Family Sponsorship

Relatives of a Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents of Canada can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents. Canadians or Permanent Residents can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if they are at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or

  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

  • permanent resident of Canada

Who can apply to sponsor a dependent child?

Canadians or Permanent Residents can become a sponsor if they are:

  • at least 18 years old

  • a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada:

    • Canadian citizen living outside Canada, must show that they plan to live in Canada when their sponsored relative(s) become(s) a permanent resident.

    • Canadians or Permanent Residents can’t sponsor someone if she/he is a permanent resident living outside Canada.

  • able to prove that she/he is not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability, and;

  • can provide for the basic needs of any person she/he is sponsoring (and in some limited situations, that she/he meets the low-income cut-off).

There is no low income cut-off (LICO) for spouse, partner or dependent child sponsorships, unless a dependent child also has one or more dependent children of their own.

If a dependent child who is being sponsor has one or more dependent children of their own, sponsor must include a Financial Evaluation with her/his application.


Who can’t become a sponsor?

You can’t be a sponsor if you:

  • have failed to pay:

    • an immigration loan

    • a performance bond

    • family support payments

  • have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously-sponsored relative who received social assistance

  • are under a removal order

  • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison

  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability

  • are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)

  • have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet

  • were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, or an offence that caused bodily harm to a relative—or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences

Sponsor your children or adopted children and other relatives

You may be able to sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or

  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or

  • permanent resident of Canada

If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:

  • support your relative financially when they arrive

  • be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as:

    • food

    • shelter

    • clothing

  • make sure your relative doesn’t need social assistance

Depending on your circumstances, there are two options for who Canadian Citizen or Permanent Residents can sponsor.


Option 1: orphaned close relatives

Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents can sponsor close relatives only if they meet all conditions. This means they must be:

  • orphaned

  • under 18

  • without a:

    • spouse

    • conjugal partner

    • common-law partner

  • related to you by blood or adoption, such as:

    • brothers or sisters

    • nephews or nieces

    • grandchildren

Option 2: other relative

They may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if they meet all of the conditions, including:

  • they don't have a living relative they could sponsor instead, such as a:

    • spouse

    • common-law partner

    • conjugal partner

    • son or daughter

    • parent

    • grandparent

    • brother or sister

    • uncle or aunt

    • nephew or niece

  • they  don’t have any of the above-named relatives who is:

    • a Canadian citizen

    • a permanent resident

    • registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative they want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada the sponsor must include them on the same sponsorship application.

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