If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, and you have a spouse or family member who is a citizen of another country, it may be possible for you to sponsor them. If your sponsorship application is successful, your spouse or relative will acquire permanent resident status in Canada. The sponsorship process involves a lot of paperwork and evidence gathering. It can be a labour intensive process and Canadian immigration officials scrutinize the documents you submit closely.
The Canadian government has taken steps to ensure that the process is more easily navigated by people without legal expertise, and their immigration website offers much of the information needed to guide you through the process. However, the stakes are often high, and any error in filling in the proper forms and submitting the required supporting documents can lead to a rejection or delay. The risk of this occurring leads many people who are looking to sponsor a spouse or relative to enlist the services of an experienced immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer can assist you in avoiding many of the common pitfalls that plague family sponsorship applications, such as incomplete paperwork, or insufficient supporting documentation.
Sometimes the person you are seeking to sponsor may have something in their past, such as marriage that ended or a criminal record, which may complicate their sponsorship application. In such an instance, you will likely require the assistance of an experienced immigration lawyer, with knowledge of Canadian family or criminal law, to ensure that your application goes smoothly. DUVADIE Law has expertise in all of these areas of Canadian law. We have submitted countless sponsorship applications and have a strong track record of helping to successfully unite spouses and family members in Canada.
If you are looking to sponsor a spouse or family member, and would like more information about the process or the assistance DUVADIE Law can provide, please get in touch with us at your earliest possible opportunity so that we may begin to work to unite you with your loved ones.
Who Can Act as a Sponsor?
To be a sponsor, you must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, be over 18 years of age, live in Canada, and have the level of income needed to support the person(s) you are sponsoring once they arrive in Canada. If you are seeking to sponsor your spouse or common law partner, there is no minimum income requirement, but the sponsor must promise to support their spouse for 3 years after they arrive in Canada, and have the means to do so. If you are seeking to sponsor your child, there is no minimum income requirement, but you must promise to support them for 10 years after their arrival in Canada. If you are seeking to sponsor your parents or grandparents, you must promise to support them for 20 years after their arrival, and there is a minimum income requirement.
There are certain factual circumstances that will lead you to be ineligible to sponsor a person in Canada. You cannot sponsor another person if you defaulted on a loan or bond, or failed to pay family support payments. You cannot sponsor someone if you are in prison, or if you have been convicted of a violent or sexual offence. You may not sponsor someone if you were previously sponsored and have been a permanent resident in Canada for less than 5 years. You also may not sponsor someone if you receive social assistance for a reason other than disability.
Who can be sponsored?
- A spouse or common law partner. For someone to be considered your spouse, you must be legally married to them, and have an authentic marriage certificate to demonstrate this fact. If the marriage occurred outside of Canada, but was legally performed in the country it occurred, then this should pose no issue for your sponsorship application. For someone to be considered your common law partner, you must live with them continuously for a period of at least one year. Your relationship also must be conjugal, meaning marriage-like. Someone who is merely your roommate is unlikely to be recognized as your common law partner. For more information, please see our page on spousal sponsorships.
- Children. If your child is under the age of 19, is unmarried, and you can produce a valid birth certificate demonstrating your connection to them, you may be able to sponsor them.
- Orphaned Relatives. If you have a relative who is below 18 years of age and whose parents have deceased, you may be able to sponsor them. This includes your siblings, nieces or nephews, and grandchildren.
- Children you intend to adopt. If there is a child living in another country who has no guardian to look after them, and you wish to bring them to Canada in order to legally adopt them, they may be sponsored.
- Parents. You may sponsor your mother and father. As noted above, this type of sponsorships includes an income requirement and a promise to support them for 20 years once they arrive in Canada. This form of sponsorship sometimes amounts to a full family sponsorship. If your parents have dependent children (your brother(s) or sister(s)), they will need to be brought with them, and they will also receive permanent resident status if your sponsorship application is successful.
- Grandparents. Your grandmother and grandfather may be sponsored. Since they are unlikely to have dependent aged children, the above mentioned accompanying dependents rule would likely not apply.
If you are seeking help with the Canadian family sponsorship application process, please contact DUVADIE Law at 613-422-155 or Toll-Free at 1-855-422-1155.
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