Family sponsorship in Canada is a government initiative designed to allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor the immigration of their immediate and extended family members. The program is part of Canada's commitment to reunite families and strengthen the country’s multicultural society. This comprehensive guide aims to provide all the details you need to know about family sponsorship Canada.

Canada's family sponsorship programs are a testament to the country's belief in the importance of family. They reflect a deep-rooted understanding that families should not be separated due to immigration laws. The government's commitment to family reunification is evident in its policies and programs designed to facilitate the migration process for families.

The Family Sponsorship Canada program has been instrumental in shaping the country's demographics, contributing to its cultural diversity and economic growth. Through this program, thousands of families have started a new life in Canada, benefiting from the country's world-class healthcare, education, and social security systems.

What is Family Sponsorship Canada

Family sponsorship Canada is the process through which a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident can sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents, or other eligible relatives to become permanent residents of Canada. The program's goal is to reunite families in Canada, contributing to community stability, social cohesion, and economic prosperity.

The sponsoring party is responsible for the sponsored individual’s financial well-being. They must support the sponsored person, ensuring they won't need financial assistance from the government. This includes providing for their basic needs, such as food, clothing, and housing.

Different types of family sponsorship Canada programs are designed to cater to specific family relationships. Understanding these types can help potential sponsors and sponsored individuals navigate the immigration process more effectively, ensuring successful family reunification.

Different Types of Family Sponsorship Canada

Canada Family Sponsorship

Spousal, Common Law, and Conjugal Partner Sponsorship in Canada

Spousal Sponsorship Canada is designed for Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to sponsor their spouse or partner to become permanent residents. The spousal sponsorship program encompasses both married couples and common-law partners. The couple must demonstrate a genuine relationship and prove it's not primarily to gain immigration status.

Common-law partners have lived in a conjugal relationship for at least one year. Common-law partner sponsorship in Canada requires proof of cohabitation for at least 12 consecutive months.

Conjugal partner sponsorship is for partners who cannot live together due to exceptional circumstances and thus cannot qualify as common-law partners. The sponsored person can be of any sex, and the couple must demonstrate a mutual commitment to a shared life.

Dependent Child Sponsorship in Canada

Dependent child sponsorship in Canada allows Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their dependent children. A dependent child is under 22, must be biological or adopted, a step-child, or a child of the sponsor’s common-law partner and not having a spouse or common-law partner. Certain conditions apply to children aged 22 or older who have depended substantially on the financial support of their parents since before the age of 22 due to physical or mental conditions.

To sponsor your dependent child in Canada, you must prove:

  • Your relationship with the child,
  • Your age and,
  • You can provide for the basic needs of the sponsored individual.

It is important to note that all individuals included in the sponsorship application are subject to medical and security exams.

Adopted Child Sponsorship in Canada

Adopted child sponsorship in Canada lets Canadian citizens or permanent residents sponsor a child they have adopted or intend to adopt. The adoption must comply with both the laws of the country where the child lives and Canadian laws.

Outside of the general family sponsorship requirements, for your adopted child to qualify for Adopted Child Sponsorship Canada, you must prove:

  • The adoption meets all legal requirements,
  • You have a genuine relationship with the adopted child, 
  • If necessary, you will provide financial support for their adopted child for up to 10 years.
  • You have taken all necessary steps to facilitate family reunification.

Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship in Canada

Parents sponsorship in Canada and grandparents sponsorship in Canada programs allow Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their parents or grandparents. This program is highly sought after, and the government typically receives many applications yearly. It's important to note that there's a yearly limit to the number of applications accepted under this category. As it currently stands, this program is on hold due to the intense backlog generated during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, it will reopen once the backlog is cleared.

The eligibility criteria for parents and grandparents are as follows:

As a sponsor, you must prove:

  • You have a genuine relationship with your parents or grandparents. 
  • You will provide your parents or grandparents with financial support for up to 20 years if necessary.
  • You have taken all necessary steps to facilitate family reunification, including:
    • Proof that your parents or grandparents are not leaving behind any dependents in their home country who cannot join them due to age or medical conditions.

Relative Sponsorship in Canada

In specific circumstances, you may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you do not have a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner, a son or daughter, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, an uncle, an aunt, a nephew or a niece who could be sponsored as a member of the family class, and you do not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident or registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.

To sponsor your relatives in Canada, you must prove the following:

  • You have a genuine relationship with the relative and provide for the relative's basic needs.
  • You can financially support your relative and provide an undertaking for ten years in which they agree to provide financial support if necessary.
  • You have taken all necessary steps to facilitate family reunification.

Sponsors must submit relevant documents such as birth and marriage certificates to prove that all legal requirements have been met.

How To Reunite with Your Family through Family Sponsorship Canada

Family sponsorship Canada

Step 1: Ensure Your Eligibility to Sponsor

Before sponsoring your family member to Canada, you must ensure you are eligible to sponsor. This includes being:

  • at least 18 years old,
  • a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,
  • Currently living in Canada,
  • Not relying on social assistance outside of disability and
  • able to financially support the sponsored person for a specified period.

Step 2: Ensure Your Family Member’s Eligibility

The family member you wish to sponsor must also meet the abovementioned eligibility criteria. They must pass medical, criminal, and security checks and not be inadmissible to Canada.

Step 3: Submit Your Information and Pay Your Processing Fees

When you apply, you will receive an application package, including the document checklist for you and your family member, your application forms, and an instruction guide on correctly filling out your forms. You must also pay the required processing fees. They are as follows:

Family Sponsorship Fees CAD
Sponsorship fee (per person) 75
Right of permanent residence fee 515
Principal applicant processing fee 490
Principal applicant processing fee (if the applicant is under 22) 75
Inclusion of sponsored spouse or partner processing fee 570
Inclusion of a dependent child (per child) 155

Step 4: Submit Your Application

After completing the above steps, you can submit your application. It's advisable to double-check all information and ensure you have included all the necessary documents to avoid delays.

After You Apply

After submitting your application, you must wait for it to be processed. The processing time can vary depending on the type of sponsorship and the volume of applications.

How to Get a Canada Super Visa for Your Family Members

Canada Super Visa

A Super Visa is an option for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to visit their family in Canada for an extended period. As the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship program is closed until the backlog generated by the COVID-19 pandemic is cleared, the best way to bring your parents or grandparents to Canada is visa the super visa. This visa allows eligible parents and grandparents to stay in Canada for up to two years.

To qualify for a Super Visa, applicants must have medical insurance from a Canadian insurance company, undergo a medical exam, and meet certain other criteria. The Super Visa offers a faster alternative to the parents' sponsorship Canada program, which has a longer processing time.

Here is how to apply for a Canada super visa in 5 steps

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Documents

To apply for a Super Visa Canada, the applicant must provide certain documents to apply for a Canada Super Visa. This includes:

  • A letter of invitation from their sponsor who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, including:
    • a promise of financial support for the duration of your visit
    • the listed names and number of people in the sponsor's household
    • a copy of this person’s Canadian citizenship or permanent resident document
  • Proof that the sponsor’s household meets the minimum necessary income, for example:
    • Notice of Assessment (NOA) or T4/T1 for the most recent tax year
    • Employment Insurance benefit statements
    • Employment letter, including:
      • salary,
      • job title,
      • job description, and
      • date of hire
    • bank statements
    • pay stubs
  • Proof of payment for medical insurance from either a Canadian insurance company or an Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approved insurance company outside Canada.
    • This medical insurance needs to:
      • Be valid for at least one year from the entry date and
      • Provide at least 100,000 CAD emergency coverage
  • a documented confirmation of an immigration medical exam

Step 2: Fill Out the Application Form

You must fill out an application form and provide all the required information. The form can be found online at the IRCC website. You must also include all supporting documents with your application.

Step 3: Pay Your Fees

You must pay the applicable fees to submit your application. These fees include the processing fee and any other applicable fees associated with your application. The Canada Super Visa processing fee is currently 100 CAD.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you have gathered all necessary documents and filled out your application form, you can submit it online or through mail to IRCC.

Step 5: Await Processing Time

Once you have submitted your application, you must wait for it to be processed. Processing time can vary depending on the application volume but typically takes 8-12 weeks from the submission date.

Family sponsorship Canada is a viable option for citizens and permanent residents wishing to reunite with family members. Understanding the different types of sponsorships and the process can make the journey smoother. If you want to bring your family to Canada, this guide hopefully sheds some light on the process and the requirements.


How Long Does Family Sponsorship Take in Canada?

The processing time for family sponsorship in Canada varies based on the type of sponsorship and the volume of applications. On average, spousal sponsorship in Canada can take 12 months, while parent sponsorship Canada can take up to 20-24 months.

How Much Income for Family Sponsorship?

How much income for family sponsorship you need depends on the size of your family unit. You must prove that you have sufficient income to support all the persons you are sponsoring. Currently, the settlement fund requirements for family sponsorship in Canada are as follows:

Number of Family Members Funds Required (in CAD)
1 13,757
2 17,127
3 21,055
4 25,564
5 28,994
6 32,700
7 36,407
7< (per family member) 3,706

Can My Family Members Work in Canada Under Family Sponsorship?

Sponsored applicants can only work in Canada if they get a Canadian work permit. However, as they are under the Family Sponsorship program, they can be eligible for an open work permit Canada. The Open Work Permit Canada is open to applicants if sponsored under dependent Child sponsorship or the spouse, common-law, or conjugal sponsorship.