Family Sponsorships for Immigration to Canada: A Road to Permanent Residence

Family Class Immigration in Canada is one way for people to immigrate to Canada. In order to do so, they must have a relative in Canada that is a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. This relative will then sponsor the immigrant.

A sponsor’s relation to the immigrant is important, and can include:

  • A spouse
  • A parent
  • A grandparent
  • A dependent child
  • An orphaned, unmarried brother, sister, nephew or niece that is under the age of 19
  • In some cases, a relative who doesn’t have any of the listed above.

The sponsor has specific responsibilities, including having the means to support the immigrant in Canada. The sponsor must be able to prove to the Canadian government that they are able to do so, and will have to submit proof of their income and financial obligations. The sponsor will also sign a Sponsorship Agreement, which means that they promise to provide for and support the immigrant – this agreement is binding and violating it could mean trouble for the sponsor.

Deciding to Sponsor an Immigrant?

Sponsorship is a great way to reunite family members in Canada, but it is still a big decision.

For example, last year a man in Canada who was looking to sponsor his new wife after divorcing his ex-wife found himself in a difficult situation. He had sponsored his ex-wife, but upon divorce she went on welfare. Because he was responsible for supporting her through sponsorship, he was on the hook for all of the money his wife had collected on welfare: tens of thousands of dollars. The complete story is available here

This isn’t meant to be a discouraging horror story, but is meant to instead show how seriously spousal sponsorship and other sponsorship through the Canadian Immigration Family Class should be taken. For more information, discuss your Canadian Family Class and sponsorship options with a qualified immigration lawyer.

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Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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