The family class sponsorship category was created to reunite Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents with their close family members living in other countries. If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be eligible to sponsor family members or relatives.
Which family members and relatives can be sponsored?
- Your spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner;
- Your dependent children;
- Your parents and grandparents;
- An orphan under 18 (only if the orphan is your sibling, niece, nephew, or grandchild);
- Your child under age 18 to be adopted in Canada;
- Any of your relatives living abroad, if there is no living family member who can be sponsored.
Is there a minimum income requirement for Sponsors?
A Sponsor must sign a contract called an undertaking. The undertaking is a promise to provide financial support for your family member’s basic needs for a period of three to ten years, depending on the age of the person being sponsored and their relationship to you. As such, Sponsors must meet a minimum income requirement determined by the government to show they can support their family member for the period of the undertaking.
If you are sponsoring a spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner or dependant child, you need to sign an undertaking but you generally do not need to meet the minimum income requirement.
Can a Sponsor have a Co-Sponsor to the undertaking?
Yes, a Sponsor can have a Co-Signer to the undertaking (who can only be the Sponsor’s spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner). In this case, the Co-signer’s income can be included towards meeting the minimum income requirement.
What are the new rules regarding conditional permanent residence for spouses/partners?
As of October 25, 2012, CIC implemented a new rule which provides a “conditional permanent residence” to sponsored spouses, common law partners or conjugal partners who have been in a relationship of two years or less with their sponsor and have no children in common. The new rules require that these sponsored spouses or partners live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years beginning on the day they become permanent residents in Canada. If the spouse or partner has not fulfilled this condition at the end of the two year period, their permanent residence may be revoked. This measure was introduced to deter marriage fraud. However, the condition will not apply in cases where the sponsor dies within the two-year period, or in cases where the spouses/partners are abused or neglected by the sponsor.
Parent and Grandparent Super Visa:
As of November 5, 2011, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has placed a temporary hold on the acceptance of new applications to sponsor parents and grandparents for a period of two years. However, they have created the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa which is a multiple-entry visa that allows visits to Canada on a temporary basis for up to two years.