Family sponsorship, under the Family Class program, is one of the most common ways to immigrate to Canada. The first step to family sponsorship is determining sponsor eligibility.
Under the family class program, an eligible Canadian citizen or permanent resident can apply to sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents or other relatives to become permanent residents of Canada.
So who is a sponsor? What are the basic requirements to sponsor a family member to Canada
1. A sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
2. A sponsor must be at least 18 years old, AND
3. A sponsor must be residing in Canada.
A sponsor must meet ALL three requirements to be eligible, regardless of whom they are sponsoring. However, there is an exception to the third requirement.
A Canadian citizen who is NOT residing in Canada may still become a sponsor IF he/she will reside in Canada once the sponsored family member becomes a permanent resident. This will require the sponsor to prove that he/she has the intention to reside in Canada once the sponsorship process is completed. This exemption only applies to Canadian citizen sponsors, not permanent residents.
Bars to Sponsorship
Aside from the criteria above, there are bars to sponsorship that can prevent someone from sponsoring a family member. For example, even if a sponsor meets all three requirements above, a sponsor will not be eligible if he/she is:
- the subject to a removal order from Canada.
- detained in jail, reformatory or prison.
- in receipt of social assistance for reasons other than disability.
These are just a few sponsorship bars that prospective sponsors may encounter.
Lastly, it is important to note that there are slight variations to sponsorship requirements, depending on who you are sponsoring. For instance, sponsoring one’s parents or grandparents imposes a minimum necessary income requirement on a sponsor. This requirement does not apply when sponsoring a spouse or common-law partner.
It is important to understand who a sponsor is before starting a sponsorship application. For further information about family sponsorships, click here or talk to your registered immigration consultant.