Canada Immigration program offers good options for family and provides various visa options for inviting eligible family members to Canada. When you apply for immigration to Canada through various federal and provincial programs, you can sponsor your eligible family members and finally reunite with your loved ones in Canada.

Canada is the best choice for immigration due to its policy which offers family sponsorship options to its Permanent Residence holders including visas for spouses and common-law partners, parents and grandparents, dependent children, and other relatives sponsor through provincial family class sponsorship. There is a super visa program especially for parents and grandparents.

Spouse or Common Law Partnership or Dependent Child Sponsorship Program:

This program allows spouse or common-law partners to be invited for Permanent Residency through Spouse or Common Law partnership sponsorship. The main benefit of this program is that if you sponsor your spouse or partner under the spouse or common-law partner category in Canada, your partner may be eligible to work through an open work permit. A common law partner is a partner of same or opposite sex or a conjugal partner who has been living with you from at least past one year. The spouse, partner could be outside or living in Canada while the application is in process.

There are some pre-requisites for both the sponsor and spouse or partner that has to be met in order to apply under this visa. There are some income related minimum expectations or criteria that a sponsor has to meet in order to sponsor a spouse. The sponsor must be able to completely financially support the spouse without any help from the Canadian government. These conditions have been imposed because in the past there were sponsors who first were able to manage the expenses of spouse but later on turned to Canadian government for support.

Eligibility criteria to apply as a Sponsor for inviting family members:

Canadian Citizenship or PR card holder: The primary requirement in order to invite your family member is that the sponsor must be either a Canadian citizen or must hold Permanent Resident card. The sponsor must be above 18 years of age.

  • Signing of Sponsorship agreement:

There must be a sponsorship agreement signed between the sponsor and his/her relative being sponsored. The agreement must state that the sponsor agrees to take financial responsibility of the relative (spouse/partner/dependent children/parent/ grandparent) after they reach Canada. Also the applicant relative will also make all required efforts and try to support him or herself financially after they get Permanent Residency status.

  • Financial Support to Spouse or Dependent Children:

It’s the primary responsibility of sponsor to financially support the spouse or common law partner or dependent children for at least a period of 3 years from the time they get PR card.

  • Financial Support to Dependent Children:

It’s the primary responsibility of sponsor to financially support the dependent children for at least 10 years, or until the child turns 25 from the time they get PR card.

  • Quebec Family Immigration Requirement: If a person lives in Quebec, then he/she must meet the family sponsorship requirement of Quebec province.

Eligibility criteria for Spouse or Conjugal Partner:

  • Spouse:

A person can sponsor a spouse if the sponsor has married and the marriage is officially valid.

  • Marriage in Canada:

If a person has married in Canada, they need to provide a marriage certificate issued from the province where the marriage was celebrated.

  • Marriage outside Canada:

If a sponsor has married a spouse outside of Canada, they need to provide suitable proof such as Marriage Certificate in order to prove their marriage is legal and valid in the respective country where the ceremony was performed.

  • Common Law Partner:

If the sponsor (who is either a Canadian citizen or holds a PR card) and partner have been in relationship and residing together for a period of at least 1 year or more in ongoing relationship. It is important that the common-law partners have a common residing address while applying for PR visa under this category.

  • Dependent Children:

A Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident can sponsor a dependent or adopted children of their own or of their partner if they meet the below eligibility criteria.

  • The dependent child is below the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common law partner willing to support him/her.
  • The dependent child is a full time student under 22 years of age and is financially dependent on parents.
  • The dependent child is having a mental or physically disability, having age below 22 years and is financially den dent on parents.
  • A Canadian Permanent Resident or Citizen can sponsor:
    • Parents
    • Grandparents
    • Brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married
    • Children adopted outside or in Canada
    • Any other family member whose doesn’t have any partner, spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident.
    • Accompanying relatives such as spouse, partner and dependent children.

Parent and Grandparent visa under Family Class Sponsorship Program:

Parents and Grandparents can be sponsored under this visa category, by an eligible sponsor who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The sponsor must provide evidence of relationship with parents and grandparents. The sponsor has to meet the minimum financial requirement criteria in order to invite his/her parents and grandparents to Canada. The sponsor must submit an undertaking to provide for all applicants, declaring to take responsibility of all the relatives who are being sponsored for duration of at least 10 years from the date of reaching Canada.

Relatives visa under Family Class Sponsorship Program:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are living in Canada can sponsor any one relative regardless of their age or relationship, with the Canadian sponsor in case the sponsor doesn’t have any other relative in Canada. The Canadian sponsor is required to provide evidence he/she has sufficient income to support relative. The sponsor also needs to sign an undertaking stating that the sponsor is going to take complete financial responsibility of the relative.

Sponsorship agreement: It is an agreement signed between the sponsor and the relative or family member who is being sponsored and the sponsor who is a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident card holder. The sponsor must be financially stable and must agree to take complete financial responsibility or support his/her relative or dependent for the duration of time mentioned in the agreement document without receiving any social assistance. The relative must also be able to support himself/herself financially except for cases when the relative is elderly person.

Parent and Grandparent Super Visa:

The super visa program allows parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long duration visitors. Generally most of the family category visas offer limited duration to relatives who need to be reviewed once in 6 months or 1 year. But, supervise allows Parents and Grandparents to be granted visitor visa with multiple entry for a period up to 10 years.

There are certain parameters to be met before applying for super visa program to invite parents and grandparents:

Provide a written commitment of financial support from their child or grandchild

Benefits of Sponsorship program for Relatives:

If you apply for a Sponsorship of Relatives inviting them to live in Canada with you, you get the following benefits

  • Sponsored family members who are granted PR visa can live, work, study in Canada permanently
  • Sponsored and eligible Family members can enjoy government funded health benefits just as a Canadian citizen
  • Sponsored and eligible family members can work without any restrictions
  • Sponsored and eligible can get benefited from subsidized education, avail language training programs, get assistance for finding employment, guaranteed income supplement
  • Sponsored and eligible family members who are elderly can get Canada Pension Benefits and Old Age security
  • You can apply for citizenship after spending 3 years in Canada
  • Provincial Family Class Sponsorship:
  • Sponsored family members and relatives granted permanent residence under the family class visa will have to right to live, work or study in Canada indefinitely.

Processing time for Family Sponsorship Visa

As per Canadian immigration website, the processing time for Family Sponsorship visa applications submitted depends on the category under which the visa is filed.

Please check the processing time along with the visa category detailed in table below:

Visa Category Processing time
Spouse or Common Law Partner visa living in Canada 12-14 months


Spouse or Common Law Partner visa living outside Canada 12-14 months


Dependent Child 18 months
Parents and Grandparents 3-4 years
Parents and Grandparents – Super visa 12-14 months
Adopted child or other relative 40 months

But, every case file is unique and requires a fair amount of time for its evaluation. You can track your application online on the Canadian immigration department.

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