Family Class Sponsorship

A Canadian citizen or resident is able to sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, dependent children or any other eligible relative for permanent resident status in Canada. Two different processes exist, one for sponsoring a spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, or dependent children, and one for any other eligible relative.

The first stage of both processes is the application of the sponsor. To be a sponsor, and individual must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, must be at least 18 years old, and must meet a number of eligibility conditions (see the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for further details).  The sponsor must also sign a sponsorship agreement stating that he or she has sufficient financial resources to support the applicant(s) being sponsored and will provide that support during the term of the agreement.  The period of this support commitment will vary depending upon the nature of the sponsorship, from a promise of support for a period of three years for a sponsored spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, to a period of ten years for a dependent child or other eligible relative.

A spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children can apply for sponsorship from abroad or within Canada.

All applicants to be a sponsor or applicant for permanent resident status must be in good health, have no criminal background, and cannot represent a danger to the security of Canada.

Parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, granddaughters and grandsons who are orphaned, less than 18 years old, and not married or in a common-law relationship, can be sponsored as an eligible relative. Their accompanying relatives, such a spouse, can also be sponsored.   Other relatives may also apply to be sponsored, but only under specific conditions.

Since October 25, 2012, sponsored spouses or partners must live together in a legitimate relationship with their sponsor for two years from the date that they receive permanent residence status in Canada.  This condition applies only if the sponsor and the sponsored spouse or partner have been in a relationship for two years or less or have no children in common..

More information about the two family sponsorship processes is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website: