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FAQ Family Class Sponsorship

Crown Immigration Corporation > FAQ Family Class Sponsorship

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Who qualifies to be sponsored under the Family Class category?

Close relatives of a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. More particularly, to qualify under the Family Sponsorship category, the Sponsored person(s) must be related to the Canadian Sponsor in one of the following ways:

  • Spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner; or
  • Parent or grandparent; or
  • Dependent child; or
  • Orphaned, unmarried, and under 18 years of age brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild; or
  • Intended adopted child under 18 years of age; or
  • One other relative, if the sponsor has no relative listed above and no relatives who are Canadian citizens or Canadian permanent residents [IRPR 117(1)(h)].
Who can be included in the sponsored person’s application for a Canada Immigration Visa?

Under the Family Sponsorship category, the following individuals can be included in the Sponsored person’s application for a Canada Immigration Visa:

  • The spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner of the Sponsored person;
  • The dependent child(ren) of the Sponsored person;
  • The dependent child(ren) of the Sponsored person’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner;
  • The dependent children of the Sponsored person’s dependent children;
  • The dependent children of the Sponsored person’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner’s children.
Who qualifies as a “Dependent Child”?

For Family Sponsorship purposes, a dependent child’s definition is:

  • has one of the following relationships with the parent, namely,
    • is the biological child of the parent, if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner of the parent, or
    • is the adopted child of the parent; and
  • is in one of the following situations of dependency, namely,
    • is less than 22 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or
    • is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before attaining the age of 22 years and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.
Must the dependents of the Sponsored person accompany the Sponsored person to Canada?

No, but whether they are accompanying the Sponsored person or not, all of the Sponsored person’s dependents are required to pass applicable police and security clearances, and medical examinations.

Does IRCC recognize marriages conducted by proxy, telephone, internet and fax?

No. As of June 10, 2015, CIC no longer recognizes marriages conducted abroad by proxy, telephone, fax, Internet or other similar forms of marriage where one or both parties are not physically present at the ceremony. The exemption to this regulation is if the foreign national was marrying a person who was not physically present at the ceremony as a result of their service as a member of the Canadian Forces and the marriage is valid both under the laws of the jurisdiction where it took place and under Canadian Law. Applications received before June 10, 2015 are not subject to the new regulations.

What financial criteria must be satisfied to qualify as a sponsor?

To qualify, the sponsor must be able to demonstrate the financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored person(s) and any accompanying dependents. This requirement is waived if:

  • The person requiring sponsorship is the spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner of the Canadian Sponsor; or
  • The person requiring sponsorship is a dependent child of either the sponsor or the applicant.
What does “Essential Needs” mean?

The sponsor must undertake to provide the sponsored family members with:

  • Food, clothing, shelter and other basic requirements of everyday living; and
  • Dental and eye care and other health needs not covered by public health services available to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

The obligation to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored person(s) will only arise if the sponsored person(s) are unable to provide for these needs on their own.

Can the undertaking to provide “Essential Needs” be shared?

Yes, the undertaking to provide “Essential Needs” can be shared by a co-signer, but only by the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.

What other criteria must the sponsor satisfy?

In addition to the required financial ability, the Canadian sponsor must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years of age;
  • Be physically residing in Canada, except for Canadian citizens sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, or dependent child, as long as the sponsor can demonstrate the intention to return to Canada by the time the sponsored family members lands in Canada;
  • Not be in prison;
  • Not be an undischarged bankrupt;
  • Not be receiving government welfare assistance, except for disability;
  • Not be under a removal order, if a permanent resident;
  • Not be convicted of a sexual offence, or any offence against the person being sponsored in the five years before the date of application;
  • Not be in default of court-ordered support payments to an ex-spouse or child;
  • Not be behind in payments on any immigration loans; and
  • Not be the sponsor, where the sponsored family members received social assistance while the undertaking was in effect.
As a sponsor, what obligations are there toward the Government of Canada?

The sponsor and the sponsor’s co-signer, if applicable, are obliged to sign an undertaking with the Government of Canada promising to provide for the essential needs of the sponsored person(s) for a period of time following the arrival of the sponsored person(s) in Canada. The purpose of this agreement is to ensure that the sponsored family members do not become dependent on Canadian public welfare assistance. A similar provincial undertaking is required for sponsors who reside in Quebec.

Can the undertaking be revoked or modified?

The undertaking, once made, cannot be cancelled or modified by the sponsor at any time after the sponsored family members have arrived in Canada.

What if the sponsor does not fulfill the terms of the undertaking?

Failure to meet any of the commitments provided for in the undertaking may result in legal action being taken against the sponsor and the co-signer.

Are there any other agreements that the sponsor must enter into?

The sponsor is obliged to enter into a sponsorship agreement with the sponsored person(s). By signing this agreement, the sponsor agrees to provide for the “Essential needs” of the sponsored person(s), and the sponsored person(s) promise to make every effort to become self-supporting.

What documents must the sponsor submit?

The sponsor and the sponsor’s co-signer, if applicable, must complete and submit:

  • An “Application to Sponsor and Undertaking”
  • A “Sponsorship Agreement”
  • A “Sponsorship Evaluation”
  • A “Spouse/Common-law Partner Questionnaire”
  • Government processing fees, and
  • If applicable, a “Use of Representative” form

The following additional documents are required:

  • The “Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union” form (only required where the sponsor’s co-signer is a common-law partner);
  • Documents supporting the sponsor’s Sponsorship Evaluation, which may include:
  • Notice of Assessment from Canada Revenue Agency;
  • Pay stubs or letters from employers indicating salary and length of time employed;
  • Proof of other income such as rental and pension income; and
  • Proof of financial obligations such as mortgages, property/school taxes, personal loans/lines of credit, alimony payments and insurance payments;

Documents demonstrating the Canadian status of the sponsor, which may include a:

  • Permanent Resident Card; or
  • Record of Landing; or
  • Canadian Birth Certificate; or
  • Citizenship Card; or
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad together with Certificate of Retention of Canadian Citizenship; and

Documents demonstrating relationship to the sponsored person(s), which may include:

  • Marriage certificate;
  • Adoption order;
  • Passports indicating identity of parent(s)/child(ren);
  • If applicable, documents proving that all previous marriages or common-law partnerships have been severed prior to entering the relationship with the spouse or common-law partner to be sponsored;
  • Documents showing that the sponsor who currently resides outside Canada intends to return to Canada by the time the sponsored person(s) land(s) in Canada;
  • If the sponsor resides in the Province of Quebec, corresponding forms provided by the Quebec Government will be required in addition to the Federal forms.
What documents must the sponsored person(s) submit?

The sponsored person(s) must submit an Application for Permanent Residence in Canada and an Additional Family Information Form, as well as a Use of Representative Form, if applicable. The sponsored person’s spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner and each dependent child aged 18 or over (whether accompanying the sponsored person or not) will each be required to complete and submit a Schedule 1 form. If the sponsored person is a spouse or common-law partner, he or she will need to complete a Sponsored Spouse/Partner Questionnaire. Applicants destined to the Province of Quebec will be required to complete an Application for a Quebec Certificate of Selection form. All sponsored persons must submit proof of having completed a medical examination with a Citizenship and Immigration Canada designated medical practitioner. The following additional documents are required: Statutory documents, such as:

  • Police Clearance Certificate(s);
  • Birth certificate;
  • Household register forms;
  • Valid passport and ID cards, etc.
  • Documents proving the relationship to the sponsor, such as:
  • Marriage certificate;
  • Birth certificate;
  • Household register forms
Where is the sponsorship application submitted?

These days the spousal sponsorship applications outside Canada are processed at Case Processing Centre Sydney, Nova Scotia and within Canada spousal sponsorship applications are processed at Case Processing Centre located in Mississauga, Ontario. In the past the within Canada spousal sponsorship applications were processed at Case Processing Centre located in Vegreville, Alberta and the outside Canada spousal sponsorship applications were processed at Case Processing Centre located in Mississauga.

The parental sponsorship applications were previously processed at Case Processing Centre located in Mississauga, but these days the applications are processed at Case Processing Centre located in Ottawa.

Where is the sponsored person’s part of the application submitted?

If the spousal sponsorship application is to be processed outside Canada, the sponsored person’s application is submitted along with the sponsorship application to the Canadian Immigration Case Processing Centre located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. If the spousal sponsorship application is to be processed inside Canada, the sponsored person’s application is submitted along with the sponsorship application to the Canadian Immigration Case Processing Centre located in Mississauga, Ontario. If once the sponsorship has been approved, the sponsored person’s application will be processed by the visa post or appropriate Canadian Immigration office.

Are there circumstances that may allow a sponsored person to apply from within Canada?

A sponsored person, inside Canada, who is the spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner or dependent child of the sponsor can apply from within Canada.

Moreover, for humanitarian and compassionate reasons, other sponsored persons may apply from within Canada. However, Citizenship and Immigration Canada must be convinced that the sponsored person(s) would suffer excessive hardship while waiting for their application to be processed from outside of Canada.

Can a sponsored person work or study in Canada if their application is being processed in Canada?

While waiting for their Canada Immigration visas, sponsored persons are allowed to work or study in Canada only after the sponsorship application has been approved in principle by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. They will then be granted an open work permit or a study permit. Of course, if the sponsored person was already in Canada on a valid work permit or study permit, they may continue to work or study as the case may be.

Must sponsored persons and sponsors attend personal interviews?

In certain cases, Citizenship and Immigration Canada may want to meet with the sponsored person(s) and their sponsor when they have concerns as to the genuineness of the family relationship claimed.

How long will the entire sponsorship application process take?

Spousal, Common-law, or Conjugal sponsorship applications and the sponsorship of dependent children are a priority at all Canadian Immigration visa offices and such applications are processed ahead of all other applications for permanent residence in Canada. The length of the sponsorship application process varies depending on the Canadian Immigration visa office to which the sponsored person’s application for permanent residence In Canada has been forwarded. See the processing times at CIC website: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/times/perm-fc.asp

Can a same-sex partner be sponsored?

For those married in Canada, same-sex marriages are valid for sponsorship of a spouse. For those married outside Canada, same-sex marriages are valid if the marriage was recognized in the country in which it took place. Same-sex common-law and conjugal relationships are valid within and outside Canada for sponsorship of a partner.

What is misrepresentation?

Section 40 of the IRPA states that, a permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible for misrepresentation (a) for directly or indirectly misrepresenting or withholding material facts relating to a relevant matter that induces or could induce an error in the administration of this Act.

What is the undertaking length for members of the family class?

The length of undertaking for all provinces except Quebec are as follows:

Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner: 3 years

Dependent children (biological or adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada under 22 years of age: 10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first

Dependent child 22 years of age or older: 3 years

Parent or grandparent: 20 years

Other relative: 10 years

The length of undertaking for residents of Quebec are as follows:

Spouse, de facto spouse or conjugal partner: 3 years

Child under 16 years of age: 10 years or until the age of majority (18 years old), whichever is longer

Child 16 years of age and older: 3 years or until the age of 25, whichever is longer

Other relatives: 10 years

Before June 28, 2002, the length of undertaking for both spousal and parental sponsorships were 10 years.