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Who Can Sponsor an Immigrant to Canada? [Updated for 2020]

Under the Family Class immigration category, citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their relatives, including foreign spouses, partners, dependent children, parents, or grandparents for immigration to Canada. The Canadian government makes family reunification an important goal, and over the next three years, the country will welcome over 260,000 people who will be reunited with their family in Canada.



Who Can Sponsor an Immigrant to Canada?

A person can become a sponsor if:

  • They are at least 18 years old;
  • They are a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act,
  • They can prove they are financially able to assist the sponsored person(s); and
  • They have enough income to provide for basic needs of dependent children of the principal applicant.


Who Cannot Sponsor an Immigrant to Canada?

 Certain people cannot sponsor immigrants to Canada:

  • People who failed to pay an immigration loan, a performance bond, or family support payments;
  • People who have not been able to provide for the basic needs of previously-sponsored relatives who received social assistance from the government;
  • People who are under an immigration removal order;
  • People who are incarcerated;
  • Those who receive social assistance (unless they are disabled), or who are going through bankruptcy;
  • People who were sponsored by a spouse or partner who became a permanent resident less than five years ago;
  • People who have sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since the spouse or partner became a permanent resident; and
  • People convicted of sexual offences, violent offences, or offences which caused bodily harm to a relative, and persons who attempted or threatened to commit this type of offence.


Sponsorship of Spouses, Common Law Partners and Dependent Children


A Canadian citizen or permanent resident can sponsor a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child as long as the applicant and spouse or dependents are not inadmissible. For sponsorship purposes, a spouse can be opposite or same-sex and must be married to the Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

If a couple was married in Canada, they must provide a marriage certificate from the territory or province where they were married. If the couple was married outside of Canada, the marriage must be legally valid in the country where the marriage was performed, as well as legally valid in Canada.

A couple does not need to be married to take advantage of the spousal or common law partner sponsorship provision. If a couple has lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least 12 months, with no interruptions, they are eligible for family sponsorship. However, the CIC may require couples to prove their relationship with photographs and other evidence.

The government wants to ensure that sponsored family members have adequate support once they arrive in Canada. Spouses and common law partners must sign a formal agreement which confirms that both people understand their responsibilities. The sponsoring person must also sign an agreement pledging to provide for the basic needs of the spouse, partner, dependent child or other relative.

There are unique requirements to sponsor a close relative to Québec. If you live in Québec, it is important to review the law and consult with a lawyer about the Québec process.


Spousal Sponsorship Processing Time

 Generally, it takes 18 months to complete the sponsorship process for people who live outside of Canada, and 24 months for applications by people living inside Canada. In December of 2016, the Canadian government announced its plans to process 80 percent of the spousal sponsorship applications within 12 months. New application forms and procedures are streamlining the process and reducing the waiting time. For example, medical examinations are no longer needed upfront and police certificates are only required for the countries where the spouse or partner most recently lived and where they spent most of their lives since age 18. Complicated or unusual applications may still take more than one year to process.

What is the Minimum IELTS Score Required for Canada Immigration? [Updated for 2020]

If you are considering studying abroad or pursuing opportunities in Canada or other countries, you might have heard of the standard IELTS exam. But, what is IELTS? What is IELTS? The International English language testing system (IELTS) is the most well-known standardized English proficiency test across the globe. The IELTS is developed by leading language… Continue Reading

How to Apply for Immigration to Canada on Humanitarian and Compassionate Grounds

People who do not qualify to immigrate to Canada under any of its immigration programs may still be able to qualify under on Humanitarian and Compassionate (H&C) grounds. Section 25 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, known as IRPA, gives Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) discretion to grant a person permanent resident status or… Continue Reading

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and effect on Canadian immigration (Latest news)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and effect on Canadian immigration (Latest news)

The novel coronavirus crisis has hit every country around the world. The COVID-19 disease has forced countries to adopt unprecedented measures. Most countries are in some state of lockdown. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Canada and other countries have imposed restrictions on international arrivals. Here’s the latest immigration news from Canada (valid for April… Continue Reading

How can I turn my tourist visa into a student visa in Canada [2020]

Canada is one of the most beautiful countries to visit. The endless lakes, parks, forests, and monuments promise to make your vacation worthwhile. But, alongside all the beauty, the country is also home to world-class universities and a high-quality education system that attracts around 150,000 international students annually. So, if you are a tourist who… Continue Reading

Police Certificate Canada (CIC) Needs for Immigration

Many Canadian immigration programs require a police clearance certificate (or police certificate). This is a simple statement by the police that you don’t have a criminal record or if you have a prior and pending criminal charges. Police certificates are very important if you are trying to become a permanent resident. The police certificate Canada… Continue Reading

Great Opportunity to Explore Canada: Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot Ready to Start

Canada sends invites to thousands of immigrants every year. However, the vast majority of people choose to settle in large cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Winnipeg. There is not a lot of movement to sparsely populated parts of Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has seen that though there are plentiful jobs… Continue Reading

What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)?

A Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), likewise referred to as Verification, is an application conducted by Service Canada (a division of Work as well as Social Growth Canada). This organization operates in conjunction with Citizenship as well as Migration Canada to guarantee that the employment of international employees has an overall neutral or beneficial effect… Continue Reading

CELPIP vs IELTS: Which is Better for Canada Visa?

For you to be able to come to Canada, most Canada immigration visas require proof of English or French language skills. In this article we are going to look at CELPIP and IELTS – the only two English tests that are accepted by Canada Immigration and Citizenship.Not long ago IELTS used to be the only… Continue Reading

What Happens After You Sponsor An Applicant? 5 Important Points To Remember

Canada has welcomed immigrants with open arms. Thus, it is not surprising that newcomers soon want to bring over their loved ones and settle into a new life in the country. Moreover, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has been open to relatives of permanent residents staying with them to make their stay that much… Continue Reading

Why you should immigrate to Canada?

Canada is an excellent country to make your future and live altogether. It is most likely one of the safest countries on this earth. Even in the larger cities, the degree of safety and security one feels is significantly more than cities in the United States, UNITED KINGDOM and also various other nation Noticeable minorities… Continue Reading

CRS Cut Off Scores For The Month of May: Expectation Vs. Reality

Canada’s winters may be tough and very cold, but the Canadian summer can be perfect! Mild temperatures, a chance to explore the outdoors in a clean environment – no wonder there are so many immigration applications to come to Canada in this season! Express Entry is your point of entry into Canada’s immigration system if… Continue Reading


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