- What is Canada family sponsorship?
- Who can sponsor Irish citizens?
- Who can be sponsored?
- Spouses partners and dependent children
- Parents and grandparents
- Orphaned siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren
- How to move to Canada from Ireland under the family class route
- How can Total Law help?
- Frequently asked questions
What is Canada family sponsorship?
The Family Sponsorship Program helps to reunite families by allowing Canadian permanent residents and citizens to sponsor their family members for immigration to Canada.
Every year Canada welcomes many immigrants under the family immigration programmes. Most of these are the spouses, partners and children of Canadian citizens and permanent residents but other types of family members can also be eligible, including parents and grandparents.
If you immigrate from Ireland to Canada under the family class route then you will be granted Canadian permanent residence. This means that you can live, work and study in Canada without time restrictions.
Only certain types of relatives are eligible to immigrate to Canada under the family class and the application process can be complex.
Who can sponsor Irish citizens?
Only Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible to sponsor people to immigrate to Canada. Sponsors must also be over the age of 18 and must either be currently residing in Canada or a Canadian citizen living abroad who plans to live in Canada when their sponsored family member arrives.
There are also certain circumstances in which a Canadian citizen or permanent resident is not allowed to sponsor their family, these include if:
- They are in prison, have been convicted of a violent crime or are subject to a removal order
- They have previously sponsored a family member and have failed to do their sponsorship duties
- They are filing for bankruptcy
- They have failed to make child support payments or missed payments for immigration loans
- They were sponsored to immigrate to Canada themselves and have been a permanent resident for less than 5 years
Who can be sponsored?
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can only sponsor certain types of family members. You may be eligible to be sponsored by your Canadian relative if you are their:
- Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner
- Dependent child
- Orphaned sibling, nephew, niece, or grandchild
When applying for family class sponsorship sponsored relatives are required to sign a sponsorship agreement that states they will make an effort to support themselves whilst in Canada, however, the Canadian sponsor must agree to provide financial support for them.
Spouse, partners and dependent children
Most Canadian family sponsorships are for spouses, partners and dependent children of Canadian permanent residents and citizens. You must meet certain requirements to be classed as one of these types of relatives.
- Spouse: To qualify for sponsorship as a spouse you must be at least 18 years old and legally married to a Canadian permanent resident or citizen.
- Common-law partner: You can be sponsored as a common-law partner if you are at least 18 and you are not legally married but you have lived with your Canadian partner for at least 12 months consecutively. Any time spent away from each other must have only been short and temporary.
- Conjugal partner: You could qualify for sponsorship as a conjugal partner if you are at least 18 years old, you live outside of Canada, you have been in a relationship with your Canadian partner for at least 1 year and you cannot live with or marry your Canadian partner in your country of residence due to legal and immigration reasons.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their own children as well as their partner’s children to immigrate to Canada.
Children can qualify as dependent children if they are under the age of 22 and do not have a spouse or common-law partner. In some circumstances children over the age of 22 can qualify as dependents, this is only applicable if they are unable to support themselves financially due to a mental or physical condition and they have depended on their parents financially since before the age of 22.
Parents and Grandparents
Canada’s Parent and Grandparent Program gives Canadian citizens and permanent residents the opportunity to sponsor their parents and grandparents for permanent residency.
This family sponsorship route is less common than the sponsorship of partners and children because Canadian sponsors have to be invited to be able to apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. The number of people invited to apply varies every year but generally, around 20,000 invitations are issued.
Invitations are issued at random as part of a lottery system. To be entered into the lottery, Canadian permanent residents and citizens must complete an “interest to sponsor” form. If invited, the Canadian sponsor has 60 days to submit their sponsorship application. The parents or grandparents being sponsored must also submit a permanent residence form.
Orphaned siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren
Orphaned siblings, nephews, nieces and grandchildren of Canadians can be eligible to be sponsored for permanent residence too, however, they must meet certain conditions. They must:
- Be related to the sponsor through blood or adoption
- Be under the age of 18
- Be orphaned, this means both of their parents have passed away
- Not be married or in a common-law relationship
Siblings nephews, nieces and grandchildren are not eligible to be sponsored for permanent residence if they have a parent that is still alive, they were abandoned by their parents, their parent is detained or if their parent’s location is unknown.
How to move to Canada from Ireland under the family class route
There are two applications involved in the Canadian family class route. The Canadian sponsor must submit an application to become a sponsor and the Irish citizen being sponsored must submit an application for permanent residence. Usually, these applications must be submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) at the same time. However, if sponsoring a parent or grandparent the Canadian sponsor must first wait for their sponsorship application to be approved before the parents or grandparents can apply to become a permanent resident.
To begin the family class application process you should request an application package from the IRCC website, this will provide you with all of the application forms you will need to submit and will also give you a guide about how to fill the forms in as well as a document checklist.
Citizens of some countries are required to provide additional documents but there are currently no additional documents required for Irish applicants.
How can Total Law help?
The Canadian family class sponsorship application process is complex, the process involved two types of applications and due to differing requirements for certain family members, it can be difficult to know exactly what application forms and documents you are expected to submit.
Our immigration lawyers are trained in Canadian immigration law and can provide you with full support thought the application process. We can assess whether you are eligible for sponsorship and will work with both you and your Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsor to complete the application process. This includes assisting you with the application forms and helping you to gather all of the requested documents.
For more information about how our lawyers can help you to become a permanent resident of Canada get in touch today at (+353) 061 518 025.
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In order to be able to sponsor you, your Canadian relative must agree to financially support you whilst you are in Canada, how long they must agree to provide financial support for depends on the type of sponsored person. For a spouse, a common-law or conjugal partner they must provide support for 3 years, for a dependent child they must provide support for 10 years or until the child turns 25.
Yes, partners or Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for sponsorship as a family members regardless of their sexual orientation. To be eligible to be sponsored as a partner you must either be a common-law partner, conjugal partner or legally married.
A family sponsorship application for spouses and partners costs $550.00, this includes the $75 sponsorship fee and the $475 principal applicant processing fee. For dependent children, the application costs $150 as the processing fee is reduced to $75.
As well as this you will also need to pay the right of permanent residence fee for your permanent residence application, this costs $400.