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Family Sponsorship

Other Close Relative Sponsorship

In Canada’s family class sponsorship program, a range of close relatives may be eligible for sponsorship. This includes orphaned siblings, as well as nephews, nieces, and grandchildren who do not have a surviving parent or guardian. Additionally, in certain narrowly defined circumstances, Canadians may sponsor other relatives, whether connected by blood or through adoption. It’s important to note that these sponsorship categories are governed by very strict conditions. This ensures that the program is reserved for genuinely eligible family members in specific, often critical situations.

Eligibility requirements to sponsor a close relative

You can sponsor if you are at least 18 years old and:

  • A Canadian citizen, or
  • Registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, or
  • A permanent resident living in Canada.

If you live in Quebec, there are certain other requirements. After federal approval, you need to meet Quebec’s sponsorship requirements. This includes signing a special contract with the province called an “undertaking” to support your sponsored relatives.

You might not be eligible to sponsor a relative to Canada if:

  • You are currently in jail.
  • You have overdue alimony or child support payments.
  • You have filed for bankruptcy and have not yet been discharged.
  • You receive financial aid from the government, except due to a disability.
  • You have an outstanding immigration loan, or you have a history of late or missed loan repayments.
  • You previously sponsored a relative but did not adhere to the sponsorship agreement’s terms.
  • You were found guilty of a violent or sexual crime, or a crime against a family member. The decision may depend on the nature of the offence, how much time has passed since, and whether you received a record suspension (previously known as a pardon).

Your responsibilities as a sponsor

When you sponsor a relative to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must:

  • Support your relative financially when they arrive.
  • Be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as food, shelter, clothing.
  • Make sure your relative doesn’t need social assistance.
  • Agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them:
  • beginning on the date they become a permanent resident.
  • for up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you are related).
  • The person you sponsor must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves. This includes sponsored dependent children 18 or older. Dependent children under 19 do not have to sign this agreement.

Only very specific circumstances allow you to sponsor relatives like a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, or cousin. Use Come to Canada tool to find out if your family member meets the criteria below. There are 2 options for sponsoring people depending on your situation.

Sponsoring orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild

You can sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild only if they meet all of these conditions:

  • They are your blood or adoptive relatives.
  • They lost both their mother and father.
  • They are under the age of 18.
  • They are single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship).

You can’t sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if:

  • One of their parents is still alive.
  • No one knows where their parents are.
  • Their parents abandoned them.
  • Someone else other than their parents care for them while one or both of their parents are alive.
  • Their parent is in jail or otherwise detained.

Sponsoring other relative

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age, if you meet all of these conditions:

  • You don’t have a living relative you could sponsor instead, such as a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son or daughter, parent, grandparent, orphaned brother or sister, orphaned nephew or niece, orphaned grandchild.
  • You don’t have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, registered Indian under the Indian Act.
  • If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada, you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

Who can you not sponsor: You can not sponsor someone who is inadmissible to Canada. This means they are not allowed to come to Canada.

Examples of who you can sponsor?

Sponsoring an aunt

Veronica, a permanent resident of Canada without a spouse, children, or any close relatives in Canada, is considering sponsoring her aunt Betty for immigration. Since Veronica’s immediate family members (parents and grandparents) have passed away and she lacks close relatives in Canada, she’s eligible to sponsor her aunt. In her application, Betty will be the main applicant, with her husband as a dependent. Betty’s daughter may also be included if she meets the dependent child criteria. If not, she’ll need to immigrate separately.

Sponsoring a cousin

Sam, an only child raised by his cousin in the U.S., is now a single permanent resident in Canada with no close relatives in the country. He wishes to sponsor his cousin for immigration. Given Sam’s lack of immediate family members or relatives in Canada, he’s eligible to sponsor his cousin, who is also single.

Ineligibility to sponsor an aunt by barriage

Aba, a Canadian citizen, wanted to sponsor her aunt by marriage after her mother and uncle passed away. However, since her aunt is not a blood relative, Aba doesn’t meet sponsorship requirements.

Sponsoring a brother

Jake is a Canadian citizen living in Canada. He’s single, with no children, and both of his parents have died. Jake has a brother, Tom, living abroad. Tom is divorced and has custody of his young son. Since Jake has no immediate family in Canada and no other relatives to sponsor, he can sponsor Tom. Tom’s son can be included in the application as a dependent child, allowing the small family to reunite in Canada.

Ineligibility to sponsor a niece

Emma is a permanent resident in Canada. She’s married and has children. Her sister, living in another country, died, leaving behind a daughter, Mia. Emma wishes to sponsor Mia. However, since Emma has immediate family members in Canada (spouse and children) and Mia is not considered an immediate family member under Canadian immigration law, Emma cannot sponsor her niece directly. 

Sponsoring a Grandparent

Liam, a Canadian citizen living alone in Canada, lost his parents in an accident. His only surviving relatives are his grandparents, who reside abroad. Canadian immigration policies prioritize family reunification, allowing Liam to sponsor his grandparents. This is possible because Liam has no other relatives in Canada and no immediate family members to sponsor.

These examples highlight various scenarios for sponsoring relatives for immigration to Canada. Remember, each case is unique, and it’s crucial to consult with immigration experts or refer to official Canadian immigration resources for specific guidance.

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Expertise and Experience: Our team is equipped to handle any aspect of family sponsorship.

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about Other Close Relative Sponsorship

A relative of any age can be sponsored if you have no spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son, daughter, parent, grandparent, orphaned brother or sister, orphaned nephew or niece, or orphaned grandchild living. You and the relative you wish to sponsor should not have any living relatives who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or registered Indians.

Yes, you can sponsor an orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they are under 18, not married or in a common-law relationship, and both of their parents are deceased.

As a sponsor, you must provide financial support for your relative’s basic needs, ensure they do not need social assistance, and commit to a period of financial support which can be up to 20 years depending on their age and your relationship.

Yes, you cannot sponsor if you are in jail, have overdue alimony or child support payments, have filed for bankruptcy and are not discharged, receive government financial aid (except for disability), have an outstanding immigration loan or a history of missed loan repayments, failed to adhere to a sponsorship agreement’s terms, or have been found guilty of certain crimes.

You can sponsor an aunt or uncle only if you have no living spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, son, daughter, parent, grandparent, orphaned sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild, and no relatives who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or registered Indians.

It may be possible, depending on the nature of the offence, how much time has passed, and whether you received a record suspension (previously known as a pardon). However, you cannot sponsor someone inadmissible to Canada, including those with certain criminal records.

While there’s no specific minimum income requirement, you must prove that you can meet the basic needs for yourself and your relative, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Yes, if you’re sponsoring a relative like a brother or sister, and they have a spouse, partner, or dependent children, they must be included on the same sponsorship application.

You’re financially responsible for the relative you sponsor for up to 20 years, depending on their age and your relationship with them.

If your circumstances change (e.g., job loss, illness), you’re still legally responsible for financially supporting your sponsored relative for the duration of the sponsorship period.

You cannot sponsor a relative if you receive financial aid from the government, except if it’s due to a disability.

Your obligation as a sponsor remains even if the relative decides not to live with you.

It’s possible to withdraw your sponsorship application before your relative becomes a permanent resident, but certain conditions and procedures must be followed.

You may need to provide official documents, such as death certificates or legal documents, to prove the absence of living relatives who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or registered Indians.