Overview of Family Sponsorship Process.

Family reunification is one of Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s highest priorities. This category is for Applicants who have a close relative who is a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada. Applicants under this category do not have to meet the point system or discretionary selection criteria used in the other application categories. Instead, they are sponsored by a relative who will provide assistance in the Applicant’s ability to establish themselves in Canada.

Who Can Be Sponsored
Only the following members of the family class may be sponsored:

• spouses, common-law or conjugal partners 16 years of age or older;
• parents and grandparents;
• dependent children, including adopted children;
• children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt;
• children under guardianship; or
• brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans; under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship.

Sponsors and Co-Sponsors
Sponsors assume a legal obligation to help the Foreign National being sponsored and therefore, may have to meet certain income requirements set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Sponsor (and any Co-Sponsor), are responsible for providing the essential needs for the person being sponsored and their dependents for a period of three to ten years after their relative’s arrival in Canada. Should the Canadian Sponsor fail to support the Foreign National, and the Foreign National receives social assistance, the Authorities may take legal recourse.

Co-Sponsors become necessary when a single individual cannot meet the minimum financial requirements. Married and common-law partners who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian citizens may be Co-Sponsors. Co-Sponsors assume the same obligations and responsibilities as the sponsor, and must also sign the application forms for sponsorship.

Sponsors and Co-Sponsors must be Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens over the age of nineteen (19). Sponsors and Co-Sponsors must be residing in Canada, or if Canadian, show that they plan on returning to Canada with the sponsored relative. Sponsors and Co-Sponsor cannot be bankrupt, in default of a previous undertaking to sponsor, in prison, under a removal order or charged with a serious criminal offence.

Adopting A Child From Another Country
To adopt a child from another country you must first go through the appropriate government agency authorized to assist in adoption. Once the adoption has been granted, you must then begin the sponsorship and immigration process. For further information regarding international adoptions, please contact our office.

Medical Examinations
The Applicant and each of his/her dependents (whether accompanying the Applicant or not) is required to undergo a Medical Examination. The Medical Examination must be performed by a physician who has been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada to perform these important exams. The Applicant and each dependent must pass the Medical Examination, therefore showing that neither of them has a medical condition that creates a danger to public health, or would cause significant demands on Canada’s health and/or social services.

Police Certificates
Each Applicant and dependent over the age of eighteen (18) must provide police clearances from each country in which they have resided for more than six months. The Applicant may have to consult various Consulates, Embassies and High Commissions for countries where difficulties arise in obtaining the required clearances.

Leaving Canada
A Permanent Resident is free to travel in and out of Canada. However, if order to comply with the residency obligations, he/she must accumulate two years of physical presence in Canada for every five-year period after they become a landed Permanent Resident (arrived in Canada). An exception to this rule would only apply to any one of the following:

  • The Permanent Resident is accompanying a Canadian-citizen spouse or common-law partner;
  • The Permanent Resident is a child under 22 years of age, accompanying a Canadian-citizen parent;
  • The Permanent Resident is employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business, the Public Service of Canada or the public service of a Canadian province; or
  • The Permanent Resident is a child under 22 years of age, accompanying a permanent resident parent who is outside Canada and employed on a full-time basis by a Canadian business, the Public Service of Canada or the public service of a Canadian province.

A Permanent Resident may lose his/her status if she/he fails to comply with the residency obligations. When a Permanent Resident fails to meet their residency obligations, a departure order may be issued. This order requires that person to leave Canada. The decision to issue a departure order may be appealed to the IAD within 30 days of receiving the notification.

Should an immigration officer refuse an application for Sponsorship, the Sponsor and the Applicant will be advised in writing of the reasons for the refusal. The Sponsor may bring an appeal within thirty (30) days of receiving the refusal letter from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

For further information regarding the procedures for applying for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Family Class category, please contact our office.