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Sponsoring Family and Relatives in Canada

Sponsoring Family and Relatives in Canada


By Gin Aguilar

It used to be just a dream, but here you are, and you made it! You were able to successfully migrate to Canada and finally got your Canadian citizenship or permanent residency status. And now you are thinking about how perfect life will be if you are with your family and relatives, wishing they can join you in this lovely maple leaf country. Despair not, in this article, we will provide you the information and everything you need to know with regards to your eligibility for sponsorship and who are the family or relatives you may sponsor to immigrate to Canada.

What basic information do you need to know?

Admit it, living alone is not fun. Good thing is, you may be able to sponsor certain relatives to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen, or
  • Permanent resident (PR) of Canada, or
  • A person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

If you are truly decided to sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident (PR), you must:

  • Financially support your relative once they arrive
  • Be able to meet basic needs for yourself and your relatives, such as food, housing and clothing
  • Ensure that your relative does not need social assistance

Are you qualified to sponsor?

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

  • At least 18 years old
  • A Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident (PR) of Canada, or registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • Meet set income guidelines by the Government of Canada
  • Agree in writing to give financial support to your eligible relatives
  • From the date, they become a permanent resident
  • For up to 20 years (depending on their age and how you are related)

The relative you are sponsoring must sign an agreement saying they will make the effort to support themselves. This agreement includes sponsored dependent children 18 years old and older.

Who is not qualified to sponsor a relative?

You may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • are in prison
  • have not paid your alimony or have not provided child support payments
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been cleared out yet
  • got social assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments
  • sponsored another relative in the past and didn’t meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement, were convicted of a violent crime or any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as:
  • the type of offence
  • how long ago when the offence happened
  • whether a record suspension or pardon was issued in Canada

Who are the relatives you can sponsor?

Depending on the circumstances, the relatives you may sponsor may either be your:

(1) Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild

You may sponsor your orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild ONLY if they meet ALL of the listed conditions:

a. They are related to you by blood or by adoption
b. Both their mother and father passed away (they are orphans)
c. They are under 18 years of age
d. They are single (not married or in a common-law or conjugal relationship)

However, please take note that you CANNOT sponsor your brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild if:

a. One of their parents is still alive
b. No one knows where their parents are
c. They have been abandoned by their parents
d. Somebody else other than their parents are taking care of them while one or both their parents are alive
e. Any of the parents is in jail or otherwise detained

(2) Other relative

You may sponsor ONE relative, related by blood or by adoption, of any age, if you meet ALL of the following conditions:

a. You (the possible sponsor) DO NOT have a living relative you could sponsor such as your:

  • spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner
  • son or daughter
  • parent
  • grandparent
  • orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece or grandchild

b.You (the possible sponsor) do not have any relatives (aunt or uncle or any of the relatives listed above), who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act

Kindly take note that if the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, common-law partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada, you must also list them on the same sponsorship application.

Interested to sponsor your family and relatives? Our immigration lawyers and consultants at JCA LAW OFFICE can guide and assist you every step of the way. You may reach us at (Phone): 1-855-522-5290 (Mobile): 1-647-367-1634 (Email):

About The Author

Gin Aguilar

Evangeline, or more known as “Gin” to her family and close friends, is a Certified Public Accountant (Philippines) with more than 15 years of work experience in the field of Finance, Banking and Project Management. Prior to migrating to Toronto, Canada with her family in 2012, Gin was a Team Lead at Deutsche Bank (DB) Professional Shared Services in the Philippines for several years, which gave her the opportunity to be internationally trained at DB offices in Singapore, London, and New York. She worked for almost seven years as a Project Controller and Business Manager at Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) before eventually deciding to pursue her passion – to write and blog, and assist husband Jake in the day-to-day activities in JCA LAW office.

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