To promote family unity, Canada has established the reunion of families as its no.1 immigration priority. Canadian citizens or permanent residents, who are at least 18 years old, can sponsor the following categories of their relatives:
- Spouse/common-law partner
- Dependent children
- Parent and grandparent
- Remaining eligible relative
Spouse/common-law partner visa
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their spouse/common-law partner and their eligible dependent children. The applicant and his/her spouse must be legally married or the applicant must have been residing with his/her partner for a period of 1 year or more in an ongoing relationship. The applicant and his/her partner need to be in a genuine and continuing relationship and intend to live together in Canada.
The Canadian partner must be willing to live in Canada with the applicant once the visa is granted, and must be capable of supporting the applicant without accessing public funds. Once granted, the common-law partner will be given permanent residence and the right to join their sponsoring partner in Canada. The applicant is also required to agree to provide financial support for his/her spouse/partner for three (3) years and any dependent children for up to ten (10) years. Those who have previously sponsored relatives to come to Canada may need to satisfy additional requirements to be eligible to sponsor their spouse/partner.
You can apply to sponsor your same-sex partner as a spouse if you were married and issued a marriage certificate in a Canadian province or in the following jurisdictions: "Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, the State of California (June 16, 2008 - November 5, 2008), the State of Massachusetts, the State of New Hampshire, the State of Connecticut, the State of Iowa, the State of Vermont."
Dependent child visa
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their dependent children. A son or daughter is dependent when the child:
- is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner
- is a full-time student and is substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since before the age of 22, or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner (if this happened before age 22) or
- is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.
The sponsor parent must sign an undertaking to provide for the dependent child needs for the period of 10 years or until the child turns 25 years of age, whichever occurs earlier.
Parent and grandparent visa
Extended families are encouraged in Canada! In order to apply for the Parent and Grandparent visa, applicants must possess children or grandchildren with Canadian citizenship or permanent residence living in Canada willing to sponsor them and provide evidence of sufficient income. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicants basic needs for the duration of 10 years from the date the applicants arrive in Canada. As such, the applicant must show that their sponsors meet the required income levels so as to be able to provide for their needs during the undertaking period. In addition, the applicant is required to undergo health and character checks prior to his/her arrival.
Remaining relative visa to Canada
Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can apply to sponsor their brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
For Canadians with no immediate family relatives in Canada or abroad, the Remaining Relative Visa allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sponsor an extended relative from abroad. The Canadian sponsor must be willing to sponsor the remaining relative and provide evidence of sufficient income. The sponsor must also sign an undertaking to provide for all of the applicant needs for a specified period of time. As such, the applicant must show that their Canadian sponsor meets the income requirements to provide for their essential needs during the period of the undertaking. In addition, all applicants must meet the required visa requirements including health and character prior to their arrival to Canada.