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How To Apply for A Canadian Family Sponsorship Visa

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Photo by Dennis Rochel on Unsplash

Canadian immigration family sponsorship visa

The Canadian family sponsorship visa class is the second largest category of newcomers under Canada’s Immigration Levels Plan.

The Canada Family class visa allows applicants, permanent residents, or citizens of Canada to reunite with their happy family in Canada. Under this visa class, you can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent or adopted child, parent or grandparent, or other eligible relative for Canadian permanent residence.

To apply, both the sponsor and the person sponsored need to meet the necessary eligibility criteria.

How do I become a sponsor?

  1. Ensure that you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
  2. You are at least 18 years old or above at the time of the application.
  3. As a sponsor, you will be responsible for your family member’s basic needs, including food, shelter, and healthcare a specific period.
  4. Prepare the necessary documents to prove your status in Canada, your family relationship, and your ability to support them.
  5. Complete the application form and submit it to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Along with supporting documents and paying the required fees.
  6. When your sponsorship application gets approved and receive a Sponsor letter, you must fulfill your obligations by supporting your family members as agreed upon during the application process.

Who can I sponsor in Canada?

Through the Canadian family visa programs you are allowed to sponsor the following eligible individuals: your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner who is at least 18 years old. Dependent children, parents or grandchildren, or adopted children. The person sponsored must pass background, security, and medical checks.

Here are the Requirements for each individual you can through the Sponsorship Programs;

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Spouse or common-law partner

The visa application gets processed within a period of 12 months.

You can sponsor if:

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  1. They are 18 years or above and you are legally married to your spouse.
  2. You can prove that your relationship with your spouse is genuine and not entered into for only immigration.
  3. For common law, the relationship should be for at least a year, before you can apply.
  4. Both the sponsor and the sponsored spouse must undergo medical examinations and provide police certificates to ensure they fulfill the health and security requirements.
  5. You will need to sign an undertaking agreement with the Canadian government. This agreement is legally binding.
  6. You can give proof of your common-law relationship by showing you have shared property or you share a lease or you pay utility bills together.

Conjugal partner

To sponsor your conjugal partner to Canada:

  1. Your Conjugal partner must not be married or in a common-law relationship with you. And is at least 18 years or above.
  2. They live outside Canada.
  3. Both you and your Conjugal partner must have maintained a conjugal relationship for at least a year and be characterized by financial, social, emotional, and physical interdependence.

It is important for you to know that Conjugal partnerships are relevant to the family class in immigration applications and are considered when marriage or common-law partner status is impossible due to various factors.

Dependent children

  • In order to sponsor your child or the child of a spouse/partner if they fulfill these criteria:
  • They are under 22 years old.
  • They are not married or have a common-law partner.
  • If they are 22 years or above, they can still be considered dependent if:
  • They are mentally or physically deprived preventing them from surviving on their own.
  • They have been financially dependent on you before the 22

Take note:

  • If you are only sponsoring your child (not a spouse or partner), the child is the principal applicant. You will have to prove that the other parent (your spouse or partner) also agrees to immigrate the child
  • The child becomes dependent if you are sponsoring both your spouse/partner and their child (or a child you had together), your spouse/partner becomes the principal applicant.
  • Include the child of your child if they have, and list them as dependents in the application.

Parent or grandparent

To be able to sponsor your parent or grandparent, you have to;

  1. Submit an interest to sponsor form to inform IRCC of your intention to sponsor your parent or grandparent. it is done within a limited period of time. Which is at the beginning of the year
  2. You need to fill out an online application. The application period usually opens for a short amount of time each year.
  3. You need to provide proof of income that demonstrates you have the required Minimum Income.
  4. You must be able to prove that your relationship with your parent or grandparent is genuine.

Note; Sponsorship for parents and grandparents is very competitive due to the limited number of available spots each year. So make sure you check their official IRCC website to get up-to-date information on when to apply.

Grandparents and parents who also wish to live as visitors in Canada may be eligible for the Super Visa, which will allow them to stay for five years without the need to renew their status.

The application will be processed at the Canadian visa office. Applicants need to do medical tests. Instructions will be provided by the Canadian visa office after your application is submitted.

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Relatives or adopted child

You can sponsor your relative or adopted child if:

  1. The sponsor must be at least 18 years of age and is a citizen or permanent resident of Canada.
  2. The sponsored person must be related to the sponsor in some way. The connection must be through blood or adoption.
  3. The sponsor must show a sincere bond with the relative by providing proof of the relationship.
  4. A contract stating the sponsor’s promise to provide financial help to the sponsored person for a specified time is required and proves that they are not collecting any social assistance (except disability).
  5. You can only sponsor your siblings, aunts, or uncles under specific conditions;
  6. If you have no other qualified family members to sponsor
  7. If the relative you wish to sponsor has no family members who are citizens or has a permanent resident.

Requirements for applying for a Canadian family sponsorship visa

To be able to apply for a Family visa in Canada, the following requirement must be fulfilled:

1)      The main requirements:

The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or an Indian Act registered person, 18 years of age or older, and has a permanent resident in Canada. The sponsor should also be 18 years or above but does not live or have a permanent residence in Canada.

2)      Other requirements include:

  • Documents Required: The sponsor must provide all relevant documents necessary for a Canada family visa application, like your identification, familial relationship, application form, financial support proofs, etc.
  • Fees: The Canadian government requires payment of sponsorship and processing fees for Family Class applications. The sponsor is to pay a fee for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee for every sponsored relative who is not a dependent child. This fee is usually refunded if the application is refused. Other fees include processing fees, biometric fees,s, etc.
  • Sponsorship agreement: The sponsor must agree to financially support their sponsored family member in a situation where their relative cannot provide for themselves. This is to ensure that they will not require government assistance. The period of financial support depends on the person being sponsored.
  • Medical exam and Police Certificates: The sponsored individual is required to submit the results of a medical exam at the time of application, including biometrics for applicants from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. And a police certificate from the country where they have lived or any country where they have resided for more than 6 months.
  • Undertaking and Co-applicant in Family Sponsorship Applications: When sponsoring a family member, the Sponsor must sign an undertaking promising to take care of all the basic requirements and provide financial support for those relatives and family members.
  • Quebec Requirements: Quebec has additional requirements for a family sponsorship visa after federal requirements are fulfilled. After applying for a sponsorship family visa, the sponsors living in Quebec will receive a sample letter with instructions to submit a special agreement to the Quebec government.

Procedures for applying for a Canadian family sponsorship visa

To apply for a Canadian Family Sponsorship visa, the following procedures must be observed

  1. The sponsor must provide the relevant documentation, like your identification, familial relationship, and financial support proofs.
  2. The sponsor should fill in the online sponsorship application. A Document Checklist must be submitted with the online application with the Canada Family sponsorship letter for the visa itself.
  3. Submit the completed application and all the necessary documents online. Make sure all information provided is accurate and up-to-date.
  4. Pay all the required sponsorship fees, which include the processing fee, information fee, and the fee for the right to permanent residence.
  5. After submitting the application and paying the fees, immigration officials will examine it. The waiting period will depend on the type of sponsorship and other conditions.
  6. The sponsored family member can apply for permanent residency when their sponsorship application is granted. The necessary paperwork and payment must be uploaded online with the application form.
  7. Both the sponsor and the family member must undergo medical exams and present police certifications to fulfill the standards for health and security.
  8. Receiving the Canada visa approval letter to inform you and the sponsor that your visa has been approved.

Circumstances that could prevent a sponsor from sponsoring

The sponsorship procedure is very competitive, and there are certain conditions that could prevent you from sponsoring a family member. Here are circumstances that could prevent you from sponsoring a relative to Canada:

  1. Having a criminal record or Being in prison
  2. Having a history of certain offenses
  3. Not paying child support or alimony
  4. Being ineligible to sponsor; due to age or financial difficulty
  5. Being ineligible to be sponsored
  6. Having undeclared family members
  7. Receiving social assistance other than for a disability
  8. Being a permanent resident living outside of Canada
  9. Have not yet paid back immigration loans, or is missing payments
  10. Have failed to fulfill the terms after bringing a sponsored
  11. Have sponsored a previous spouse or partner who has not been a permanent resident for more than 3 years
  12. Were sponsored and became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago.

These are some common examples and there may be other factors that could affect eligibility for sponsorship not listed above. You can also consult the official IRCC website to know more about what can prevent you from acquiring a Family Sponsorship visa.

In general, the family sponsorship visa procedure requires careful preparation which includes;

  • Fulfilling the required eligibility criteria
  • Providing the necessary documents and following the instructions provided in the application kit.
  • Undergoing medical and criminal background checks as part of the application process.
  • Put a tracker and stay updated on any extra requirements or requests
  • Responding promptly when requested

Remember, it is very important to regularly check the official IRCC website to get correct and up-to-date info about Canadian Family Sponsorship visa application processes.

Frequently asked questions

  • Who can be listed in a sponsored application for a Canada immigration visa?

Answer: When applying for a Canadian immigration visa, the sponsored person’s application may include their spouse, common-law partner, and dependent children. In rare cases, children of dependent children are listed. Other eligible family members: parents or grandparents may be sponsored under specific programs.

  • How long does it take to sponsor a family to Canada?

Answer: The processing time it takes to sponsor a family to Canada can differ due to various reasons such as the type of sponsorship, the country of residence, and the completeness of the application. On average, it takes an average of 12 to 24 months to complete the sponsorship process.

  • What does “IRCC” mean?

Answer: IRCC stands for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. It is responsible for managing immigration and citizenship matters in Canada.

  • Can I sponsor someone a distant relative?

Answer: Yes, you can sponsor someone who is not your immediate family member through different sponsorship programs in Canada. However, the eligibility, requirements, and processing period will differ depending on the program.

  • How much is needed to sponsor a relative in Canada?

Answer: The minimum income required to sponsor a family member in Canada depends on the size and the number of persons you are sponsoring. The exact amount may differ, so it is best you consult the IRCC website.

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