Under the sponsorship programs, the sponsor signs an agreement binding him or her to give financial support for the basic needs of the sponsored person for the period of 3 to 20 years (depending on the relationship) from the day the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.
The sponsor must be a Canadian permanent resident or citizen of 18 years or older living in Canada.
There are several classes of sponsorship:
- Spouses, Common-Law Partners, and Conjugal Partners: to sponsor spouses, common-law partners or conjugal partners who live in or outside Canada
- Dependent Children: to sponsor dependent children who are under 22 years of age and do not have a spouse or partner as well as dependent children who are 22 years old or older who are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
- Parents and Grandparents: to sponsor parents and grandparents, as well as their dependent children, spouses or partners