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Can you immigrate to Canada with your family?

Yes, many Canadian immigration programs allow you to immigrate to Canada with your family. Canada has a strong commitment to family reunification, too, so you can also apply to sponsor your spouse, children, parents, and grandparents if you’re already in Canada!

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Immigrating to Canada with your family

Many of Canada’s immigration programs allow applicants to bring their families with them. However, this is not the case for every program, so you should verify the procedure for your program of choice before applying.

Permanent immigration programs, including Express Entry and business immigration, allows families to be included. Some temporary visa programs for working and studying will allow applicants to bring their families, but this is often decided on a case-by-case basis and depends on the program regulations.

Which family members can you bring

Generally, programs that allow you to bring family members will allow you to include your spouse or common-law partner as well as your dependent children up to the age of 21. A person 22 years or older may still be considered a dependent if they are unable to financially support themselves due to a mental or physical condition.

Unfortunately, siblings, aunts/uncles, nieces/nephews, and cousins are not eligible to accompany other families to Canada. However, many Canadian immigration programs award points for applicants who have relatives living in Canada, so your immigration may be able to help your extended family members in their immigration process.

Parents & grandparents are eligible for sponsorship to Canada through the Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship program (PGP). However, there are a limited number of spaces available in this program and a very high demand, so it can be challenging to successfully sponsor your parents or grandparents for immigration.

Below is information about immigrating to Canada with your family in some of the most popular pathways.

Permanent Resident Applicants, including Express Entry

All of Canada’s economic immigration applications for permanent residency allow candidates to apply as a family. Usually, this requires one person to apply as the principal applicant. They can then include a spouse or common-law partner, as well as any dependent children. If the application is approved, all family members included on the application will become Canadian permanent residents.

Please note that many permanent residency programs, including the popular Federal Skilled Worker program (FSW), require applicants to show that they have enough money to support their settlement in Canada. This amount increases with each additional family member.

Temporary visa: Study Permits

If you are interested in studying in Canada and you have a spouse, common-law partner, and/or dependent children, you can include them on your study permit application. If accepted, your partner will be able to accompany you to Canada with a spousal open work permit enabling them to seek employment, and your children will be able to accompany you and attend secondary school in Canada.

However, including family members on a study permit application may influence the decision of the visa officer deciding your file. All study permit holders must demonstrate that they have the intention to leave Canada at the end of the term of their permit. In some cases, including family members on a study permit application may suggest to an officer that an applicant has the intention to stay in Canada permanently, not respecting the temporary terms of their study permit.

Temporary visa: Work Permits

Canada offers many different types of work permits. Generally, if you hold a Canadian work permit for a position at National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A, or B, your spouse will be eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit. If approved, this work permit will enable your spouse to accompany you to Canada and seek employment.

If you are working in a position at NOC skill level C or D, then your spouse will have to apply for their own work permit through the regular channels.

Please note that all work permit applications are processed at the discretion of the visa officer assigned to the file.

If you would like to learn more about your family’s eligibility for Canadian immigration, simply complete our free assessment! A member of our team will review your eligibility and contact you to discuss your immigration options.

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