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Family Class Sponsorship: Bringing Relatives Together in Canada

Canada’s immigration system has for a long time attempted to facilitate the reuniting of families in Canada through various programs. Many of these programs are focused on sponsoring specific types of relatives for immigration to Canada, such as spouses and common-law partners, and parents and grandparents. But many other relatives can be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents under the Family Class program.

Eligible Relatives in the Family Class

If they meet the qualifications to be a sponsor, Canadian citizens and permanent residents 18 years of age or older can sponsor certain relatives for permanent residency. Relatives eligible to be sponsored include:

  • Spouses, common-law partners or conjugal partners; OR
  • Dependent children; OR
  • brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren who are orphaned, are under 18 and do not have a spouse or common-law partner, as well as their relatives (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children) who will come with them to Canada; OR
  • one relative of any age or relationship, but only if the sponsor does not have one of these living relatives who could be sponsored as a member of the family class:
    • spouse or common-law partner,
    • conjugal partner,
    • son or daughter,
    • parent,
    • grandparent,
    • sibling, or
    • uncle, aunt, nephew or niece,

and the sponsor does not have any relative who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or registered Indian under the Indian Act.

Sponsor Disqualification

Not every Canadian citizen or permanent resident can be a sponsor, especially those who have failed to meet previous sponsorship or financial obligations or who have committed certain criminal offences. Specifically, any of the following will preclude someone from being a sponsor:

  • sponsoring another relative in the past and failing to meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement,
  • being in default on alimony or child support payments,
  • receiving government financial help for reasons other than being disabled,
  • a conviction for of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case,
  • failing to pay back an immigration loan, making late payments or missing payments,
  • being in prison, or
  • having declared bankruptcy and not having been discharged.

Larry Butkowsky: Toronto Immigration Law, Exclusively.

If you are seeking to sponsor a family member for immigration to Canada or have questions regarding family sponsorship, please contact Toronto immigration lawyer Larry Butkowsky. His legal practice focuses solely on immigration law and he can assist you with all of your immigration questions, concerns, and issues.

The materials provided on this site are for information purposes only. These materials constitute general information relating to areas of law familiar to our firm lawyers. They do NOT constitute legal advice or other professional advice and you may not rely on the contents of this website as such.

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