Sponsor Family Members

Canadian immigration law makes it a main priority to ensure that families are united and as such this program allows people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (P.R.) to sponsor their family members as long as they meet the requirements as laid out by the government. However, not all family members can be sponsored under Canadian immigration law.


1. Spouse/Partner Sponsorship

There are three (3) main categories of Spouse/Partnership relationships:

  • Spouse: Someone who you are legally married to in either Canada or in another country and are compliant with the law of the country where the marriage took place. This can also extend to a same-sex spouse as this is recognized under Canadian law.
  • Common Law Partner: This can either be a member of the opposite sex or of the same sex but what is important is that it is shown that you and your partner have been living in a conjugal relationship for at least one year (12 months) continuously.
  • Conjugal Partner: This can refer to a member of the same sex or of the opposite sex who are in exceptional circumstances beyond their control that do not allow them to qualify as a common law partner or a spouse by living together. This is a relationship that is more than physical, and it is characterized by a level of permanence and commitment where the 2 individuals rely on each other.
The process to sponsor under each of the noted categories above is relatively similar for each category.

Requirements: It is important to satisfy all of the requirements under this program and as such the person who wishes to sponsor a Spouse / Partner must:


  • Be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada and at least 18 years of age;
  • Be willing to sign an agreement with the government that as a sponsor they are financially responsible for the sponsored and any dependents for a period of 3 years after entering as a PR and upwards of 10 years for the dependents,
  • Be able to show a legal marriage in either Canada or under the laws of the jurisdiction that it was carried out in;
  • In the case of a Conjugal or Common Law Partner, evidence must be shown of a dependent relationship for a minimum of 1 year.
family-on-autumn-walk-P44L9RN

2. Dependent Child Sponsorship

This class allows people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (PR) to sponsor their dependent children; the children of their spouse/partner; or children that are adopted, as long as they meet the requirements as laid out by the government and are proven to still be dependent on the parental sponsor.

Requirements: It is important to satisfy all of the requirements under this program and as such the person who wishes to sponsor a dependent child must:


  • Be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada;
  • Be willing to sign an agreement with the government that they are willing to undertake the Sponsorship for 10 years or until the dependent child becomes 22 years old;
  • If the child is 19 years old or older at the time of PR, then the sponsor is only responsible for a period of 3 years after entering the country
  • Meet the minimum financial obligations required by the government of Canada.

3. Parent/Grandparent Sponsorship

This class allows people who are citizens of Canada or Permanent Residents (PR) to sponsor their parents or grandparents as long as they can prove their relationship and meet the requirements as laid out by the government.

This program reached its capacity very quickly and the number of spots fluctuate. The program opens at the beginning of each year and you should plan ahead should you wish to take part. However, as an alternative, the government of Canada has extended a Super Visa, so families can travel freely and be with their children.

Requirements: It is important to satisfy all of the requirements under this program and as such the person who wishes to sponsor a Parent or Grandparent must:


  • Be a Canadian Citizen or a Permanent Resident of Canada;
  • Be willing to sign an agreement with the government that they are willing to undertake the Sponsorship for 20 years and be responsible for all of the financial concerns of the sponsored;
  • Meet the minimum financial obligations required by the government of Canada.

4. Parent/Grandparent Super Visa

As the Parent / Grandparent sponsorship program is currently on hold due to large backlogs, the Canadian government introduced “The Supervisa” so as to ensure that family members could come and visit for long durations in Canada. The visa is a 10-year visa and will allow people to come and stay upwards of 2 years at a time.

Requirements : It is important to satisfy all of the requirements under this program and as such the person who wishes to come to Canada on a Parent or Grandparent Super Visa must:


  • Have a letter of invitation from their relative who is either a Canadian Citizen or PR of Canada;
  • Show suitable financial capability to be able to support the invited guest(s) while in Canada;
  • Show their ties to their home country and have valid travel documentation;
  • Be able to show that they have the requisite Canadian Private Medical Coverage insurance and;
  • Prove that they are admissible to Canada.

Q&A

1Up to what age can my children be included in my application?
A child is ‘a Dependent’ up to the age of 22 (in other words, less than 22), so can be included under as a family member for an application for Canadian Immigration. A son or daughter over the age of 22 will have to apply separately. The child’s age is ‘locked in’ at the stage the Provincial or Federal authorities’ receive your application (although the child may reach the age of 22 during the application process).

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