Canada can take pride in one of the most beneficent family reunification programs in the world. If you are a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada and at least 18 years old, you may apply for the Family Class, which allows you to sponsor your spouse, children, parents or grandparents. However, remember that the program only allows certain relatives to immigrate. You cannot sponsor nor be sponsored by a sibling, cousin, nephew, niece or close friend. Moreover, engagements provide no status in Canada. That means you must be married or in a common-law relationship if you want to bring your partner. Also, you can sponsor your children only if they are less than 19 years old.
In order to be considered eligible for sponsoring a relative:
- You must be able to provide financial aid for your family for up to 10 years, depending on their age and the type of relationship you have.
- The person you are sponsoring must commit to trying to support themselves unless they are under 19.
- If you live in Quebec, you will have to follow an additional guideline.
The next step is to determine if your relatives are eligible to immigrate to Canada. In this regard, they will undergo medical, criminal and background checks. Once you are convinced that you are both eligible, you can continue the process, by paying the application fees.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada accepts a limited number of annual applications so try not to worry if you cannot submit yours right now. Also, take into account that processing the application can take up to two months and considerable longer in case you are sponsoring your parents or grandparents.
Another thing to consider is that if you have a spouse, partner or child at the time you become a permanent resident in Canada, you have the obligation to tell the immigration authorities. Not only that sponsoring them later on will be almost impossible, but concealing this fact can have repercussions on your own status in Canada.
Want to start a new life in Canada?