Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are over 18 years of age may be able to sponsor certain close family members for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program.
Family members who may qualify* for sponsorship under this Canadian immigration program include:
- Spouses (of the opposite sex or same sex)
- Common-Law Partners (of the opposite sex or same sex)
- Conjugal Partners (of the opposite sex or same sex)
- Dependent Children (under 22 years of age and unmarried)
- Brothers or Sisters
- Other Relatives (for example, nephews or nieces who have been orphaned)
* Please note that there are different eligibility requirements that must be met for each of the family member classes listed above in terms of applying for immigration to Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program.
The Canadian citizen or permanent resident who sponsors an eligible family member for immigration to Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program must:
- be at least 18 years-old
- possess a minimum income level
- have the ability to take care of himself/herself and the sponsored family members (e.g., to provide shelter, food, clothing and other basic needs)
- provide a written agreement to the Canadian government promising to financially support the sponsored family member (and any additional eligible members accompanying them to Canada) for up to 10 years, depending on the family relationship and age of the sponsored family member
- make sure that the sponsored family member will not have to request financial assistance from Canada’s government
- meet any other criteria that may apply
Furthermore, the sponsored family member must meet the eligibility requirements for immigration to Canada, including health and character criteria. Consequently, a medical exam and police certificate may be requested for the sponsored family member, as well as other documentation or criteria.
In general, the procedure to sponsor a family member for immigration to Canada through the Family Sponsorship Program involves the following. The Canadian citizen or permanent resident submits an application to the Case Processing Center (CPC) in Ontario and, hopefully, receives approval for the application from the CPC. The family member who is being sponsored for Canadian immigration must also submit an application for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. There are also fees that must be paid as part of the process. If the procedure is successful, the family member(s) will be issued a Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and a PR Visa to Canada!
Please note that this is a summary about Canada’s Family Sponsorship Program and that there are other requirements that may apply, plus the Canadian government may update its criteria at any time.