Canada Family Sponsorship Visa Program

The Canada Family Sponsorship Visa is for those who already have Canadian citizenship or permanent residency, and would like to return to Canada while also obtaining a permanent residency status for their spouse or children.

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What is Canada Family Sponsorship Visa?

Canada has often been ranked as one of the best countries in the world to live in due to the high quality of life. After obtaining Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status through an investor program, an entrepreneur program or the Federal Skilled Worker Program, you may want your family to join you and settle in Canada. If that’s the case, the Canada Family Sponsorship Visa can be your answer.

If you are a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident, who intends to provide a better education for your children or to enjoy your retirement years in Canada, you can consider applying for Canadian citizenship or permanent residency for your spouse, common-law partner or children.

If your spouse or common-law partner holds the Permanent Residence Status in Canada or is a Canadian Citizen, you can join your family in Canada with the Canada Family Sponsorship Visa.

Overview of the Visa Program

If you are a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident, applying for a Family Sponsorship Visa for your direct relatives is easy; there is no specific education, work experience, language proficiency or investment requirements. The sponsor only needs to provide proof of financial support for the basic needs of his/her relatives from the day they become a Permanent Resident of Canada, as well as the authenticity of the marriage/partnership.

Canada recognizes that families should be united and therefore the Sponsorship applications receive high priority at the Visa Offices. As the accumulated applications for spousal/children sponsorship visa have been drastically reduced in 2017 by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the processing time is now around twelve (12) months. The Family Sponsorship Visa is, therefore, a fast and direct route for eligible applicants, who want to join their family in Canada.

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Required Documents & Financial Undertaking

If you are 18 years or older, hold Canadian Citizenship/Permanent Residence Status and are planning to sponsor a direct relative with his/her Canada Family Sponsorship Visa application, you should pay attention to the following:

Firstly, in principle, the proposed sponsor must reside in Canada. However, these can be the exceptions:

  1. If the proposed sponsor is traveling or conducting short visits abroad;
  2. If the applicant is the spouse/common-law partner or children of the proposed sponsor, who is a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident and living outside of Canada. However, once the applicant receives Canadian permanent residence status, the sponsor will return to Canada and settle with his/her spouse/common-law partner or children

In other words, the requirement is also fulfilled if the sponsor is living outside of Canada, but intends to return to Canada after his/her spouse has been successfully granted Canadian permanent residency.

Secondly, the proposed sponsor must sign an undertaking, promising to give financial support for the basic needs of his relatives from the day they become a Permanent Resident. Details are as follows:

  • Spouse or Partner: Three (3) years
  • Dependent child under 13 years of age: Ten (10) years
  • Dependent child between 13 and 21 years: Ten (10) years or until Twenty-five (25) years old (whichever comes first)
  • Dependent child over 22 years of age: Three (3) years

The financial support duration for residents of Quebec is slightly different from the above-mentioned requirements (applicable to the rest of Canada).

Lastly, in addition to the necessary documents, such as birth certificate, proof of no criminal record and income and financial proof, you also need to provide your Canada Permanent Resident Card, Canadian Citizenship Card or Canadian passport to prove your own Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.

If your spouse is applying for the Canada Family Sponsorship Visa, you must also submit your marriage certificate to prove the legitimacy of the marriage. In recent years, there were several reports that fake marriages were used as a means to apply for the family sponsorship visa. Therefore, the Canadian authority is very stringent when it comes to reviewing the authenticity of the applicant’s relationship with his/her spouse or common-law partner. Some applicants provide records of past correspondences, photographs or other items as proofs of the relationship, in order to facilitate the review.

 

Frequently Asked Questions?

Close relatives of a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident can apply for the program. This includes spouse, common-law partners, conjugal partner, parents, grandparents, dependent children, adopted children under the age of 18, and orphaned and unmarried siblings, nephews, niece, or grandchild. If the sponsor has no aforementioned relatives and has no relatives who are also Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents, they are allowed to sponsor a relative of which relationship was not mentioned. 

Same-sex marriages that were married in Canada or in a country that recognizes the marriage are valid for a spousal sponsorship. Same-sex common-law or conjugal relationships are also valid within and outside of Canada when applying for sponsorship for their partner. 

A legal marriage certificate is the clearest way to prove the authenticity of a spousal relationship. Common-law partners can bring documentation like joint bank accounts, joint ownership of a home, joint residential leases, joint registration or payments of utilities, or mail addressed to both parties at the same address to demonstrate that they have lived at least 1 year of cohabitation with their partner. 

The length of undertaking, once confirmed, cannot be cancelled or modified by the sponsor at any time, even after the family members have arrived in Canada or if you no longer have that relationship.

After the Sponsorship Application has been approved in principle by the Citizenship and Immigration of Canada, sponsored persons are allowed to work or study in Canada while waiting for their visas to arrive. If the sponsored persons are already in Canada on a valid work permit or study permit, they are allowed to continue as they are. 

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