October 27, 2008
BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY CLASS?
Q: I came to visit Canada and my family here. I am 52 years old and my parents and many siblings are Canadian citizens. I have four children, three children studying at various universities throughout the world and the youngest one being in elementary school. One of my sisters and her husband would like to sponsor me to come to Canada. I would like to begin the process while I am in Canada for me, my wife and my youngest child, then, when I am approved as a permanent resident, I intend to sponsor my children that will by then graduate and support themselves by working in their chosen field. I would like to process my papers while I am in Canada, not having to go back to my country, and open a business here while waiting for the file to be processed. What is your advice on this?
A: Unfortunately, you are not considered a member of the family class, therefore your sister and her husband cannot sponsor you. Family class members include spouses, children, adopted children, parent and grandparents. There are certain exceptions for orphaned siblings and others but you do not belong to any of these categories. In considering a permanent residency application, one must look at more than one factor, regarding both you and your spouse, among others: age, education background, work experience, occupation, knowledge of English and/or French, etc. In addition, the application process is complicated by the fact that Bill C-50 has been passed and we await Minister’s Instructions to understand the new face of the skilled worker category.