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 spouse, common law partner, conjugal partner ?

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)

  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago

  • sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident

  • 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 spouse, common law partner or conjugal partner

Canadians or Permanent Residents can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner if:

  • they are at least 18 years old

  • the relationship is genuine (real) and wasn’t entered into just to get permanent resident status in Canada

If the spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, they must already co-habit (live) with the sponsor in Canada.

A conjugal partner is, in relation to a sponsor, a foreign national residing outside Canada who has been in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least one year. A foreign national residing inside Canada cannot be sponsored as a conjugal partner.

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