- What are Canadian Family Visas?
- Sponsoring spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners
- Sponsoring parents and grandparents
- Sponsoring children to come to Canada
- How much does it cost to sponsor a family member?
- How to apply for a Canadian Family Visa
- What documents do you need to apply for family sponsorship?
- Frequently asked questions
What are Canadian Family Visas?
If you are interested in sponsoring your family members to join you in Canada, this guide outlines the complete process, including who is eligible, the application process, fees, and supporting documents you need to apply.
Although family reunification is possible in Canada, you must meet the eligibility criteria to sponsor and be sponsored.
Only certain categories of family members can join a relative in Canada and the application process can be extensive.
- Dependent child
The requirements of the category of spouse, partner and child are broadly similar, while the requirements of the parent and grandparent category share many commonalities.
More in-depth explanations can be found below in the relevant section.
It is important to be aware that Quebec follows many of its own rules and these may not align with the rest of the processes for the Canadian immigration system.
It is strongly advised to contact a qualified immigration advisor if you have any questions about the process so that you are given accurate legal information.
Please note that no immigration advisor can guarantee you a successful immigration decision, and those promising to do so should be treated as scam agencies.
Sponsoring spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners
This section outlines who is eligible for family visas, and who is ineligible.
Sponsor your spouse, partner, or child
You must meet the below conditions to be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner, or child to join you in Canada:
- You agree to support your relatives financially
- They can ensure they do not require social support from the Canadian government
- You are aged over 18 years old
- You are an eligible citizen (citizen, permanent resident, or registered as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
- If you are living outside Canada, you must provide evidence that you intend to reside in Canada with the person you sponsor (if you are a citizen)
- If you are living outside Canada, you cannot sponsor a spouse, partner, or child (if you are a permanent resident)
- You are not in receipt of social assistance payments (except in the case of a disability)
- You agree to financially support your family members for a specific period of time (typically three years) (an undertaking)
- You and your family member agree to particular responsibilities during the undertaking period (the sponsorship agreement)
- This stipulates that you will support their needs
- They will ensure that they will try to support themselves and any of their relatives
- There is no income requirement unless you are sponsoring a dependent child with dependent children of their own
- Similarly, if your spouse/ partner has a child who is a dependent with a child who is a dependent, you will be required to provide proof of income levels
As with most immigration processes, some of the information may be different for the Quebec region. It is advisable to check the requirements for Quebec if you intend to emigrate there.
Who cannot sponsor spouses, partners or children?
Your application may be refused if the following circumstances apply to your case:
- You do not meet the above requirements
- You were sponsored by a spouse/ partner and receive permanent residence fewer than five years ago
- You are financially responsible for another spouse or partner (under the three-year undertaking period)
- You have already submitted an application to sponsor your spouse, partner or child and the decision is pending
- You are currently in jail, prison, or otherwise incarcerated
- You failed to pay back an immigration loan, performance bond, family support payments
- You failed to provide adequate financial support which you agreed to provide
- You have declared bankruptcy which is not discharged
- You received a conviction in relation to attempting, threatening to commit, or committing a violent criminal offence, an offence against a family member, or a sexual offence (whether in Canada or abroad)
- You do not have the legal permission to stay in Canada and you are required to leave (as a result of a removal order)
If you wish to apply to sponsor members of your family, it may be helpful for you to consult with a specialist immigration lawyer. This is because qualified immigration advisors can offer you support with your application to maximize your chances of a successful decision.
Sponsoring parents and grandparents
The process for sponsoring parents and grandparents is different to spouse, partner or child applications.
The Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP) is open to applications once a year for citizens and permanent residents who wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada.
How to sponsor parents or grandparents to come to Canada
Follow the below steps to submit your application:
- Submit an interest to sponsor form (only those who are eligible) (note that the Canadian government does not intend to open this form in 2021)
- The government reviews submissions and randomly selects sponsors to apply
- If selected, you will receive an invitation by email
- You must submit your application package before the deadline listed on the invitation
Who can sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada?
A primary requirement of this program is showing that you have the financial capacity to sponsor your family members.
If you receive an invitation to apply for sponsorship, you will be asked to provide financial proof relating to the last three tax years.
For applicants invited to apply in 2021, individuals will be asked to submit documents from 2018, 2019, and 2020.
For example, the table below outlines how much income is needed in the three tax years prior to your application:
|Number of individuals you are sponsoring||2020||2019||2018|
|Five people||$54, 650||$69,423||$68, 358|
I received an invitation to sponsor my parents and grandparents. What should I do now?
It is important to follow the stages in the process carefully to maximize your chances of a successful application.
The next stages of sponsorship include:
- Carefully read the information guide to understand your requirements as a sponsor
- Gather the supporting documents for the applicant and the sponsor
- Use the parent and grandparent sponsor document checklist to ensure you have the required information
- Fill out the application form online
- Pay the fees
- Review the application to ensure accuracy
- Submit the application
- Wait for a decision to be issued
Sponsoring children to come to Canada
If you and your child meet eligibility requirements, they may be able to join you in Canada.
A child may be considered a dependent if they meet the following requirements:
- They are aged under 22 years old.
- They do not have a spouse or common-law partner.
If your child is aged over 22 years old, they may still qualify if they meet the below criteria:
- Your child cannot financially support themselves due to a mental or physical condition.
- Your child has depended on you as the parent prior to the age of 22 years.
If you meet the requirements, you can sponsor the following:
- Your own child
- Your spouse or partner and their child
How to sponsor your child
Below are the stages in the process involved in sponsoring your child:
- Apply to become a sponsor
- Your child should apply for permanent residence
- Send both applications together at the same time.
- Apply online at the Canadian government child dependent application page.
- Pay your application fee
- Submit your biometric information
- Submit required documents (e.g., medical exams or a police certificate).
- Send your application
- Send supporting documents
How long does it take for a child sponsorship application to be processed?
The current processing time for child sponsorship applications depends on the country where the child is applying from.
You can check your application status to see the progress of your application.
How much does it cost to sponsor a family member?
Almost all Canadian visa applications come with a fee that must be paid to the Canada immigration authority.
The table below outlines the current family sponsorship application fees for Canada.
|Category||Type of sponsorship||Fee in $ CAN|
|Adopted children and other relatives||Sponsor your relative (aged 22 years or older)||1,050|
|Sponsor your relative (aged 22 years or older, no right of permanent residence)||550|
|Sponsor a dependent adopted child or orphaned relative||150|
|Sponsor your relative (aged under 22 years who is not a dependent child)||650|
|Sponsor your relative (aged under 22 years old, not a dependent, without right of permanent residence)||150|
|Include spouse or partner of your relative||1,050|
|Include spouse or partner of your relative (no right of permanent residence)||550|
|Parents and grandparents||Sponsor your parent or grandparent||1,050|
|Sponsor your parent or grandparent (no right of permanent residence)||550|
|Include the spouse or partner of your parent or grandparent||1,050|
|Include the spouse or partner of your parent or grandparent (no right of permanent residence)||550|
|Include your parents’ or grandparents’ dependent child||150|
|Spouse, partner, or child||Sponsor your spouse or partner||1,050|
|Sponsor your spouse or partner (no right of permanent residence)||550|
|Sponsor a child who is dependent||150|
|Include a child who is dependent||150|
The fees consist of the following, depending on the type of sponsorship and category:
- Sponsorship fee ($75)
- Principal applicant processing fee ($475)
- Processing fee for children application ($75)
- Right of permanent residence fee ($500)
- Including dependent children on an application ($150)
How to apply for a Canadian Family Visa
If you meet the eligibility requirements and you qualify as a sponsor, you may be able to bring a family member to join you in Canada.
If they are granted permanent residence in Canada, they will be eligible to live, work, and study in Canada with few restrictions.
How you apply for the visa depends on the type of visa. Below is how to apply for the main types of Canadian visas for family relatives:
How to sponsor your family member
- Apply to become a sponsor
- Your spouse, partner, or child applies for permanent residence
- Send both applications together
- Access the application package (document checklist, forms, and instruction guide).
- Complete the application fully
- Pay the application fee
- Submit your biometric information
- Submit your application
- Send additional requested information
- Wait for a decision to be issued on your application.
What documents do you need to apply for family sponsorship?
Below is a list of some of the most commonly required documents for family sponsorship applications:
- Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM 1344)
- Application fees receipt for the sponsorship fee, principal applicant fee, and permanent residence application fee for other members of your family
- Right of permanent residence fees
- Generic application form for Canada (IMM 0008)
- Country-specific required forms
- Additional information on the family unit
- Relationship information and sponsorship evaluation (IMM5532)
- Use of representative form (where applicable)
- Authority to release personal information to a designated individual
- Photocopy of immigration status (passport, citizenship certificate, permanent resident card, etc.)
- Letter from employer stating the nature of contract, employment, salary, etc.
- Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency
- Identity documents, travel documents, and passports
- Birth certificates/ baptismal certificates for applicant and members of your family
- Copies of national identity cards
- Copies of family booklet (where relevant)
- Marriage certification, civil union certificate
- Divorce or separation certificates (where relevant)
- Proof that a child on your application is substantially dependent on you
- Police certificates and clearances
- Military service record (where relevant)
- Two recent passport photos for family members and self
- Medical examination certificate
- Proof of relationship to sponsor
- Proof of residence together (e.g., joint property ownership, utilities payments, etc.)
- Proof of relationship (e.g., up to 20 photographs showing the development of the relationship with a brief explanation of each photo)
- If not living together, proof of relationship (e.g., up to ten pages of letters, text messages, social media conversations, proof of partner visits, etc.)
There may be additional documents required based on your circumstances and visa category. It is recommended to consult an immigration lawyer for bespoke advice.
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To get a family visa for Canada, it is necessary to apply via the online immigration system. You should select the correct category of family sponsorship based on your circumstances.
There is a clear process to follow for anyone applying for a family visa. To get a family visa in Canada, follow the below steps:
- Check your eligibility as a sponsor
- Check your family members’ eligibility as immigrants
- Choose the most appropriate immigration route based on your circumstances
- Prepare your supporting documents
- Pay the application fee
- Submit the online application form
- Wait for a decision on your application
The cost of Canadian visas for a family varies depending on the type of visa. A full overview of all the costs involved can be found on the fee list page of the Canadian government website.
Costs range from CAN$150 to CAN $1,050.
Depending on whether you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may be able to submit an application for family sponsorship for the following relatives:
- Orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild
- Common-law partner, conjugal partner
- Dependent children (son or daughter)
- Aunt or uncle
All cases depend on both parties meeting eligibility criteria and other factors. If your application is successful, your family member may become Canadian permanent residents.
You must demonstrate that you can provide financial support for certain family members.
If you are unsure about your eligibility, it is recommended to speak with an experienced immigration advisor to provide you with up-to-date and accurate information.
As a firm of experienced immigration lawyers, we are able to assist you with your application for a family visa.
Some of the services we provide include:
- Advise you on your eligibility to sponsor as a Canadian citizen.
- Support your application to become a Canadian permanent resident.
- Give you detailed information on how to prove your ability to provide financial support.
- Complete your visa application on your behalf.
- Liaise with the immigration authority while your application is pending.
- Engage with you and your family members throughout each stage of the process to ensure you are given accurate and up-to-date information.
Find out more about how we can help you today by getting in touch with our friendly client care team.
We also advise on a range of other Canadian immigration routes, including:
Speak to us today on +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to speak to us.