Family Sponsorship Canada

Family Sponsorship Canada

The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) plays a crucial role in overseeing family sponsorship programs, ensuring compliance with immigration regulations. Canada has set a quota of around 100,000 people to invite for PR annually through family sponsorship in Canada.

What is Family Sponsorship?

Family sponsorship in Canada refers to the immigration program that allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their eligible family members, such as spouses, parents, children, and other close relatives, to come and live in Canada.

The goal is to promote family reunification by allowing individuals to be with their loved ones in Canada, fostering a sense of community and support.

Who can sponsor their family member?

To sponsor a family member, you must fulfill various requirements:

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Must 18 or older
  • Capable of providing support to the sponsored person for an extended period

Who can I sponsor to come to Canada?

If you meet all of the above requirements, you can potentially sponsor the following family members to come to Canada:

  1. Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner: You can sponsor your legally recognized spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
  2. Dependent children: You can sponsor your dependent children, including adopted children.
  3. Parents and grandparents: You may be eligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents.
  4. Other eligible relatives: In some cases, you may be able to sponsor other relatives, such as brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren, if they are orphaned, under 18, and not married or in a common-law relationship.

How much income do I need to sponsor?

The income requirement for sponsoring a family member in Canada depends on various factors, including the number of people you are sponsoring and the size of your family unit.

The program has set minimum necessary income levels to ensure that sponsors can adequately support their sponsored family members without relying on social assistance. The income requirement is determined by the “Low Income Cut-Off” (LICO), which is updated annually by Statistics Canada. Sponsors must demonstrate that their income meets or exceeds the minimum necessary income for their family size.

Living in Quebec will require you to follow Quebec’s sponsorship requirements, with your income evaluation conducted by the Quebec immigration ministry.

What is a sponsorship undertaking?

A sponsorship undertaking is a formal commitment made by a sponsor in Canada to support a family member or relative immigrating to the country. By signing a sponsorship undertaking, the sponsor agrees to provide financial and emotional support to the sponsored individual, ensuring they do not rely on social assistance from the government.

This commitment typically includes meeting basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter for a specified period. The duration of the undertaking can vary depending on the relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored person.

The sponsorship undertaking is a crucial component of the family sponsorship process in Canada, emphasizing the sponsor’s responsibility for the well-being of the sponsored individual during their initial period of settlement in the country.

Sponsored person
Length of undertaking (excluding Quebec)
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependent child10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or older3 years
Parent or grandparent20 years
Other relative10 years

Quebec residents’ sponsorship undertaking duration is different on the sponsored family member’s relationship and, for children, their age.

Sponsored person
Length of undertaking
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner3 years
Dependent child under 16 years of ageMinimum 10 years (or until age 18), whichever is longer
Dependent child 16 years of age and olderMinimum 3 years (or until age 25), whichever is longer
Other relatives10 years

How to apply for family sponsorship in Canada?

If you want to apply for Family Sponsorship in Canada, follow these general steps:

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria as a sponsor and that the family member you wish to sponsor qualifies under the appropriate category.
  2. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including proof of identity, relationship, and financial ability to support the sponsored person.
  3. Complete Application Forms: Fill out the required application forms accurately. This often includes forms for both the sponsor and the sponsored family member.
  4. Pay Fees: Pay the necessary processing fees associated with the sponsorship application. Fees may vary depending on the type of sponsorship.
  5. Submit the Application: Send the completed application along with all supporting documents to the appropriate immigration office. The submission method may vary (online or by mail) based on the specific family class.
  6. Wait for Processing: Allow time for the immigration authorities to process the application. Processing times can vary, so regularly check for updates.
  7. Attend Interviews, if Required: Be prepared for interviews if they are part of the application process. Interviews may be conducted to verify information and assess the genuineness of the relationship.
  8. Receive a Decision: Once the application is processed, you will receive a decision. If approved, the sponsored family member can proceed with immigration to Canada.

Documents Required for Family Sponsorship Canada?

  1. Completed Application Form: The application form for a Temporary Resident Visa (IMM 5257) must be filled out accurately.

  2. Family Information Form: Include details about your family members on the Family Information Form (IMM 5645).

  3. Valid Passport: A passport with a validity of at least two years.

  4. Two Passport-Sized Photos: Recent photos that meet the specifications outlined in the application guide.

  5. Proof of Relationship: Documents proving the relationship with the Canadian host, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate.

  6. Invitation Letter: A written invitation from the Canadian host detailing the purpose and duration of the visit.

  7. Financial Proof: Documentation demonstrating the Canadian host’s ability to financially support the applicant, including Notice of Assessment, employment letter, bank statements, and a letter of invitation.

  8. Medical Examination: A medical examination by an approved panel physician.

  9. Travel Insurance: Proof of private medical insurance coverage for at least one year, meeting the specified requirements.

  10. Fee Payment: Payment of the applicable processing fee.

Sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner

Sponsoring your spouse or common-law partner in Canada involves meeting eligibility criteria, providing proof of a genuine relationship, and fulfilling financial obligations to support their immigration and settlement.

  1. Sponsor Eligibility:
    • You must be a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident.
    • You must be at least 18 years old.
    • If you are a permanent resident, you must be living in Canada.
  2. Relationship Eligibility:
    • You must be sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
    • The relationship must be genuine and not entered into for the purpose of obtaining immigration status.
  3. Financial Responsibility:
    • You must commit to providing financial support for your spouse or partner’s basic needs for a specific period.

There are two types of spousal or common-law sponsorship applications in Canada: Inland, where the sponsored partner applies from within Canada, and Outland, where the application is submitted while the sponsored partner is outside the country.

An open work permit will be issued to spouses allows sponsored individuals to work in Canada during the processing of their sponsorship application, and this can also be eligible to common-law partners who, though unmarried, have been living for at least one year.

Learn more about Spousal Sponsorship in Canada here.

Sponsor your Dependent Children

  1. Sponsor Eligibility:
    • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or a registered Indian.
    • Be at least 18 years old.
  2. Relationship Eligibility:
    • Children must be under 22 years old and not have a spouse or common-law partner.
    • (A child beyond the age of 22 may qualify as a dependent if they have a physical or mental condition hindering their ability to independently sustain themselves.)
  3. Financial Responsibility:
    • Commit to providing financial support for your dependent children.
  4. Documentation:
    • Proof of your Canadian status.
    • Birth certificates or adoption papers for each child.
    • Marriage certificates, divorce or separation papers (if applicable).

Learn more about Dependent Child Sponsorship here.

Sponsor your Parents or Grandparents

The Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP) and the Super Visa Program provide Canadian citizens and permanent residents ability to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.

  1. Sponsor Eligibility:
    • Must be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian.
    • Be at least 18 years old.
  2. Income Requirements:
    • Demonstrate sufficient income to support sponsored family members.
    • Provide proof of income for the last three taxation years.
  3. Commitment to Financial Support:
    • Sign a sponsorship agreement to financially support parents or grandparents for a specified period.
    • Fulfill the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for your family size and submit proof in the form of Canada Revenue Agency-issued notices of assessment.
  4. Additional Eligibility for Sponsors in Quebec:
    • Sponsors residing in Quebec must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements.
  5. Parent and Grandparent Eligibility:
    • Must be the parent or grandparent of the sponsor.
    • Medical examinations and police certificates may be required.

If someone is unable to offer permanent support for their parent or grandparent they may qualify for a Super Visa, providing a long-term, multiple-entry option for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Your spouse or common-law partner can co-sign the undertaking to assist with the income requirement. If they are co-signing, they must meet the same eligibility criteria as the sponsor, including not being the sponsored person, and having lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

Learn more about Sponsor Your Parents here.

Super Visa Program

The Super Visa program in Canada is designed for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. It allows them to visit and stay in Canada for an extended period. Here are the key requirements and eligibility criteria:


  1. Relationship:
    • Applicants must be the parents or grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Invitation Letter:
    • A written invitation from the Canadian host (child or grandchild) is required.
  3. Financial Support:
    • The host must meet minimum income requirements, demonstrating the ability to provide financial support.
  4. Insurance:
    • Applicants must have private medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company, valid for at least one year and providing a minimum coverage amount.

Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild

Canadian citizens or permanent residents may qualify to sponsor their orphaned siblings, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren for immigration to Canada. To sponsor an orphaned relative, they must be under 18 years old, unmarried, and have a blood or adoptive relationship with the sponsor.

Other relatives (also known as a “Lonely Canadian”)

Canadian citizens or permanent residents may qualify to sponsor a single extended relative to immigrate to Canada. To be eligible, sponsors must be classified as “Lonely Canadians,” indicating they have no spouse, common-law partner, child, parent, or grandparent.


When will parent sponsorship open for 2024?

Canada immigration sets specific time period in the year for parent sponsorship, for 2024 there has been no official announcement yet but in 2023 invitations were sent in mid of October.

How much fees it cost to sponsor a family member in Canada?

Sponsoring your spouse with dependent children or adopting a child incurs a $150 fee per child, and an extra $1,050 is required for including the spouse or partner of your relative. Government processing fees for sponsoring a relative in Canada total $1,165, with an additional $310 CAD for sponsors residing in Quebec or planning to do so upon permanent residence issuance.

Do I need a job to sponsor a family member?

No, having a job is not a strict requirement to sponsor a family member in Canada; however, meeting the Minimum Necessary Income is crucial, and various financial resources, including employment income, can contribute to meeting this requirement.

How long will it take for family sponsorship?

The processing time for family sponsorship applications in Canada can vary based on several factors, including the type of sponsorship and the specific circumstances of the case. It could take around 10-12 months to get file approved.

Can super visa be converted to PR?

No, a Super Visa cannot be directly converted to Permanent Residency (PR) in Canada.

How long can a super visa stay in Canada?

A Super Visa is typically valid for up to 10 years, with each entry allowing a stay of up to two years.

What is proof of income for a super visa?

The number of relatives you can sponsor to Canada depends on the specific family class. Common categories include spouses, partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, each with its own eligibility criteria.

Can I sponsor my brother or sister to come to come to Canada?

You typically cannot sponsor a brother or sister to come to Canada under the Family Class sponsorship.
can i sponsor my fiance to come to Canada?

Canada does not offer a specific sponsorship option for Canadian permanent residents or citizens to bring their fiancé to the country. Instead, individuals must be married to apply under the spousal sponsorship category. Another option is to potentially sponsor a fiancé as a common-law partner if they meet the qualifying criteria.

Can I sponsor my boyfriend or girlfriend to Canada?

You cannot directly sponsor a boyfriend or girlfriend to come to Canada. However, they may qualify as a common-law partner if you have lived together in a committed relationship for at least 12 consecutive months.

Can I sponsor my friend to come to Canada?

The primary focus is on family reunification, and friends typically need to explore other immigration options, such as work or study permits.

Can I sponsor my sister to Canada 2023?

You typically cannot directly sponsor a sister to come to Canada under the Family Class sponsorship.

Who can sponsor an immigrant to Canada?

Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and registered Indians can sponsor immigrants to Canada, subject to specific eligibility criteria and relationship requirements.

What documents are required for super visa Canada?

For a Super Visa application in Canada, you typically need:

  • Completed application form (IMM 5257).
  • Family Information Form (IMM 5645).
  • Valid passport.
  • Passport-sized photos.
  • Proof of relationship.
  • Invitation letter from the Canadian host.
  • Financial proof of the host’s ability to support.
  • Medical examination by an approved panel physician.
  • Private medical insurance proof.
  • Fee payment.

How much insurance is required for super visa in Canada?

For a Super Visa in Canada, applicants are required to have private medical insurance valid for at least one year, covering healthcare, hospitalization, and repatriation, with a minimum coverage amount specified by immigration authorities.

Which is better super visa or visitor visa?

The Super Visa is typically better for parents and grandparents visiting Canada, offering longer stays of up to two years per entry over a 10-year period, while a regular Visitor Visa provides shorter stays. The Super Visa requires specific insurance coverage and financial support commitments from the host.


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