Family Sponsorship Immigration in Canada

For someone who is a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident of Canada (minimum 18 years of age), it’s possible to sponsor certain relatives for immigration. These relatives can live, work, and study in Canada once they become permanent residents. 

Sponsoring a spouse, partner, or dependent children

Sponsored spouses or common-law partners are eligible to work in Canada while waiting for the permanent resident application to be processed. Dependent children must be younger than 19 to be eligible. Canadian citizens or permanent residents can sponsor: a spouse; a conjugal partner; a common-law partner; or dependent children. Sponsors must prove that they can meet the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter for all concerned. They must also show that they can support the relative financially, and that financial help will not be requested from government sources.

Sponsoring parents and grandparents 

The Parents and Grandparents Program has its own intake periods and usually re-opens in January for new applications. Once the Ministry makes the announcement for the next tranche of applications the quota will also be specified. It is very important to have all your documents in order and ready well before the program starts since if you miss the intake period you will have to wait until the next tranche which could be up to a year. Canadian citizens or permanent residents can make an application to sponsor a parent or grandparent for permanent residency under the category of Family Class. Sponsors must make every effort to provide essential needs for all concerned. Sponsors are responsible for financial support, and must ensure that the parent or grandparent will not request any social assistance from government agencies. NOTE:  Quebec sponsorship requirements are unique.

Important regulations in place for spouses/partners

The Canadian government has established regulations that will affect some sponsored spouses and/or partners. Relationships of 2 years or less (with no children in common) have a specific condition attached to their status. Those granted with conditional permanent residency must live with the sponsor in a legal relationship for 2 years from the day of conditional residency. This condition lasts only for the 2-year period. This regulation does not affect every situation in the same way, so it’s important to be familiar with the specifics and how they apply personally.

Rights/privileges of conditional permanent residency

When receiving conditional permanent residency, the same rights and privileges of a permanent resident apply. It’s possible to work or study in Canada, and to do it without a permit. It’s possible to access social services and health coverage. And it’s possible to leave and re-enter the country. Regardless of status, victims of abuse or neglect are protected. In Canada, all manner of physical and sexual abuse is criminal, and all child abuse must be reported accordingly. The abuse may be a single incident or a pattern, and may be physical, psychological, sexual, or financial. 

Applying for a parent and/or grandparent super visa

Under this category, the applicant must be a parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen (or of a permanent resident of Canada). While there are numerous immigration conditions, Immigration Officers will also consider the specifics of each case. Applicants must be visitors who will leave at the end of their visit. There must be a formal invitation from a Canadian who will be the host. Additionally, there are some minimum income requirements. And finally, applicants must have medical insurance coverage and must have had an immigration medical examination.

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