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Family Sponsorship

Family Fun
Different Types of Sponsorship 
Spouse / Common-law Partner Sponsorship

One of the objectives of the Immigration Law in Canada is the reunification of family members, hence the sponsorship of a Spouse or a Common-law partner has processing priority compared to other permanent residence programs. There are two types of programs that cover this subject:

  • Inland Sponsorship

  • Overseas Sponsorship


Each type of application has its advantages as well as disadvantages. It is the applicant and the sponsor who need to discuss and find out which program best suits their needs.

Dependent Child Sponsorship

As of October 24, 2017, the definition of “dependent child” under section R2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations IRPR states that a child must be in one of the following situations:

  • under 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner

  • 22 years of age or older, have depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 and be unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition (it is the financial dependency that must have been ongoing since before the age of 22. It is not necessary for the physical or mental condition to have existed before the age of 22.)


Dependent children who do not have a physical or mental condition must remain unmarried and not in a common-law relationship for the duration of the processing, up until the point of becoming a permanent resident.

A dependent child is either a biological child or an adopted child of a parent.


Other Family Member Sponsorship


You can only sponsor relatives like a brother, sister, aunt, or uncle in very specific situations.

Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild


You can sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild only if they meet all of these conditions:

  • they’re related to you by blood or adoption

  • both their mother and father passed away

  • they’re under 18 years of age

  • they’re single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship)


You can’t sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild if:

  • one of their parents is still alive

  • no one knows where their parents are

  • their parents abandoned them

  • someone else other than their parents is taking care of them while one or both their parents are alive

  • their parent is in jail or otherwise, detained


Other relative


You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:

  • you (the person who wants to sponsor your relative) don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a:

    • spouse

    • common-law partner

    • conjugal partner

    • son or daughter

    • parent

    • grandparent

    • orphaned brother or sister

    • orphaned nephew or niece

    • orphaned grandchild

  • you (the sponsor) don’t have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who is a:

    • Canadian citizen

    • permanent resident

    • registered Indian under the Indian Act

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada, you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

Parents / Grandparents Sponsorship


This stream allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents and/or grandparents so they can join them and stay in Canada permanently. While the program used for in the years 2017 and 2018 a lottery system for selection, starting 2019, the first-come, first-served technique is used.


Individuals who are interested in sponsoring their parent(s)/grandparent(s) first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), then when invited, they can proceed with submitting the permanent residence application.

There are specific eligibility criteria that need to be met by the Sponsor as well as the sponsored for the application to be accepted. For example, the sponsor must meet specific income criteria, sign an undertaking for a 20-year period, and be:

  • A Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada

  • At least 18 years of age

  • The child or grandchild of the sponsored person(s)


Another option that is available in the Super Visa. This does not qualify the sponsored person to apply for the permanent residence, but it allows multiple-entry to Canada over a 10-year period without the need to apply for several visitor visas.

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