Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada, 18 years of age or older, may sponsor close relatives or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. Sponsors must promise to support the relative or family member and accompanying family members for a period of three to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.
You can sponsor relatives or family members from abroad if they are:
- 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;
- brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans; under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship; or
- you may also sponsor one relative of any age if you do not have an aunt, uncle or family member from the list above who you could sponsor or who is already a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident.
A son or daughter is dependent when the child:
- is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;
- is a full time student and is substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since before the age of 22, or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner (if this happened before age 22); or
- is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.
You may also sponsor a spouse or common-law partner who has legal status in Canada.
Sponsoring a Relative or Family Member
If you want to sponsor any of the above listed relatives or family members, you may have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives or family members who have received social assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a considerable commitment so you should take this obligation seriously.
To sponsor a relative or family member you must sign a legal contract with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. This is called an Undertaking. You must also sign a Sponsorship Agreement with your relative or family member that outlines your mutual commitments to each other.
Adopting a Child From Another Country
To adopt a child from another country you must go through both the adoption process and the sponsorship and immigration process.
Applying as a Sponsored Immigrant
If you wish to become a permanent resident of Canada, your relative or family member in Canada must first apply to sponsor you. You must be one of the relatives or family members listed above to be eligible for sponsorship.
Both you and your sponsor need to sign a Sponsorship Agreement. The Agreement outlines your mutual obligations to each other. Your sponsor must promise to support you and your family members financially for three to 10 years so that you will not need to apply for social assistance. You must promise to make every effort to become self-supporting (unless you are elderly.)
Applications for Sponsorship and Immigration to Canada from Abroad
Before your relative or family member can immigrate to Canada, you must sponsor that person. Your relative or family member must then apply for immigration.
Applications for Sponsorship and Immigration from Within Canada
In some cases, you may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner who is already living with you in Canada.