Sponsoring Relatives To Canada: Here’s All You Need To Know

How To Sponsor Your Relatives-Here's All You Need To Know
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Last Updated On 29 November 2022, 9:46 PM EST (Toronto Time)

Canadian citizens, permanent residents or registered Indians under the Canadian Indian Act can sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class. However, you must be 18 or older to sponsor a relative. 

In this article, you can learn the following: 

  • Eligibility requirements to sponsor a relative 
  • Who can sponsor a relative? 
  • Responsibilities of a sponsor 
  • Who is ineligible to sponsor a relative? 
  • How to apply? 

Eligibility requirements to sponsor a relative 

It is important to understand that to sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must agree to the following:

  • Provide your relative financial support when they arrive 
  • Be capable of providing for your basic needs and those of your relative, including:
    • shelter 
    • Clothing 
    • Food 
  • Ensure that your relative does not require any social assistance. 

Who can sponsor a relative? 

To sponsor a relative, you must be 18 years of age or older and be a:

  • Canadian citizen, or 
  • Permanent resident, or 
  • a person registered as an Indian in Canada under the Canadian Indian Act

To sponsor eligible relatives, you must live in Canada unless you:

  • Are a Canadian citizen living abroad, and 
  • Have plans to return to Canada when your relative immigrates, and 
  • You are sponsoring one of the following
    • Spouse, or 
    • A conjugal or common-law partner, or 
    • Your dependent children who have no dependent children 

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s requirements for sponsorship after IRCC approves you. It involves signing an undertaking with the province, which is a contract that legally binds your sponsorship. 

Responsibilities of a sponsor 

To sponsor a relative to become a Canadian permanent resident, you must:

  • Meet the income requirements 
  • Agree in writing to provide financial support to your relative and any other qualified relatives accompanying them:
    • Beginning with the date they are granted permanent residency
    • For up to 20 years, depending on your relative’s age and how you are related 

The person you are sponsoring must sign an agreement to make the necessary effort to support themselves. It includes sponsored dependent children who are 18 years old or older. Dependent children under the age of 19 are exempt from signing this agreement.

Who is ineligible to sponsor a relative? 

You will not be able to sponsor your relative if the following applies to you: 

  • Are currently in prison 
  • have missed paying alimony or child support
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not yet been released
  • received social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • failed to repay an immigration loan, made late or missed payments
  • Previously sponsored another relative and failed to meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement. Or were convicted of violent crimes or any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on case details such as:
    • the offence type 
    • the duration of the office 
    • Whether a record suspension (previously known as “pardons” in Canada) was granted 

Other factors not on this list may prevent you from sponsoring a relative.

Who can you sponsor? 

Under extremely rare circumstances, you can sponsor a relative such as a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle. Depending on your circumstances, there are two alternatives for who you can sponsor.

Sponsoring orphaned brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchild

You can only sponsor an orphaned sibling, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild, provided they match all of the following criteria:

  • They are blood-related or related by adoption 
  • Both parents, mother and father, have passed away 
  • They are below the age of 18
  • Are single, unmarried or not in a conjugal or common-law relationship 

You are not permitted to sponsor your sibling, niece, nephew, or grandchild if:

  • They still have one living parent.
  • Nobody is aware of where their parents are
  • Parents abandoned them
  • While one or both of their parents are living, someone other than their parents is caring for them
  • Their parent is in prison or detained

Sponsoring other relatives 

If you meet the following criteria, you may sponsor one blood or adopted relative of any age. Provided that the person sponsor does not have a surviving family that you could sponsor in their place, such as a:

  • spouse, common-law or conjugal partner
  • daughter or son 
  • parent or grandparent 
  • orphaned brother or sister, or
    • nephew or niece, or 
    • grandchild
  • The prospective sponsor has no relatives, neither an aunt nor an uncle nor any of the relatives mentioned above, who are:
    • Permanent resident of Canada
    • Canadian citizen
    • Indian Act-registered person

Remember that you must include any dependant children or spouses travelling to Canada with the relative you want to sponsor on the same sponsorship application.

How to apply? 

With the new digitalization, all applications must be submitted online beginning September 23, 2022. Below are the steps to apply to sponsor a relative online: 

Step 1 – Apply to Sponsor a relative

  • Use your checklist to ensure you have all the necessary forms and documentation.
  • Along with your online application, upload the checklist.

Your visa office can also need more paperwork.

  • Determine which visa office serves your region.
  • See the list of nations and the offices that serve them if you’re unsure which one to use
  • Your online application should also include supplementary documents and directions from the visa office.

For the Sponsor

The forms below must be downloaded and filled out by the sponsor. They also need to be digitally signed along with the person being sponsored. These include:

The applicant you are sponsoring has to:

  • Update their online application by uploading them.
  • All applications, including those of any additional family members, must be signed electronically.

Step 2-The sponsored person’s next steps (or if under 18, their guardian or you on their behalf) will be as follows: 

Fill out these digital forms online

  • Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008) 
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration (IMM 5669) 
  • Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)

The person filling out the forms must also upload the forms that the sponsor has completed `and signed.

Step 3-Steps for Applications using an Immigration Representative

If you want to appoint someone to represent on your behalf:

You can receive guidance and assistance with your application from an immigration representative (an immigration consultant or attorney) for a fee. But they can’t:

  • Create an account on the portal in your name
  • Sign the application electronically using your account and password to access the portal.

A representative can submit forms through their own account and contact us on your behalf. They can: 

  • assist you in creating the documents you must upload and provide form-related information
  • answer form questions

Additionally, you must type your name yourself after reading the declaration. It will be the legal prerequisite for your application to be regarded as “signed” under Canadian immigration law.

Application Photograph Requirement

  • For each person on your application, you need one photo.
  • Use the online application’s instructions to scan and upload the photo’s two sides.

Step 4- Online fee payment

Pay the application fee depending on the relative you will be sponsoring. These include:

  • Child sponsorship: from $150
  • Adult sponsorship: from $1,080

Step 5-Online Application form submission

Ensure the following before submitting the application:

  • Respond to all questions
  • Sign your application electronically (type your full name exactly as given in your passport)
  • Include your receipt 
  • Upload the supporting documentation 

Source: IRCC