Canada is a great country for families. From its social support programs, to quality education, many families choose Canada as their next destination. Depending on one’s situation, there are different paths for entering and becoming a permanent resident in Canada and the family sponsorship program is one of the streams of the tr to pr pathway.
Canadian residents (citizen, PR) can sponsor their family members to come to Canada under the family class category of immigration. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the objective of this program is family reunification. The process of entering Canada varies by every individual and in Canada, that is understood. A parent who is living in Canada away from their family would want their spouse or children to join them. Sometimes not every member of the family is granted entry and they have to be sponsored.
To be able to sponsor a family member, among several requirements, one must be residing in Canada. The sponsor can be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident. The most important factor for consideration is the sponsor’s connection to life in Canada. An individual who came to Canada under sponsorship is eligible to become a sponsor by meeting some requirements. The five-year requirement requires these individuals to wait five years after becoming a permanent resident before being eligible to become a sponsor. The sponsor also needs to surpass the Low Income Cut-Offs (LICO). The minimum necessary income for sponsoring based on family size:
|1 person (the sponsor)
More than 7 persons, add $7,120 for each additional person
To be eligible for the family sponsorship, the person being sponsored should be a close family member such as a spouse or common-law partner. Depending on the country, same-sex relationships may be illegal and so a same-sex couple would be considered under conjugal partners. Furthermore, dependent children (generally under 22 years of age) either biological or adopted, parents, and grandparents can also be sponsored. It is possible to sponsor other family members such as brothers and sisters, however some conditions apply. These include having both parents deceased, being single, and under the age of 18 years old. For sponsoring a spouse, it may be necessary to provide documentation showing the authenticity of the marriage. These can include the joint ownership of property, joint receipts such as for rent and utilities, purchases, and household expenses in the same address. It can be helpful to include letters from friends and family explaining the marriage or pictures of events where both parties are present such as a cultural ceremony or their wedding. If the relationship is deemed not genuine and lacks authenticity, then it may be considered a bad-faith relationship. This is the case when the relationship has formed with the goal of obtaining Canada’s permanent residency. This means that if the court must decide that the relationship is genuine and not fabricated to gain some benefit in order to be successful. If either of the two elements is demonstrated, the application will not succeed further. A couple may decide to get married and immigrate to Canada. This is a normal occasion which many people may desire. In this scenario, the marriage was not a gateway to earning Canada’s permanent residency, but rather a couple deciding to build their life together in Canada. The biggest things to consider are whether the couple has in fact had a wedding and are living together.
To ensure a good sponsorship, the sponsor signs an undertaking as a promise for providing financial support for the basic needs of the person being sponsored. The undertaking may be cancelled by writing a letter before the final decision. The length of undertaking varies depending on the person being sponsored. The length of undertaking for a spouse/common-law partner is 3 years, while for a dependent child younger than 22 years old is 10 years from the day they become a permanent resident. Starting life in a new country can be financially challenging and it is possible that some government aids have been used. As part of the process, the sponsor agrees to repay such payments. If the sponsor’s financial situation changes such as by becoming unemployed, they will not be able to sponsor other people until they have repaid and the financial aid received and have become financially stable.
The processing fee depends on the people being sponsored.
Sponsorship fee ---- $75
Principal applicant processing fee ---- $475
Right of permanent residence fee ---- $500
Sponsoring a dependant child processing fee ---- $75 [$150 total]
The processing time varies from case by case. For an updated and specific processing time, visit canada.ca