March 12, 2024

Dependent Child Sponsorship in Canada

Posted by Athena Portokalidis - Bellissimo Law Group PC

Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or persons registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act are eligible to sponsor certain family members, such as a spouse, common law or conjugal partner, or dependent child. Importantly, and unlike the parent and grandparent sponsorship program, the sponsorship of a spouse, partner, or child is not presently subject to an invitation to apply (ITA) model or intake cap.

In addition to hold status in Canada as either a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered Indian, sponsors must be at least eighteen (18) years old, must be living inside Canada or, in the case of Canadian citizens, must show they plan to live in Canada when their sponsored family member becomes a permanent resident, cannot be in receipt of social assistance for reasons other than disability, and must show they can provide for their family member’s basic needs.[1] In most cases, there is no minimum income requirement.[2] Additional requirements apply for sponsors residing in Quebec, and factors may render a sponsor ineligible, such as failure to pay back a previous immigration loan, being an undischarged bankrupt, or being convicted of certain criminal offences, to name a few.[3]

In the case of dependent children, the child an individual wishes to sponsor must also meet specific requirements to qualify, including being under the age of twenty-two (22) years old and not having a common law partner, or, if they are over the age of twenty-two (22), they are unable to financially support themselves due to a mental or physical condition and have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of twenty-two (22).[4] Age locks in as of the date the application is received by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), but all other requirements must continue to be met until the application is finished processing.[5] For example, if the child were to marry before the application has completed processing, this would impact their eligibility.

The application consists of two parts that are filed together: (1) the application to sponsor; and (2) the application for permanent residence. Once filed, IRCC will first assess the sponsor’s eligibility to act as a sponsor, and if confirmed to be eligible, will move on to assess the applicant’s permanent resident application. The primary method of submitting these applications is now through an online portal.[6] Generally, applicants are subject to a medical examination[7] and additional checks as required for all permanent resident applications. Processing times for sponsoring dependent children varies depending on where the child is located, and is often subject to change.[8] If the application is approved, IRCC would send further instructions for how the applicant can confirm their permanent resident status and/or travel to Canada if necessary.[9]

Note that the information above is not intended to be legal advice, and while current as of the date of writing, is subject to change. If you would like to discuss your eligibility as a sponsor to apply to sponsor a dependent child for permanent residence in Canada, or wish to learn more information about the program, feel free to schedule a consultation with our office.