Family Class Immigration: How to Sponsor Your Family Members to Canada

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you may be able to sponsor your family members to immigrate to Canada. The Government of Canada is actively focusing on reuniting people with their families and has also put in place various ways to sponsor their loved ones.

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Family members who wish to become permanent residents in Canada are encouraged to join the sponsoring residents. Applications that fall into this category do not have to meet the point system selection. The only requirement in this case is that as sponsor or applicant you must be able to prove your relationship to each other. Any document that can serve as proof, in this case, is a necessity for sponsorship applications.

Who can you sponsor?

Here are the family members you can sponsor as a citizen of permanent residents in Canada

  • Your spouse, same-sex partners, common-law partners and conjugal partners over the age of 16.
  • Your parents and grandparents
  • Dependent children and children under guardianship
  • Sponsors and co-sponsors
  • All siblings, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, orphans and under the age of 18

Responsibilities of a sponsor

Becoming a sponsor means that you accept the legal obligation to assist the applicant in the whole process and that you must also meet the minimum income requirements. As a sponsor, you assume full responsibility for the applicant and are responsible for supporting family members and dependents upon their arrival in the country. It is necessary that the sponsor be over 19 years old and must reside in the country.

If you are a Canadian citizen but do not currently reside in the country, you must demonstrate that you plan to move to Canada with a relative you are willing to sponsor. As a sponsor, you are also required to provide for the needs of the family member and the duration of your support varies from three to twenty years depending on the situation. Sponsors are also required to prove that their family members will not seek financial support from the government, and if they do in the future, authorities are allowed to take legal action against them.

As a sponsor, it is your responsibility to provide for the basic needs of your family members when they come to live with you in Canada. This obligation also applies to common-law and married spouses who are Canadian citizens or who live in the country as permanent residents as co-sponsors. The duties of the co-sponsors are also similar to those of the sponsors, they are required to follow the same obligations and fulfill the same obligations. Co-sponsors must also sign sponsorship application forms.

Are there exceptions to who can be a sponsor?

Unfortunately, not all Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to sponsor their family members. We have mentioned here which people are not allowed to be a sponsor:

  • Those currently in prison;
  • Those who have defaulted on an immigration-specific loan;
  • Those who have declared bankruptcy and who are not yet free from it;
  • Those receiving government financial assistance, other than disability;
  • Those who have not provided financial support to a previously sponsored family member;
  • Those who have not received court-ordered financial support (alimony or child support);
  • Those who have committed a serious criminal offense.

It is very important that the parent or grandparent you are sponsoring also meets certain conditions to be eligible for the family sponsorship program. One of these requirements is to ensure that he or she does not have a criminal record. If they do, it would be best to overcome their criminal record before starting the application process for them.

Consult Ronen Kurzfeld – family immigration lawyer now to start your sponsorship application today!

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