Family Class Sponsorship
Sponsoring a parent or grandparent
You can sponsor your parent or grandparent if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 years of age or older.
You may not be eligible to sponsor your parent or grandparent if you:
- Failed to provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
- Received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
- Were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence—depending on circumstances, such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada), was issued
- Defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments
- are in prison or
- have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.
Other factors not mentioned in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.
When you sponsor a parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must promise to support that person and their dependants financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives who later turned to the Canadian government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.
To be a sponsor:
- You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign this agreement. Quebec residents must sign an “undertaking” with the province of Quebec—a contract binding the sponsorship.
- You must promise to provide financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.
Sponsor your spouse, partner or children
Who you can Sponsor
You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or child who lives outside Canada under the Family Class.
You can sponsor a spouse or common-law partner who lives in Canada under the Spouse and Common-Law Partner in Canada Class.
Depending on where the person you want to sponsor lives, you will need to use a different application package. See the How to apply page for more information.
All individuals being sponsored must meet the eligibility requirements.
Your family member must have medical, criminal and background checks. If they have a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security, they may not be allowed to enter Canada.
They may have to get a police certificate in their home country. The instruction guides explain medical, criminal and background checks.
Who is not eligible to sponsor
You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:
- did not meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past,
- did not pay alimony or child support even though a court ordered it,
- get social assistance for reasons other than being disabled,
- were convicted of
- an offence of a sexual nature,
- a violent crime,
- an offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or
- an attempt or threat to commit any such offences, depending on the details of the case, such as
- the type of offence,
- how long ago it occurred and
- whether a record suspension was issued (see Sponsorship bar for violent crime below),
- were sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner in the past and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago (see Five-year sponsorship bar below)
- did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
- are in prison or
- have declared bankruptcy which has yet to be discharged.
Other things not on this list may stop you from being able to sponsor a relative.
Five-year sponsorship bar for people who were sponsored to come to Canada as a spouse or partner
If a spouse or partner sponsored you, you cannot sponsor a new spouse or partner within five years of becoming a permanent resident.
This rule applies even if you got your Canadian citizenship within those five years. Other members of the Family Class will not be affected by the rule change.
Sponsor your eligible relatives
Who you can sponsor
Depending on your circumstances, there are two options for who you can sponsor.
Option 1 – Orphaned close relatives
You can sponsor close relatives, related by blood or adoption, such as brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren only if they meet all of the following conditions:
- They are orphaned,
- They are under 18, and
- They do not have a spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner.
Option 2 – Other relative
You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you meet all of the following conditions:
- You do not have a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, or one of the following living relatives you could sponsor instead :
- Son or Daughter,
- Brother or sister,
- Uncle or aunt,
- Nephew or niece
- You do not have any of the above-named relatives who is a :
- Canadian citizen
- Permanent resident, or
- Registered Indian under the Indian Act.
If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada you must include them on the same sponsorship application
If your relative does not qualify for sponsorship they may still be able to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant through Express Entry. Express Entry manages applications for certain economic immigration programs and selects applicants for their skills, experience and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy. Express Entry candidates may be awarded points for having a family member living in Canada.