Family Sponsors

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident in Canada, and have a minimum of 18 years of age, you can sponsor certain family members to become permanent Canadian residents. If you become a permanent resident, you can live, study and work in Canada. If you sponsor a family, so that they can come to Canada as a permanent resident, you are responsible for financially supporting your relative when they arrive.

Basic requirements to be a family sponsor:

To be a sponsor:

  • You need to have a minimum of 18 years of age;
  • You and your sponsored family member should sign a sponsor agreement that commits you to providing financial support to your family member, if it is necessary. This agreement also establishes that the individual that becomes a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves.
  • You should provide financial support to a spouse, couple in de facto, spousal partner for three years starting from the date in which they become a permanent resident.
  • You should provide financial support to a dependent child during 10 years, or until they turn 18, whichever is first.

Individuals interested in applying under the category of Family Class sponsor can obtain an evaluation of their eligibility upon completing our online Evaluation.

You can sponsor a:

  • Spouse.
  • Couple in de facto.
  • Spousal partner – (restrictions apply).
  • Dependent children.
  • Parents – (Additional conditions apply).
  • Grandparents – (Additional conditions apply).
  • Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, grandchildren that are orphans, under the age of 18 and that are not married or in a marriage in de facto.
  • Any other family member of any age or relationship but under specific conditions.
  • Accompanying family members of the previous (for example, spouse, couple or dependent child).

Spouse

You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsored and your marriage is legally valid.

Couple in de facto

You are a couple in de facto, be it of the opposite sex or of the same sex, if: you have been living together in a spousal relationship during at least a year in a continuous 12-month period without interruption. You need to prove that you and your couple in de facto have combined your affairs and established a home.

Spousal couple

This category is for couples, be they of the opposite sex or of the same sex, in special circumstances beyond your control that avoids you from living with each other or as of consequence cannot qualify as a couple in de facto or spouses.

Dependent children

A son or a daughter is dependent when:

  • They are at least 19 years of age and do not have a spouse or couple in de facto;
  • They are at least 19 years of age and substantially depend of the financial support of the parent prior to their 19 years of age due to a physical or mental condition.

Sponsorship obligations

All sponsors should sign a commitment to provide the sponsored individual with the basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the day of completion of their commitment. The commitment is a contract between the sponsors and the CIC that the sponsor will reimburse the government for any assistance payment for the sponsored individual. The sponsors are obligated to fulfill the agreement during the complete period of the contract, including if the circumstances change, such as a marriage breakup, separation, divorce or financial change in the circumstances.

In the case of a spouse, couple in de facto or spousal partner, the sponsor should sign a contract to reimburse the federal or provincial government from the date in which they become a permanent resident during a period of three years.

In the case of a child less than 19 years of age, the sponsor or spouse, couple in de facto or spousal partner, the obligation begins the day in which the child becomes a permanent resident in Canada, during a period of 10 years or until the child turns 19 years of age, whichever occurs first.

In the case of a dependent child older than 19 years of age, the sponsor or spouse, couple in de facto or spousal partner, the obligation begins the day the dependent child becomes a permanent resident of Canada, during a period of 3 years.

In the case of parents and grandparents, the obligation of the sponsor is extended for a period of 20 years from the date in which the family member becomes a permanent resident. For all other family members, the obligation has a duration of 10 years.

Sponsors that live outside of Canada

Canadian citizens that live outside of Canada can sponsor their spouse, couple in de facto, spousal partner or dependent children without their own dependent children, that have not been sentenced for causing bodily harm, always and when they can demonstrate that they will be living in Canada after their sponsored arrival.

Permanent residents that reside internationally cannot sponsor their family from outside of Canada. In addition, their spouse or couple in de facto in Canada can only present an application within Canada to sponsor their spouse or couple in de facto if they are living together in Canada; to the contrary, the application should be presented through their visa office. These are the areas that generate various difficulties and challenges for the sponsors.

Sponsors and Sponsored individuals in Quebec

Sponsor (Guarantor):

You can sponsor a close family member that has not been sentenced for causing bodily harm if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Quebec that has a minimum of 18 years of age and fulfills the prerequisites.

Sponsored Individual (Close family member)

You can sponsor:

  • Your spouse, couple in de facto or spousal partner.
  • Your dependent child.
  • Your father, mother, grandfather or grandmother – additional conditions apply.
  • Your orphan brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandson or granddaughter, less than 18 years of age, that are not married or in a marriage in de facto.
  • A child you plan to adopt (international adoption).