Toronto: Every year, Canada welcomes over 100,000 family class immigrants. It is well known that the majority of these immigrants enter through the Spouses, Partners, and Children category, with a smaller proportion entering through the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP).
The rules for sponsoring additional family members are less well known. However, keep in mind that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) does allow you to sponsor other family members in very limited circumstances.
Those 18 and older who are Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or are registered under Canada’s Indian Act may sponsor their family for Canadian permanent residence. The majority of people sponsor their spouse, partner, parents, or grandparents. There are two other people you can sponsor.
Orphaned siblings, siblings, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren
According to IRCC, you can sponsor an orphaned sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild if you meet all of the following requirements:
- They are a blood relative or an adopted relative of yours.
- Both of their parents died.
- They are under the age of 18.
- They are not married, have a common-law or conjugal relationship, or are in a common-law or conjugal relationship.
IRCC, on the other hand, states that you cannot sponsor this family member if any of the following conditions apply:
- They still have a living parent.
- Their parents’ whereabouts are unknown.
- Their parents abandoned them.
- While one or both of their parents are still alive, they are being cared for by someone else.
- Their parents are imprisoned or otherwise detained.
Another option is to sponsor one blood or adoption relative of any age, as long as all of the following conditions are met:
- If the sponsor (a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered under Canada’s Indian Act) does not have a living relative, such as a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent, grandparent, or orphaned brother/sister/nephew/niece/grandchild, you may sponsor them instead.
- The sponsor does not have any Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or are registered under the Indian Act.
If the relative you are sponsoring has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who wish to visit Canada, you must include them on the same sponsorship application.
How to use
The sponsorship application process consists of two steps. You apply to sponsor your relatives, and they apply to stay in the country permanently. Both applications must be submitted to IRCC at the same time.
The IRCC provides the following instructions for preparing and submitting your application:
- Confirm that you and your relatives meet the eligibility requirements.
- Carefully read the application guides.
- Include all the requested documents and evidence in your application. You will be required to submit proof of income and sign legal declarations such as committing to financially support your relative upon their arrival in Canada.
- When answering all questions, be truthful.
- Pay the appropriate fees.
- Check that your relatives and their close family (if applicable) have completed the necessary health and security checks.
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