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Family Sponsorship

Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible to sponsor your parents and grandparents, including those related by blood or adoption. Divorced parents and grandparents will need separate applications if they are sponsored. If your divorced parents or grandparents have a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, they can also immigrate to Canada with your parents and grandparents. Siblings, whether brothers or sisters, half-brothers or half-sisters, or step-brothers or step-sisters, can also be included in your application provided they meet the immigration regulations for dependent children.

Examples of people you can sponsor

Spousal sponsorship is a pathway for Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their legally married spouse for permanent residency in Canada. This process requires that the marriage be legally recognized both in the place it was performed and under Canadian law. It’s inclusive of all marriages, whether of opposite-sex or same-sex, as long as they meet legal standards.

Example: Sarah is a Canadian citizen living in Vancouver, and Chloe is from France. They met while Sarah was on vacation in France and, after long-distance dating, they decided to marry. They held their wedding ceremony in France, where same-sex marriage is legal. After the wedding, they obtained an official Marriage Certificate from the local French authorities. Once married, Sarah wishes to sponsor Chloe to come and live with her in Canada permanently. To do so, Sarah initiates the spousal sponsorship process. They submit their sponsorship application to the Canadian immigration authorities, including their French Marriage Certificate as proof of their marriage. Since France’s legal system recognizes their marriage and same-sex marriage is also legal and recognized in Canada, their marriage is considered valid for spousal sponsorship. With all other criteria met, Chloe can be sponsored by Sarah as her spouse for Canadian permanent residency. 

Examples of people you can sponsor

Sponsoring your mother and father together: You can sponsor your parents together if they’re married or in a common-law relationship. One of them (either your mother or father) must be designated as the principal applicant on the application. Another will be designated as a dependent. Once the application has been submitted, you cannot change the principal applicant. If you designate your mother as the principal applicant, your father will be the dependent. If you designate your father as the principal applicant, your mother will be the dependent. You can only include brothers and sisters if they qualify as dependent children. If they are older than the age limit or don’t meet all the requirements, they can’t be added to your application. 

Sponsoring your father, stepmother, and their son: You can sponsor your father, his spouse, and their son (your half-brother). Your father must be the principal applicant on the application, since he is related to you. Stepmothers cannot be the principal applicant. She will be listed as your father’s dependent. Your half-brother can be added as a dependent only if he qualifies as a dependent child.

Sponsoring your grandparents, your mother, and your stepfather: This would require two separate sponsorship applications: one per couple. You must designate one of your grandparents as the principal applicant (your grandmother or grandfather) and the other as a dependent. The parent or grandparent you designated as the principal applicant cannot be changed after the application has been submitted. If you designate your grandmother as the principal applicant, your grandfather will be the dependent, and vice versa. In your mother’s application, your mother must be the principal applicant, since she’s related to you. Her spouse cannot be the principal applicant. He will be listed as one of her dependents.

Who you can’t sponsor

You can’t sponsor your spouse’s parents or grandparents, known as your in-laws. However, you can support their sponsorship application by being a co-signer, meaning your spouse is the principal sponsor. Sponsorship is also not possible for inadmissible person (those who cannot come to Canada). 

Eligibility Requirements for Sponsoring Parents and Grand-Parents

Status: You must be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident.
Age: You need to be at least 18 years old to sponsor your parents or grandparents.
Financial Requirements: A key element is meeting minimum income requirements. If you’re married, the combined income of you and your spouse can be used to meet this threshold.
Sponsorship Agreement: As a sponsor, you will sign a sponsorship agreement. This contract obliges you to provide financial support to sponsored individuals if necessary. 
Residents of Quebec: If you live in Quebec, you need to sign an “undertaking” with the province, which is a formal contract binding the sponsorship.
Long-term financial commitment: You must commit to financially supporting your sponsored relatives for a period of 20 years from the date they become permanent residents of Canada.

You won't be able to sponsor your parents or grandparents if

Invitation: You haven’t received an invitation to apply.
Age: You’re under 18 years old.
Residence: You don’t live in Canada during the application process or when your parents or grandparents get permanent residence.
Status in Canada: You are not a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act. You are in Canada temporarily, on a student or work visa.
Income: Your proof of income shows you don’t have enough money for sponsorship.
You might also be disqualified because: 
Legal Troubles: You are in jail or haven’t repaid immigration loans, performance bonds, or family support payments like alimony or child support.
Financial Issues: You are bankrupt and haven’t settled it, and you are receiving social assistance for reasons other than disability.
Criminal Record: You have been convicted of a violent crime, a crime against a family member, or a sexual offense, whether in Canada or elsewhere.
Removal from Canada: You have been ordered to leave the country.

Historical Facts

Family class immigration has been a part of Canada’s immigration policy for several decades, emphasizing family unity. However, Canada’s immigration policies and priorities have changed significantly over the years. Here are some of the key changes with approximate years to give you a historical perspective:
2000s – Adjustments to Requirements: Throughout the early 2000s, there were adjustments in the eligibility criteria and financial requirements for sponsors to balance program demand with Canada’s capacity to integrate newcomers.
2011 – Application Caps: The government introduced application caps in 2011 to manage applications more effectively and reduce the backlog.
2014 – Introduction of Super Visa: While not a direct change to the sponsorship program, the introduction of the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa in 2011 provided an alternative for families to reunite temporarily, offering a multiple-entry visa valid for up to 10 years.
2017 – Switch to a Lottery System: In 2017, the government replaced the first-come, first-served approach with a lottery system to make the process fairer and more transparent.
2019 – Return to First-Come, First-Served, then Introduction of Interest to Sponsor Form: Due to criticisms of the lottery system, the program briefly returned to a first-come, first-served approach in early 2019. However, recognizing the challenges with this system, the government introduced the “Interest to Sponsor” form later in the year as a more efficient and fair way to manage application intake.
Annual Quotas: Every year, the government sets quotas for the number of parents and grandparents to be admitted. These quotas are adjusted based on various factors, including the overall immigration levels plan and the program’s capacity.

How Can X Can Help?

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

Comprehensive Support: From initial assessment to application submission and follow-up, Can X is with you at every step.

Transparent Communication: We keep you informed and confident throughout the process.

Ready to start your family sponsorship journey? Contact us today and let Can X bring your loved ones closer to you

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Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) about Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

Canadian citizens or permanent residents who are at least 18 years old and meet the minimum income requirements can sponsor their parents or grandparents.

Siblings can only be included in the application if they qualify as dependent children according to immigration regulations.

Sponsors must meet or exceed the minimum necessary income requirements for this program. If married, the combined income of the sponsor and their spouse can be used.

A sponsorship agreement is a contract that obliges the sponsor to provide financial support to their sponsored relatives if necessary. This is for 20 years from the date they become permanent residents.

You cannot directly sponsor your in-laws. However, you can support their application by being a co-signer if your spouse is the principal sponsor.

Having a criminal record, especially for violent crimes, crimes against family members, or sexual offenses, can disqualify the applicant from being sponsored.

Yes, the government sets annual PGP quotas. 

Yes, divorced parents or grandparents need separate applications if sponsored.

It’s a form used by the government to manage application intake in a fair and efficient manner. It’s part of the application process for sponsoring parents or grandparents.

Sponsors must commit to financially supporting their sponsored relatives for 20 years from the date they become permanent residents.

No, once the application has been submitted, the principal applicant designation cannot be changed.

Yes, sponsors living in Quebec must sign an “undertaking” with the province, which is a formal contract binding the sponsorship.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announces the opening of the Interest to Sponsor form on their website and through various communication channels.

After submitting the form, you will be entered into a pool of potential sponsors. If selected, you will receive an invitation to submit a full application to sponsor your parents or grandparents.

You must live in Canada during the application process and when your parents or grandparents become permanent residents. If you live abroad temporarily, such as for work or study, you may still be eligible. However, you must prove your intent to return to Canada.

You must maintain the minimum necessary income throughout the application process. If your financial situation changes, it could affect your sponsor eligibility.

In some cases, you may have the right to appeal the decision to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD) of the Immigration and Refugee Board. The refusal letter will specify if you have the right to appeal.

If you believe there was an error in your application processing, you can request reconsideration. However, this is not a formal appeal and does not guarantee that your application will be re-assessed.