Canadian sponsorship programs allow Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor and bring family members to Canada. Sponsoring means to give financial support for the basic needs of the sponsored person (including food, clothes, shelter, and other everyday needs).
If you are sponsoring your dependent child or a dependent child of your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, you must submit an application under the Family Class. These applications are processed outside Canada.
You can also include in the application your brothers and sisters, or half brothers and sisters, if they qualify as dependent children.
Length of Undertaking
If you are sponsoring a dependent child under 22 years of age, the length of undertaking is 10 years from the day the child becomes a permanent resident or until the child becomes 22 years old, whichever comes first.
If you are sponsoring a dependent child over 22 years of age, the length of undertaking is 3 years from the day the child becomes a permanent resident.
In Quebec, you are sponsoring a dependent child under 16 years of age, the length of undertaking is 10 years or until the child becomes 18 years old, whichever is longer. And if you are sponsoring a dependent child over 16 years of age, the length of undertaking is 3 years or until the age of 25, whichever is longer.
Eligibility of a Sponsor
You can become a sponsor if you are:
- At least 18 years old
- A Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
- Living in Canada. If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, he must show the plans to live in Canada when the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident. Canadian citizens travelling as tourists are not considered to be living abroad. Permanent residents living abroad cannot sponsor from outside of Canada
- Not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
- Can provide for the basic needs of the sponsored person. If a dependent child also has one or more dependent children of their own, the sponsor must meet a minimum low-income-cut-off (LICO) score. There may be different requirements in Quebec
You cannot be a sponsor if you:
- Are financially unreliable (have failed to pay an immigration loan, performance bond or family support payments, have failed to provide for the basic needs of a previously-sponsored person or is going through the process of bankruptcy)
- Have criminal records (are in a penitentiary or jail, were convicted of committing, attempting or threatening to commit a violent or sexual offence, or an offence causing bodily harm to a family member)
- Are under a removal order
- Receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
Eligibility of a Sponsored Person
To be eligible as a sponsored person, your child or the child of your spouse or partner must meet the following requirements:
- Be a dependant:
— A child can be considered a dependent child if he is under 22 years old and does not have a spouse or common-law partner
— Children of 22 years old or older qualify as dependants if they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22 and are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
- Not be a Canadian citizen. If you have a child who was born after you became a Canadian citizen, or your child was born in Canada, they might be a Canadian citizen, and Canadian citizens can’t be sponsored
Documents and Fees
To sponsor a dependent child, you need to submit identity documents (travel documents, passports, and birth certificates), biometrics, and medical exam results. The complete list of documents depends on the country of origin.
To sponsor a dependent child, the sponsor pays C$150 per child including the sponsorship fee (C$75) and processing fee (C$75). To include any dependent child on an application made by a dependent child or overage dependent child, the C$150 processing fee is paid.
In Quebec, the sponsor pays C$284 for the first sponsored child and C$114 for each additional child.
There is also the biometrics fees (C$85 per person, totalling C$170 for families applying at the same time).
Learn more about sponsorship programs in the article “Sponsor”.