Canada recognizes the importance of family reunification. The Canadian Family Class Sponsorship program gives permanent residents and citizens the opportunity to sponsor their close family members and relatives.
As a sponsor, you must meet certain criteria that will allow you to go forward with your application to sponsor someone. These are:
- being a Canadian citizen or a Permanent resident of Canada.
- intending on residing in Canada if you live outside of the country, once the family member you are sponsoring becomes a permanent resident.
- must be living in Canada at the time of sponsorship if you are a permanent resident.
- must be able to financially support sponsored family members or relatives.
- must not be in jail, prison, reformatory, or a penitentiary.
- must not be in default of child support payments.
- must not have recently filed for bankruptcy.
- must not be in receipt of social assistance (unless it is for disability).
Who can be sponsored?
- Sponsor's spouse/common-law partner or conjugal partner (16 years of age or older and can include same sex relationships).
- Dependent child of the sponsor is defined as someone who is:
- below the age of 22 and doesn't have a spouse or common-law partner;
- is a full-time student and is substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since before the age of 22, or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner (if this happened before age 22); or
- is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.
- Sponsor's mother or father
- Grandparents of the sponsor
- Orphaned sibling/niece/nephew/grandchild of the sponsor
- One other relative only if the sponsor is entirely alone in Canada with no other sponsor-able relatives mentioned above
- Legally adopted child (both under and above 18 years of age) with a well established parent/child relationship
In addition to all this, the sponsor must also sign a promise with the government that he/she will "undertake" the sponsored and his/her dependent family members for a set period of time. Essentially, this means that the sponsor is financially responsible for the individuals he/she has sponsored. The set period of time can range from a minimum of 1 to 10 years depending on who they are and what their age is.