk, guilty of human right violations, does not have a clean criminal record, or has significant health problems might not be eligible to be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. This restriction applies even to individuals who are otherwise eligible to sponsor except for the fact that their family member(s) don’t fulfill the eligibility requirements for sponsorship.

3. Permanent Resident Living Outside Canada

Sponsorship is not permitted when the sponsor is residing outside Canada. While Canadian citizens can initiate the sponsorship process even when residing outside Canada, a permanent resident’s application for sponsorship will be denied for this reason. The sponsorship application by the citizen will be allowed only if he/she proves intent to reside in Canada one the sponsored family member receives permanent residence.

4. Undeclared Family members

An individual applying for permanent residence is required to declare all his or her family members in the permanent residence application. This includes family members that the applicant does not intend to sponsor. Failure to declare the family member will render him or her ineligible for permanent residence through sponsorship if the applicant wants to sponsor them in the future. Along with denial of the sponsorship application, this omission can impact the sponsor’s status as a permanent resident as well.

5. Misrepresentation in the Application Form

All parties involved in the sponsorship application—sponsor as well as sponsored family members—are required by law to provide accurate information in the application. Any misrepresentation, accidental or deliberate, shall result in the application being denied.

Since the process requires comprehensive submissions related to personal details, nature of relationship, financial condition, health and medical tests, character certificate and other details, you must take due care to ensure the information submitted to the immigration authorities is true, accurate, and backed by necessary documentary evidence to minimize risk of denial of the application.

6. Marriage of Convenience

While permanent residents and citizens are permitted to sponsor their foreign spouse or partner, such an application will be carefully vetted to prevent instances of marriage fraud. The application form requires detailed information about the sponsor’s relationship with his or her spouse or partner including details of commencement of the relationship, description of the solemnization of marriage and other aspects designed to assess the true nature of the relationship.

Unlike other grounds for denial, there is no universal and objective standard for rejection of application on grounds of marriage of convenience. The application must include sufficient evidence that the relationship is indeed genuine to satisfy the immigration officer’s doubts and queries. Be sure to avoid common red flags visa officers look for in spousal sponsorship applications.


Analyzing the eligibility requirements to determine whether you are eligible to sponsor or be sponsored can be a complicated task. What constitutes a serious health problem or a criminal conviction? Does even a minor DUI offence render you ineligible? How can you impress upon the immigration officer that you have a genuine relationship with your spouse or partner? How can you avoid inadvertent mistakes that may end up being treated as misrepresentation?

Sponsoring your spouse, dependent children, or other eligible relatives can make your stay in Canada more pleasant, enrich their lives by giving them a chance to live and prosper in a developed country, and help Canada gain respectable permanent residents seeking to contribute to the country’s welfare. Seeking assistance from a reputed and experienced lawyer is the simplest and safest way to minimize chances of refusal or unnecessary delays of your sponsorship application.

Do you have family you want to reunite with in Canada?
Contact Canadim and complete a free family sponsorship assessment today!

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The Canadim Team!

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