Immigration Through Sponsorship
You may be able to sponsor your parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident under the Family Class if you’re at least 18 years old and a:
- Canadian citizen or
- person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
- permanent resident of Canada
If you sponsor your parent or grandparent to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must:
- support them financially when they arrive
- make sure they don’t need social assistance from the government
- provide for your own essential needs and those of your parent or grandparent
Find out if you’re eligible to sponsor your parent or grandparent.
Any relative immigrating to Canada within the Family Class must have a sponsor. Both the person sponsoring a relative and the person wishing to immigrate to Canada must meet certain requirements.
Applicants for permanent residence must go through:
- medical exams
- criminal checks
- background checks
An applicant with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are not allowed to enter Canada. The applicant may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in the home country.
Who is eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent
You can sponsor your parent or grandparent if you’re 18 years of age or older, living in Canada and a:
- Canadian citizen or
- registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or
- permanent resident of Canada
If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after IRCC approves you as a sponsor.
When you sponsor a parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:
- meet certain income requirements
- support that person and their dependants financially
You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that:
- commits you to provide financial support for your relative (and any other eligible relatives accompanying them):
- for a period of three to 20 years
- depending on their age and relationship to you
- beginning on the date they become a permanent resident
- states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves
Dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign the agreement.
Quebec residents must sign an “undertaking” with the province of Quebec. This is a contract that binds your sponsorship.
Who isn’t eligible to sponsor a parent or grandparent
You may not be eligible to sponsor your parent or grandparent if you:
- are in prison
- defaulted on an immigration loan (late or missed payments)
- have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been released from it yet
- received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
- didn’t pay a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
- didn’t provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the pastwere convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on circumstances, such as:
- the nature of the offence
- how long ago it occurred
- whether a record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada) was issued
Other factors not in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.
To sponsor your parent or grandparent, the first step is to tell CIC you want to apply. They will randomly select people and invite them to apply.
The online submission form to show your interest closed at noon on February 2, 2017. They are no longer accepting submissions.
CIC will review all submissions and remove any duplicates. Then randomly select sponsors and invite them to apply.
CIC will email everyone who completes the online form to inform them if they are selected to apply or not..
If you’re invited to apply, you can fill out the forms and apply to sponsor your parents or grandparents.
If you’re married
You can sponsor the person as your spouse if your marriage is a legally valid civil marriage.
Opposite and same-sex marriages:
- will be recognized for immigration purposes, where the marriage:
- was legally performed in Canada, or
- if performed outside of Canada, the marriage must be legally recognized in the country where it took place and in Canada.
Note: IRCC no longer recognizes marriages performed outside of Canada by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet and other forms of marriage where one or both persons were not physically present at the ceremony.
If you’re in a common-law relationship
You can sponsor the person as your common-law partner (same or opposite sex) as long as you’ve been living or have lived with your partner for at least 12 consecutive months in a marriage-like relationship.
If you’re in conjugal relationship
A conjugal partner is:
- a person who is living outside Canada,
- in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least one year, and
- could not live with the sponsor as a couple because of reasons beyond their control (e.g. immigration barrier, religious reasons or sexual orientation).
This term applies to both opposite and same-sex couples.
You can sponsor a conjugal partner if:
- there is a significant degree of attachment between the two of you, implying not just a physical relationship but a mutually interdependent relationship, and
- you’ve been in a genuine (real) relationship for at least 12 months where marriage or cohabitation (living together) hasn’t been possible because of barriers such as sexual orientation, religious faith, etc.
IMPORTANT: If you’re applying in the conjugal partner class, the person being sponsored cannot be living in Canada.
You can apply under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class if your spouse or common-law partner cohabits (lives) with you in Canada and has temporary resident status.
Your spouse or common-law partner can’t become a permanent resident in Canada if they’re inadmissible for any reason other than not having legal immigration status in Canada. A public policy also covers spouses and common-law partners who will be assessed for permanent residence even if they have no legal immigration status in Canada. Before applying, your spouse or common-law partner in Canada must resolve any other situation that made them inadmissible.
To qualify under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class, the sponsored person must:
- be the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in Canada and
- have legal immigration status
Your spouse or partner may be eligible for an open work permit. For more information, see the section about Working and studying for spouses and partners below.
Important information: if your spouse or partner is already working or studying in Canada and would like to continue, they must apply for an extension before their work or study permit expires.
Leaving Canada can automatically cancel temporary resident status as a visitor, student or worker.
If your spouse or common-law partner leaves Canada before becoming a permanent resident, they may not be allowed to come back. This is especially true if they need a Temporary Resident Visa to enter Canada.
If your spouse or partner can’t return to Canada, you must submit a new application to the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M).
If your spouse or common-law partner already has a work or study permit, he or she may continue to work or study as long as the permit is valid. It is illegal to work or study without authorization from IRCC.
Your spouse or common-law partner in Canada can apply for an open work permit when they apply for permanent residence. .
Note: If you’re applying under the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada class and you’ve submitted an application for an open work permit, your work permit will normally be processed within four months.
We will advise your spouse or common-law partner in writing when they’re eligible to apply for a study permit.
You can sponsor your dependent children outside Canada who meet the following definition:
Definitions of dependent children (types 1 and 2)
Your child or the child of your spouse or partner can be considered a dependent child if that child meets the requirements of type 1 or 2 below:
The child is under the age of 19 and is single (not married and not in a common-law relationship).
The child is 19 years of age or older and has been financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 19 because of a physical or mental condition.
A child who depends on their parent (i.e. the principal applicant and/or the sponsor) for financial or other support. A son or daughter is a dependant of their parent when the child is:
- under 19 years old and does not have a spouse or partner or
- 19 years old and over and has depended substantially on the parent’s financial support since before the age of 19 because of a physical or mental condition.
Any dependent child or dependant of a dependent child (grandchild) who plans to immigrate to Canada with the principal applicant. They are included on the application.
When sponsoring more than one child as a principal applicant, each child must have its own application form. They are not considered to be accompanying dependants of each other.
Children who meet the definition of a dependent child but who are not immigrating to Canada along with the principal applicant. They must be listed on the principal applicant’s application for permanent residence and must be examined in order to process the principal applicant and remain eligible for sponsorship at a later date.
Some Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) offer Family Sponsorship with less stringent requirements than the Federal Family Class category of immigration.
Certain provinces reunite families through their Provincial Nominee Programs, offering fast-track processing of Canadian immigration applications for people with family members who are residents of that province or territory.
Some Provincial Nominee Programs allow Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor the same qualifying family members as the Federal Family Class, but other programs are open for more distant relations, such as cousins.