Family Sponsorship Immigration Overview
If you are a citizen of Canada and you are aged 18 or over then you may be able to sponsor other members of your family to become Canadian residents. If you do become a permanent citizen then you would be allowed to live, work and study in Canada. If you do sponsor a relative so they can come to Canada however then you would need to support them financially until this happens.
Before this can be done, there are several things that you need to make sure you do. The first thing you need to do is make sure that you meet the requirements for a family sponsorship. To do this, you need to be 18 years or over and you and the relative will also need to sign an agreement that states you will provide the support required when they come over. This is only if it is necessary, if they have a job already in Canada for when they arrive, this may not be needed. The agreement may also state that the person who is becoming sponsored needs to make sure that they are going to do everything that they can to support themselves after the transition. If you are bringing a spouse, conjugal partner or common-law partner with you then you need to provide them with financial support for 3 years. If you are bringing a child, then you need to support them for 10 years or until they reach the age of 25.
Who Can I Sponsor?
- Dependent Children
- Conjugal Partners
- Common Law Partners
- Brothers, Sisters, Granddaughters/Sons, Those who are Orphaned and Any Other Relative as Long as They Meet the Specific Requirements Presented in the Agreement.
You are classed as a spouse if you’re married to the person who is classed as the sponsor and if your marriage is legally approved.
If you are of the opposite or of the same sex and you have been living together for over a year, you are a common-law partner. You may need to provide proof that both you and your partner have both invested in the household.
This is for partners who are in circumstances that are beyond their control that stop them from living together.
A son or daughter who is 19 years old or under, without a common-law partner or spouse- this also includes those who are over the age of 19 but are still dependent on the financial support of a parent. This is only valid if they have a mental or physical condition.
If you are a sponsor then you may be asked to sign a document that states that you will provide for the sponsored family member from the day they enter Canada. This contract is developed between the sponsor and the CIC and it states that they will repay the Canadian government if they ever use any social assistance. Sponsors are still obligated to undertake this duty for the entire duration of the contract, even if the circumstances change. This includes a divorce, a marital breakdown or a separation.
If you are bringing a spouse or partner then you will be required to reimburse the federal governments from the day they become a full resident. This is up to the period of three years. If the other person is a child under the age of 19 then the obligation starts on the day that they become a permanent Canadian resident. This is for up to 10 years or until they reach the age of 25.
If the child is over 19 years of age then the spouse or partner will start the obligation on the day that they become a resident up to 3 years. In the instance of grandparents, the obligation will extend for over 20 years from the day they become a permanent resident. For other family members, this is only 10 years.
In 2011, the Supreme Court decided that even though it is the sponsor’s obligation to reimburse any benefits collected by their relatives, it can be deferred in some circumstances however it will never be wiped in its entirety.
Sponsors who live Outside Canada:
If you are a Canadian resident but you live outside Canada then you are still able to sponsor your spouse. This is only the case if they have never been convicted of causing bodily harm and they also need to demonstrate that they will live in Canada when the sponsor comes to the area. If you are a permanent resident who lives abroad then you will not be able to sponsor your family from outside of Canada. If you are a spouse or a common law partner who lives in Canada then you will only be able to file an application if you are cohabiting in the area, and if this is not the case then you will need to make sure that you file an application in the visa office. This will make things more complicated for the sponsor however it is a requirement.
Sponsors in Quebec:
If you are a sponsor then you are a guarantor and you can sponsor a relative who is close to you as long as they have not been convicted of causing bodily harm. If you are living in Quebec then you also need to be 18 years of age in order for you to sponsor somebody and you also need to satisfy any prerequisites as well. If you do live in Quebec then you will be able to sponsor a dependent child, a spouse, your mother, father or grandmother/father. You may also sponsor your orphaned brother, niece, nephew or sister as long as they are under the age of 18 and not living with, or with a partner of over 1 year.. If you would like to find out more about immigration and visas, please do not hesitate to contact us today.