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Family Class Sponsorship

Happy Asian family.A Canadian citizen/permanent resident can sponsor his/her spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, or dependant child to immigrate to Canada as a permanent resident. Both the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet certain requirements to qualify. All applicants must go through medical, criminal and background screening.

In addition, a Canadian citizen/permanent resident may also sponsor his or her parent or grandparent. The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) announced important changes to the parent and grandparent category application process. Re-vamping their traditional first come, first serve model, they have now instituted a lottery system for the selection of applicants within this category. The new application processing system has similar elements of the Express Entry system with a government selection model and 90 days to submit completed application once “invited to apply”.  

From noon Eastern Standard Time (EST) on January 3, 2017, to noon EST on February 2, 2017, Canadian citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents or grandparents must first complete an online form advising of their interest in making a sponsorship application.

The form requires interested sponsor’s to submit basic personal information, such as name, address, date of birth, etc. Once the information has been submitted through the online form, the interested sponsor will receive a confirmation number.

After February 2, 2017, IRCC will be randomly inviting 10,000 interested sponsors to complete and submit full applications. Only those candidates who have been chosen will be invited to apply to the Parent and Grandparent sponsorship category.

The chosen interested sponsors will then have 90 days to submit their complete application to IRCC. Interested sponsors who are not selected in the 2017 lottery will have to re-submit their interest in the 2018 lottery.

Sponsors must be 18 years of age or older, have no outstanding sponsorship undertakings, immigration debts, court order debts and certain criminal issues, in prison or undeclared bankruptcy. Sponsoring a member of the family class also requires that sponsors promise to support them financially and in light of this, certain income requirements must be met.

There are two options for spouses, common-law or conjugal partner or dependant children who are living inside Canada to apply for permanent residence.  A sponsor can either submit an “In-Canada” spousal sponsorship or an “overseas” spousal sponsorship.  Both applications have different forms, processing times and associated rights.  It is therefore recommended that you obtain some legal advice to determine which application is right for you.

In the case of a dependant child, a son or daughter is considered ‘dependant’ if they are under the age of 19, or regardless of age, financially dependent on a parent due to a physical or mental condition.

The documentation requirements for sponsoring a spouse, same-sex spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependant child all differ.  It is therefore important to make sure that all documentation submitted is per the requirements of your specific case.

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Latest Immigration Court Decisions

For the latest immigration court decisions on sponsorship cases, please click here.


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