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Sponsorship

As a nation with a commitment to family reunification and keeping loved ones together, Canada offers a number of immigration programs that give Canadians the opportunity to sponsor their family members to Canada.

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One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs make it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouse and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times, because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.

Spouse or Common-Law Partner Sponsorships

Take advantage of an accelerated 12-month processing period by sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence, whether they are living in Canada with a valid, temporary visa, or residing abroad.

Applicants who are living in Canada may also qualify for an open work permit, giving couples the chance to relieve some of their financial burdens. A spousal open work permit gives sponsored individuals the ability to work in Canada while their sponsorship application is being processed.

Since Canada recognizes common-law partnerships, you may be eligible to apply for spousal sponsorship if you and your partner are not married but have been living together for a period of at least one year.

Child or Other Dependant Sponsorship

If you are immigrating to Canada, you can choose to include your children as accompanying dependents on your application for permanent residence. However, if you choose not to include them, or are otherwise unable to do so, they may still be able to join you in Canada later.

Canada’s child sponsorship program allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their biological or adopted children under the age of 22 for permanent residence, as long as they are unmarried and have no children of their own.

Parent or Grandparent Sponsorship

Canada’s commitment to family reunification extends to parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents through the parent and grandparent sponsorship program.

In order to sponsor a parent or grandparent, citizens and permanent residents will be required to demonstrate that they can financially support their family by meeting the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for the size of their family unit. They must also agree to financially support their sponsored family members, if needed.

Sponsors who are unable to permanently support their parent or grandparent may be eligible for a Super Visa, a long-term, multiple-entry visa for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Family Sponsorship FAQ

Can I sponsor someone who is not an immediate family member (e.g. cousin, uncle, etc.)?

No. Except under exceptional circumstances, the Family Class program only allows citizens and permanent residents to sponsor spouses or common-law partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents.

You may sponsor any non-immediate family member (e.g. niece, nephew) if you have legally adopted them and they meet the definition of a dependent child.

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada while their inland spousal sponsorship application is being processed?

If your spouse or common-law partner is living in Canada with a valid work permit, they may continue to work, without interruption, until their visa expires. If they are living in Canada with a valid study or visitor visa, they may be eligible to apply for an open work permit that allows them to work while their application is being processed.

Can my spouse or common-law partner work in Canada while their outland spousal sponsorship application is being processed?

If your spouse or common-law partner is not living in Canada, they are not eligible to apply for a spousal open work permit. However, if they meet the eligibility criteria for a Canadian work permit, they may apply for a regular work permit while their sponsorship application is processed. Be aware that having an ongoing application for permanent residence may affect an application for temporary residence, such as a work permit.

How long will it take for my spousal sponsorship application to be processed?

Spousal sponsorship applications are typically processed within 12 months.

I am adopting a child. Do I need to wait until the adoption is final before I begin the sponsorship process?

No. You can begin sponsorship if the adoption is in the final stages.

Do I need to meet the Minimum Necessary Income to sponsor my spouse?

Spousal sponsorships do not require the sponsor to meet a low income threshold to be eligible to sponsor their spouse or common-law partner, as long as they do not have any dependents with children of their own.

What is a ‘marriage of convenience’?

A marriage of convenience is a marriage or common-law relationship whose sole purpose is to let the sponsored spouse or partner immigrate to Canada. If the visa officer reviewing your file determines that your relationship is a marriage of convenience, your spousal sponsorship application will likely be refused. Marriages of convenience constitute marriage fraud and may result in criminal charges.

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Family Sponsorship Assessment

If you want to sponsor your spouse or children, or if you want to be sponsored, we can help! Simply complete our free sponsorship assessment and a member of the Canadim Team will contact you to discuss your options!

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