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How To Immigrate Through Canada Family Class Sponsorship

If you have a family member living in Canada, you may be eligible to be sponsored to become a Canadian permanent resident. Fill out our immigration assessment form and we’ll get back to you to discuss your eligibility and options.

Interested in moving to Canada?
Fill out our immigration assessment form today.

What Is Canadian Family Sponsorship: Family Sponsorship Process

Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents of Canada. You can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada if you’re at least 18 years old and a:

  • Canadian citizen or,
  • person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or,
  • permanent resident of Canada


Once the IRCC has received your PR immigration application, you will receive an Acknowledgment of Receipt also known as an AOR. This AOR is a confirmation that your application file has been created. You may also be referred to an “AOR date” which is the date from when your 6 months intended processing time begins.

Who is Eligible for Family Immigration to Canada?

Family sponsorship is a way to reunite families in Canada. In fact, the Canadian government believes in keeping families together, and prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications. There are many options for family members that are Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor a family member living abroad, to become a permanent resident in Canada.

Who Can I Sponsor?

What Are the Income Requirements to Sponsor a Family Member?

As a sponsor, you must enter into a Sponsorship Agreement with your sponsored family member. By signing this agreement, you commit to providing financial support for their basic needs, including food, clothing, shelter, and health needs not covered by public health services.

In certain sponsorship cases, you will also need to meet or exceed the Low Income Cut-off (LICO) if:

  • You are sponsoring a spouse or partner who has a dependent child, and that dependent child has one or more children of their own.
  • You are sponsoring a dependent child who has one or more dependent children of their own.
  • You are sponsoring a parent or grandparent.

Requirements for a Sponsor Interested in Living in Canada

In addition to being a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the sponsor must also fulfill a few other requirements in order to be eligible.

The sponsor must:

  1. Prove that they will be able to financially support their family member and any dependent, if necessary
  2. Enter into an agreement with the Government of Canada or Quebec, as well as the sponsored relative, where the sponsor will agree to support the family member for a certain amount of time. The sponsored relative must make an effort to support themselves, as well.
  3. Either reside in Canada prove their intention to live in Canada when the sponsored relative arrives in Canada
  4. Be at least 18 years old
  5. Not be incarcerated or charged with a serious offence
  6. Not be bankrupt
  7. Not be under a removal order if a Permanent Resident

How to Apply for Family Sponsorship

Applying for family sponsorship in Canada involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Check your eligibility: Ensure you meet the requirements to be a sponsor and that your family members meet the criteria to be sponsored.

  2. Complete the application package: Download the application package from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. Fill out all forms accurately and completely.

  3. Gather required documents: Collect all necessary supporting documents, such as proof of relationship, identity documents, and financial information.

  4. Submit the application: Send the completed application package along with the required documents to the appropriate processing center. The address can be found in the application guide.

  5. Pay the fees: Pay the processing fees for the sponsorship application and, if applicable, for the permanent residence application of the family member(s) you are sponsoring.

  6. Wait for processing: The processing time can vary depending on various factors, such as the type of sponsorship and the number of applications being processed.

  7. Attend interviews and provide additional information: You or your family member(s) may be asked to attend interviews or provide additional information during the processing of the application.

  8. Receive a decision: Once the application is processed, you will receive a decision on whether the sponsorship application has been approved.

  9. Complete the landing process: If the application is approved, your family member(s) can complete the landing process to become permanent residents of Canada.

It’s important to note that the process and requirements may vary depending on the specific family sponsorship category you are applying under (see below).

Flag Icon Family Class Sponsorship for Canada


# of Immigrants Receiving PR Through Family Sponsorship


105,000 - 130,000


107,000 - 135,000


107,000 - 135,000

Sponsor Your Spouse or Common Law Partner

The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category. Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a husband, wife, or common-law partner for Canadian permanent residence.

If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada you may sponsor:

  • your spouse (you are legally married)
  • common-law partner (you are not legally married but have been living together for at least 12 months in a conjugal relationship).
  • conjugal partner (you are not legally married or in a common-law relationship and they are living outside Canada)

To be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, you must:

  • be 18 years of age, a Canadian permanent resident living in Canada or a Canadian citizen,
  • demonstrate that you can provide for the basic needs of yourself and your spouse or partner,
  • Prove your relationship with the sponsored person is genuine by providing supporting documentation.

To be eligible for spousal or common-law partner sponsorship, the sponsored person must:

  • be at least 18 years of age and not too closely related to you.

Sponsor Your Children to Canada

You have the opportunity to sponsor your dependent children, whether they are biological or adopted, to reside permanently with you in Canada.

Children must meet the following definition of a dependent child to be eligible for sponsorship:

  • A child is considered a dependent if he or she is not married or in a common-law relationship and is under 22 years of age.
  • If a child is over 22 years of age, they may be considered a dependent if they have a physical or mental condition that prevents them from being able to support themselves.

To be eligible under this program, you:

  • and your child abroad must be approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to receive a visa,
  • must prove your relationship with the child you are sponsoring, either by a birth or adoption certificate.

Sponsor Your Parents and Grandparents to Canada

The Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship Program (PGP) and the Super Visa Program are initiatives that allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their parents and grandparents to Canada.

To qualify for the Parents and Grandparents Program, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Canada.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Be the child or grandchild of the individual(s) you are sponsoring.
  • Meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) for your family size and provide Canada Revenue Agency notices of assessment as proof.
  • Sign a sponsorship agreement committing to support your family member(s) for 20 years.
  • Sign an additional agreement if you reside in Quebec.

Your spouse or common-law partner can co-sign the undertaking to help you meet the income requirement.

If a co-signer is assisting you in meeting the MNI requirements, they must also meet the same eligibility criteria as the sponsor. Additionally, the co-signer must:

  • Not be the person being sponsored.
  • Have lived with you in a conjugal relationship for at least one year.

What If My Family Sponsorship Application Is Refused?

If your application for sponsorship is refused, you can appeal the case to the Immigration Adjudication Division (IAD) within 30 days of the refusal. IAD appeals are lengthy, costly and by no means guaranteed. If your case was refused, you should contact a lawyer immediately in order to ensure your appeal is filed on time.

What Does “Essential Needs” Mean?

When agreeing to provide for a family member’s “essential needs”, the sponsor must take care of basic requirements of everyday living (eg. food, clothing, shelter), and health needs not covered by public health services (eg. dental and eye care)

How Long Will The Sponsorship Application Process Take?

This will depend on to which Canadian Immigration Visa Office the application was forwarded, and the type of family member sponsored. Spouses, common-law partners and dependent children are priorities, and can take about a month, whereas parents and grandparents can take more than three years.

How Long Do I Need to Financially Provide for My Sponsor?

Can The Undertaking of a Sponsor Be Changed or Revoked?

The sponsor cannot terminate or modify the undertaking after the Sponsored family members are in Canada.

How Many Relatives Can I Sponsor to Canada?

There is no limit to the number of eligible family members a Canadian permanent resident or citizen may sponsor. Applicants must submit separate applications for each qualified family member being sponsored.

Do I Need a Job to Sponsor a Family Member in Canada?

To sponsor a family member other than a spouse or partner, candidates must complete the MNI standards. While a job is not required, sponsors must present proof of adequate income for the previous three years to sustain their sponsored family members.

Who Can't Sponsor a Family Member to Canada?

In a few instances, a permanent resident or citizen cannot sponsor another person. If any of the following scenarios apply, a sponsor may be ineligible:

  • if you have not paid alimony or child support
  • if you are currently in prison
  • if you have declared bankruptcy and not yet been freed
  • if you have received social assistance for reasons other than disability
  • if you have failed to repay an immigration loan, or have made late or missed payments, please contact us
  • if you have previously sponsored another relative and failed to satisfy the requirements of the sponsorship agreement
  • if you have been convicted of a violent crime, offense against a relative, or sexual offense, depending on the facts of your case, you may not be eligible for sponsorship

Why Legal Help for Family Sponsorship is Important

Although the government prioritizes the processing of sponsorship applications, being successful is by no means a given. All of the requirements must be met, and even the slightest error on an application can lead to a refusal. In order to take advantage of this great opportunity, individuals should enlist the help of a legal professional who knows how to send a package that will provide an applicant with the best chance to be sponsored.

Why Hire Us to Assist Your Canadian Family Sponsorship Case?

With over 15 years of experience specializing in helping to reunite families from across the world, we know what immigration officers are looking for when reviewing a sponsorship application. We have helped thousands of individuals to successfully get Canadian permanent residence through family sponsorship, and we can help you too!

Interested in Moving to Canada?

Fill out our immigration assessment form today.