Family reunification is one of the stated goals of Canada’s immigration system. Canadian citizens and permanent residents are able to sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada as permanent residents.

Family sponsorship applications are generally processed in two parts:

First, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) assesses whether or not the sponsor meets the eligibility requirements for sponsoring a family member.

Second, IRCC makes a determination as to whether or not the person being sponsored (the Principal Applicant) and their dependents are inadmissible to Canada for any reason. The process, timelines and eligibility requirements for sponsorship applications vary depending on which family member is being sponsored and where that person is residing at the time of the application.

Sponsoring your spouse or partner

Canadians and permanent residents are able to sponsor their spouses, common-law partners and conjugal partners to become a permanent resident of Canada. Through your application, you must be able to demonstrate that your relationship is genuine and that it was not entered into for immigration reasons.

Sponsoring your parents or grandparents

Parents and grandparents can also be sponsored by Canadian citizens and permanent residents to come to Canada. Unlike the other categories of family class sponsorships, sponsors must meet certain income requirements before they are found eligible to sponsor. Additionally, this is the only category of family sponsorships upon which IRCC has placed a cap on the number of applications that they will accept each year.

Sponsoring your dependent children

Parents are able sponsor children who are under the age of 19 at the time the sponsorship application is submitted. A child who is 19 years old or older is only considered a dependent under this category if they have been and continue to be unable to financially support themselves due to a physical or mental condition.