Bringing families together through sponsorship
Family reunification is greatly supported by the Canadian government as one of the main components of the immigration system. The family member to be sponsored can be a spouse, a common law partner, a conjugal partner, a dependent child of the sponsor, a parent or a grand-parent of the sponsor, and other family members in specific circumstances.
Sponsors are Canadians or permanent residents who are at least 18 years of age and who meet certain other requirements to be eligible to sponsor a family member.
Spouse, Common-Law and Conjugal Sponsorship
In immigration law, a spouse is defined as a person who is legally married to their sponsor, whereas the marriage is recognized in both Canada and the country where the marriage took place. Under new policy, the couple is to live together for two years after arrival to Canada, if they have been for two years or less and the couple has no children.
For couples in a common-law relationship, one of the requirement is to have been living together for a minimum of 12 months.
A conjugal partner is a foreign national residing outside of Canada who is in a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least 12 months, but could not live with the sponsor as a couple for reasons beyond his/her control such as religious reasons.
A sponsorship agreement is signed between sponsor and sponsored person which details the obligations (financial and otherwise) of each person.
Under new policy introduced in December 2014, the spouses and common-law partners who applied for their permanent residence from inside Canada, are eligible for an open work permit allowing them to work in Canada while awaiting for the final decision on their application with Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
A Canadian citizen residing abroad can sponsor a spouse provided they intend to live together in Canada once the spouse becomes a permanent resident.
Dependent children sponsorship
A dependent child is defined as a person who is under the age of 19, and who is not a spouse or a common-law partner. A dependent child can also be over the age of 19 if he/she is financially dependent due to a mental or physical disability. The sponsor does not have to meet the financial requirements and the dependent child does not have to meet the medical requirement.
Parent & Grand Parent Sponsorship
Eligible sponsors are required to meet the Low Income Cut off according to their family size in order to support their parents. This is to insure the sponsor has the financial means to support their parent in addition to support their immediate family.
Sponsored individuals under the Parent and Grandparent program must undergo a medical examination and send the results along with their application. Furthermore, parents and grand-parents are required to purchase medical insurance for one year.
In 2015 and 2016, Citizenship and Immigration Canada respectively accepted 5000 and 10,000 applications in the Parent and Grand-Parent family sponsorship category. A total number of 10,000 sponsorship applications for parents and grand-parents will be accepted in 2017. This program is set to re-open on January 3, 2017.
Contact us to find out if you are eligible to sponsor a family member and to discuss your case. We will be happy to help!