Sponsoring your family

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) knows it is important to help families who come from other countries to reunite in Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative (such as a parent or grandparent) to become a permanent resident.

CIC refers to the immigrants who are eligible to use this family sponsoring process as the Family Class.

If you become a permanent resident, you can live, study and work in Canada. For more information about being a permanent resident in Canada, see the Related Links section at the bottom of this page.

When you arrive in Canada as a permanent resident, you must make every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your family.

If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you are responsible for supporting your relative financially when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your spouse or relative does not need to seek financial assistance from the government.

The process to sponsor your family begins when you, as a citizen or permanent resident in Canada, apply to be a sponsor.
There are two different processes for sponsoring your family. One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.

Who can be sponsored

Sponsoring a spouse, partner or dependent child

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. To be a sponsor, you must be 18 years of age or older.

You can apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or accompanying dependent children live with you in Canada, even if they do not have legal status in Canada. However, all the other requirements must be met.

You can also apply as a sponsor if your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children live outside Canada, and if they meet all the requirements.

When you sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children to become permanent residents of Canada, you must promise to support them financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada and they have later turned to the government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

Sponsoring other family members:  Eligible relatives

  • parents
  • grandparents
  • brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
  • another relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions (see Note below)
  • accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
  • Note:
    You can sponsor one relative regardless of age or relationship only if you do not have a living spouse or common-law partner, conjugal partner, a son or daughter, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece who could be sponsored as a member of the family class, and you do not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

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