One of the primary objectives of the Canadian Immigration law is family reunification. There are various streams through which Canadian Citizens and Permanent Residents can sponsor their close family members to come and live with them in Canada permanently.

Canadian Immigration law recognizes common-law relationship as relationship between two people in which both have cohabited, in a conjugal relationship (marriage-like), continuously for at least one year. This relationship can be between same-sex or opposite partners.

Ways to Sponsor your Spouse or Common-Law Partner

Irrespective of whether your spouse or common-law partner is living with you in Canada or living outside Canada, you can sponsor them.

  • Under Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class (Inland sponsorship application)

This stream is ideal for you if your spouse is living with you in Canada on a valid temporary status (visitor, work or study). This stream will also allow your spouse on the temporary status to apply for an open work permit simultaneously while submitting the sponsorship and permanent residency applications.

If the application is submitted under this stream, it is strongly recommended that the applicant should not travel outside Canada until a decision has been received, as this may negatively affect their permanent residency application.

  • Under Family Class (Outland Sponsorship application)

This stream is ideal for you if your spouse is living outside Canada. If your spouse is living with you in Canada, you may choose to submit the sponsorship and permanent residency application under this stream, if your spouse wishes or would need to travel outside Canada while their application is being processed.

When submitting this type of applications, it is crucial to establish that the relationship between you and your spouse is genuine.

Sponsor your Parents or Grandparents

Applications to the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program are generally started by submitting the interest to sponsor form which are made available only for a certain period of time in a year. For example, in 2020 the interest to sponsor forms were made available only for 3 weeks from October 13, 2020 to November 3, 2020. Out of all the applications received, 10,000 applications were randomly accepted for processing to keep the process fair and transparent. In 2019, the selection process was based on first-come, first-served basis and 20,000 applications were accepted for processing. In 2017 and 2018, random selection process was used.

Since the intake time of the interest to sponsor form, selection process and other requirements keep on changing frequently, it is essential to keep up-to-date with the latest news from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are certain eligibility requirements which need to be met by the sponsor (child or grand-child). In terms of financial requirement, the sponsor will need to show that in the past three consecutive tax years, their income has been at least equal to the minimum necessary income plus 30%, for their respective family unit size. The sponsor will also need to sign an undertaking stating that for the next 20 years, starting from the time their parents or grandparents become permanent residents, they will be fully responsible to provide financial support to their parents or grandparents.

Understandably, for financial reasons or other reasons, if the child or grand-child is not able to sponsor his/her parents or grand-parents at a given time, parents or grand-parents can apply for a Super Visa which is issued for 10 years and allows them to stay in Canada for up to 2 years at a stretch.

Sponsor your dependent children

Dependent child under the Canadian Immigration law is defined as a biological or adopted child of the sponsor who is under 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner. If the child is 22 or above 22 years of age, they will be only considered dependent if they are unable to support themselves due to a physical or mental condition.

It is important to establish the relationship between the child and the sponsor. As in all cases, the sponsor and the child will have to meet eligibility requirements. There is no minimum income requirement for the sponsor if the child being sponsored does not have a dependent child of their own.