Sponsor Your Family

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Sponsor Your Family

Effective October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada. If you are a spouse or partner being sponsored to come to Canada, this applies to you if:

  • You are being sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • You have been in a relationship for two years or less with your sponsor
  • You have no children in common
  • Your application was received on or after October 25, 2012

Learn more about the new conditional permanent residence measure for spouses and partners.

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative to become a permanent resident under the Family Class (FC).

If your family member is a permanent resident, they can live, study and work in Canada.

There are two different processes for sponsoring your family under the Family Class.

One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.

  1. Sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children: If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, or dependent children to come to Canada as permanent residents. Learn more about sponsoring your spouse, partner or children.
  2. Sponsor your other eligible relatives: If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you may be able to sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident under the FC. Learn more about sponsoring other eligible relatives.

Sponsor your spouse, partner or children

Effective October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must now live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the day they receive permanent residence status in Canada. If you are a spouse or partner being sponsored to come to Canada, this applies to you if:

  • You are being sponsored by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen
  • You have been in a relationship for two years or less with your sponsor
  • You have no children in common
  • Your application was received on or after October 25, 2012

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, or dependent children to come to Canada as permanent residents.

If you sponsor a family member to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must make every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your family. You are responsible for supporting your relative financially when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your spouse or relative does not need to seek social assistance from the government.

Guide 3900 – Sponsorship of a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child living outside Canada

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/3900ETOC.asp#3900E2

It is a must to read Guide 3900 to understand everything about sponsorship of a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child living outside Canada

Determine your eligibility

Your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents. An application for Family Class sponsorship can be made if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live inside or outside Canada.

The first step is for you to apply as the sponsor. Both you, as the sponsor, and your relative must meet certain requirements. Applicants for permanent residence must go through medical, criminal and background screening. Applicants with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to enter Canada. Applicants may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in their home country. The Sponsor’s Guide for Family Class explains medical, criminal and background checks.

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. To be a sponsor, you must be 18 years of age or older.

You can apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or accompanying dependent children live with you in Canada, even if they do not have legal status in Canada. However, all the other requirements must be met.

You can also apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live outside Canada, and if they meet all the requirements.

When you sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada, you must promise to support them financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada and they have later turned to the government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

To be a sponsor:

  • You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative, if necessary. This agreement also says the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support her or himself.
  • You must provide financial support for a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years from the date they become a permanent resident.
  • You must provide financial support for a dependent child for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.

You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:

  • failed to provide financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
  • defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
  • receive government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • were convicted of an offence of a sexual nature, a violent criminal offence, an offence against a relative that results in bodily harm or an attempt or threat to commit any such offences—depending on circumstances such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada), was issued (See Sponsorship Bar for Violent Crime below)
  • were previously sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner and became a permanent resident of Canada less than 5 years ago (See Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner below)
  • defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Other factors not included in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.

Sponsorship Bar for Violent Crime

On November 17, 2011, new eligibility requirements for sponsors came into force. These new requirements prevent a person from sponsoring a member of the family class if they have been convicted of certain offences. The following table (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/spouse-apply-who.asp ) gives examples of relationships which would prevent sponsors who have been convicted of an offence causing bodily harm from sponsoring.

Five-year Sponsorship Bar for persons who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner

On March 2, 2012, changes to the eligibility requirements for sponsors came into force. These changes bar a previously-sponsored spouse or partner, from sponsoring a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident, even if the sponsor acquired citizenship during that period. Other members of the family class will not be affected by the regulatory changes.

Apply: The process to sponsor your family begins when you, as a citizen or permanent resident in Canada, apply to be a sponsor.

Check processing times: Find out how long it will take CIC to process your application for family sponsorship.

After you apply: get next steps: Learn what happens after you apply for family sponsorship.

Prepare for arrival: Find out what you need to prepare for your family member’s arrival in Canada.

FAQ

Which family members may come with me to Canada when I immigrate?

The family members who can come with you to Canada when you immigrate include:

  • your spouse or common-law partner,
  • your dependent child,
  • your spouse or common-law partner’s dependent child, and
  • a dependent child of a dependent child.

Your parents, grandparents and other family members cannot come to Canada with you. However, you may be able to apply to sponsor them to come to Canada after you immigrate here.

Who is a dependent child?

A child who depends on their parent for financial and other support. A son or daughter is considered a dependent of their parent when the child is:

  • under 22 years old, and does not have a spouse or partner, or
  • a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and has depended largely on a parent’s financial support since that time, or
  • 22 years old and over, and
    • became a spouse or partner before the age of 22, and
    • has been a full-time student on an ongoing basis since before the age of 22, and
    • has depended largely on a parent’s financial support since they became a spouse or partner, or
  • 22 years old and over, and has depended largely on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 22 because of a physical or mental condition.

How can I check the status of my sponsorship application?

  • Step 1: Check the processing times.
  • Step 2: Check your application status online through the Client Application Status service.
  • Step 3: If the normal processing time for your application type has passed and you are sponsoring a member of the Family Class, you may also your check case status through the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Call Centre.

How do I sponsor my spouse, partner or dependent child to become a permanent resident of Canada?

To sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child, you must send the required forms to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. To sponsor more than one dependent child, you must use a separate application form for each child and send all the applications in the same envelope.

How can I check if my application has been received?

If you mailed your application to CIC, you may wish to use a courier service that requires a signature when delivered, gives you a delivery confirmation and/or allows you to track your package. Please note that there may be a delay between the date CIC physically receives your application and the date it is opened. CIC cannot confirm that your application package has been received until it has been opened in our offices.

If you applied at a Visa Application Centre, CIC cannot confirm that your application package has been received until it has been opened in our offices.

If you applied online, you will see a confirmation page after you submit your application. You will also receive an email asking you to check your MyCIC account. A confirmation message with a confirmation number will be in your MyCIC account. Keep your confirmation number for your records. Please note that it may take a few hours for you to receive an email from CIC after you’ve submitted your application.

How long will it take to process my application to sponsor someone to live in Canada?

See the processing times to find out how long it will take to process your application.

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