The Ultimate Guide to Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration

Do you want to migrate to Canada? Are you a Canadian citizen or permanent resident with family living in another country? If so, there are several Canadian family sponsorship immigration programs that can make this possible, including the Family Class and the Parents and Grandparents Super Visa program. Let’s look at what these options mean and how you can use them to sponsor your relatives to come live with you in Canada.

The Ultimate Guide to Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration

The Canadian family sponsorship immigration program makes it easier for certain eligible relatives of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to immigrate to Canada. Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members to become Canadian permanent residents. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, siblings, spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners as well as other eligible relatives.

Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs are often the easiest way to bring your family members to Canada and there are multiple programs available depending on your situation. In this guide, we’ll explain the basics of these programs, give you tips on how to apply, and provide links to important resources that will help you with your application.

Overview of the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Family reunification is one of the pillars of Canada's immigration system. The Canadian government places significant emphasis on the importance of family unity and values.  Canadian immigration law is designed to reflect that priority through several streams relating to family reunification in Canada. However, Canada has sought to welcome immigrants to strengthen its economy, bring families together, and on humanitarian and compassionate grounds since the end of the Second World War.

Furthermore, the family class is the second-largest category of newcomers welcomed by Canada under its Immigration Levels Plan. Canada is pursuing the highest levels of immigration in its history to support its post-COVID economic recovery. As such, Canada aims to welcome over 400,000 new immigrants per year, of which, over 100,000 immigrants per year fall under the family class.

Moreover, the country's immigration system is managed by the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The department was previously known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). IRCC establishes and administers Canada's family sponsorship program. This entails establishing program criteria, accepting and reviewing family sponsorship applications, and providing permanent and temporary resident visas.

What is the Canadian Family Sponsorship?

Canada offers sponsorship programs for permanent residents or citizens of Canada that wish to bring their loved ones to Canada. These programs allow certain family members to become permanent residents of Canada. One of the most popular streams of Canadian immigration, family sponsorship programs makes it easy for citizens and permanent residents to bring their spouse and immediate family members to Canada with reduced processing times because Canada knows that family should never be put on hold.

However, there are two main aspects to sponsorship:

  • Family sponsorship allows your family member to immigrate to Canada and get permanent residence (PR).
  • It requires you, as an individual, to make a commitment to provide for basic needs and to support that person financially.

Who Can be Sponsored for Permanent Residency in Canada?

Here's a summary of the different family members that may be sponsored under the Family Class Sponsorship Program. 

Spousal and Common-Law Partner Sponsorship

A Canadian permanent resident or citizen may sponsor their non-Canadian spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner after they have been approved by the IRCC. Candidates in same-sex relationships are also considered by the Canadian government. Sponsorships can be through the Outland or Inland Sponsorship.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

This program allows you to sponsor your parents and grandparents for permanent residency in Canada. You must be able to financially support them and their dependents and be sure that they don’t need social assistance from the government. Potential sponsors must submit documents online in order to qualify as one of the 10,000 sponsors that are invited to apply for this sponsorship program.


Dependent Child Sponsorship

This sponsorship applies to both adopted and natural-born children, as long as the sponsor and children receive approval from IRCC. Children qualify as dependents if they’re under 22- years old and don’t have a spouse or common-law partner. The Dependent Child Sponsorship gives candidates the chance to become permanent residents and to study and work in Canada.

Orphaned Family Members and Other Siblings

This program allows you to sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they’re related to you by blood and are under 18 years of age. You can also sponsor one relative (brother, sister, nephew, niece, aunt, or uncle) of any age if you don’t have a closer living relative you could sponsor instead (spouse, dependent children, parents, and grandparents).

Who Can Be a Sponsor?

Only Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents 18 years or older are permitted to sponsor family class members who wish to immigrate to Canada. If the sponsor is living outside of Canada, the sponsor must provide evidence that he or she will live exclusively in Canada once the sponsored individual becomes a permanent resident.

Family Sponsorship Immigration Programs

Here are the programs Under the Family Sponsorship Immigration for sponsoring someone from the family class to immigrate to Canada.

Spousal and family

Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are 18 years or older are eligible to sponsor their spouses and certain relatives to live and work in Canada. You may sponsor:

  • your spouse (you are legally married)
  • common-law partner (you are not legally married but have been living together for at least 12 months in a conjugal relationship).
  • conjugal partner (you are not legally married or in a common-law relationship and they are living outside Canada)

However, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, you must:

  • be 18 years of age, a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada, or a Canadian citizen,
  • demonstrate that you can provide for the basic needs of yourself and your spouse or partner,
  • Prove your relationship with the sponsored person is genuine by providing supporting documentation.

Moreover, to be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, the sponsored person must be at least 18 years of age and not too closely related to you.

Canada's Super Visa

The Super Visa is a Family Sponsorship immigration program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents for immigration to Canada for an extended period of time. If you are a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen and meet certain criteria, you will be eligible for a Super Visa. This means that you are able to visit family in Canada for up to two years and the visa provides multiple entries for up to 10 years. This differs from the tourist visa, where you can only visit for up to 6 months at a time.

However, to be eligible under the Super Visa Program, you must:

  • be the parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada,
  • have signed a letter of invitation from your child or grandchild,
  • have medical insurance
  • apply for the super visa from outside Canada.

Furthermore, your Canadian child or grandchild will have to prove that their household meets the minimum necessary income.


Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship

Also available through the Family Sponsorship program, is the Parents and Grandparents program, where a Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor their parent or grandparent for immigration to Canada. However, if you are a citizen or permanent resident in Canada over the age of 18, you can sponsor a parent or grandparent in their efforts to gain permanent residency. Here is what you need to know about the Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship program.  

In order to qualify for this program, you will need to be able to financially support your parent or grandparent. You will be responsible for them from the time that they step foot on Canadian soil. This includes catering to their basic needs such as housing and food. As a sponsor, it is essential that you ensure that your sponsored family member does not claim social assistance from the government. The sponsor and sponsored person must both meet certain requirements. This includes the sponsored person passing their medical examinations and background checks.

However, to be eligible under the Parents and Grandparents Program, you must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada,
  • be at least 18 years of age,
  • be the child or grandchild of the person(s) you are sponsoring,
  • meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) required for the size of their family unit and provide Canada Revenue Agency-issued notices of assessment as proof,
  • sign a sponsorship agreement that acknowledges your promise to provide for the basic needs of a family member(s) for a period of 20 years,
  • sign an additional agreement if you live in Quebec.

How to Apply for the Canadian Family Sponsorship

Here's an overview of the family sponsorship application process:

  1. Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to be a sponsor.
  2. Ensure that the relatives you intend to sponsor meet eligibility criteria.
  3. You will need to apply at the federal level to the Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and, if you are a Quebec resident, at the provincial level to the Ministry of Immigration, Francization, and Integration (MIFI). You must submit your sponsorship application and the permanent residence (PR) status applications of your family members or relatives together. Once you have been deemed eligible to sponsor, your PR application will be reviewed.
  4. You will be required to pay the family sponsorship application fee.
  5. Send your application to the right address. You will find this information in the sponsorship guide that is available for download on the government website.

Canada Family Sponsorship Application Processing Times

Canada wants to help keep families together. For this reason, all Family Sponsorship applications are prioritized by the Canadian Visa Office. Family Sponsorship applications can take anything between 12-24 months to process. Typically, sponsoring your parents or grandparents take the longest.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Canada recognizes the importance of family and spousal support for its citizens and residents, therefore, the Family Class Immigration and Spousal Sponsorship procedures are simplified and applicants have fewer requirements compared to other streams of immigration. That's all we have on the Canadian Family Sponsorship Immigration program. Proceed with the link below for more information provided at the official Canadian immigration authorities website.