Family Sponsorship

One way for US citizens to permanently immigrate to Canada is to be sponsored by a Canadian family member. Find out more about who can sponsor their relatives to come to Canada and how the whole process looks like.

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    How can US citizens immigrate to Canada through family sponsorship?

    Family sponsorship is one of the most straightforward ways to get permanent residence in Canada. Under the family sponsorship programs, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their foreign family members, allowing them to become Canadian permanent residents. Thanks to that, their relatives can come to Canada to work, study, and live there permanently.

    Family Sponsorship is also a path to Canadian citizenship. If the foreign relative spent at least 1,095 days in Canada within five years of getting their permanent residency, they can apply for citizenship.

    Relatives who can be sponsored to come to Canada include spouses, common-law partners, biological and adopted children, parents, grandparents, siblings.

    Accompanying relatives of the above might also be eligible to come to Canada under the family sponsorship program.

    In exceptional situations such as when a relative not mentioned here is the only living relative of a Canadian citizen, they might also be eligible to be sponsored. Get in touch with our immigration lawyers and they will look at your case and determine whether you can come to Canada under the family sponsorship program.

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    To be able to become a sponsor, Canadian citizens or permanent residents have to meet the following requirements:

    • Be at least 18 years old
    • Be related to the sponsored person
    • Be living in Canada legally
    • Be a Canadian Citizen, permanent resident, or registered person under the India act
    • Have enough finances to be able to financially support the sponsored relative
    • Not be receiving social assistance unless it is for a disability
    • Not be in debt and have not declared bankruptcy
    • Not be serving a prison sentence.

    To sponsor their family member and enable them to come to Canada, they have to do the following:

    • Sign a sponsorship agreement in which they agree to provide financial support for their US relative after they arrive in Canada
    • Agree to offer financial support to their spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner for three years after they arrive in Canada
    • Agree to provide financial support to a sponsored child for ten years after they arrive in Canada, or until the child turns 25, whichever is sooner.

    Canadian citizens wanting to sponsor their relatives have to provide proof of having enough finances to meet these requirements.

    What are the requirements for the sponsored relatives?

    Canadian sponsors are not the only ones who have to meet certain criteria, US citizens who want to come to Canada under the family sponsorship program have to:

    • Try to support themselves and their dependents instead of relying on the Canadian citizen or permanent resident
    • Live in the US or another country that is not Canada at the time of submitting the application
    • Be related to the Canadian sponsor
    • Not pose a health risk to Canadian society
    • Not have a criminal record.

    If you are not sure whether your Canadian relative can sponsor you, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for the family sponsorship program and will tell you what documents you need to include in your application.

    Family sponsorship for spouses, common-law partners, and conjugal partners

    Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their spouses and partners of either sex provided that they are at least 18 years old. To sponsor a spouse they have to be able to provide documents, such as a marriage certificate, proving that they are legally married.

    To be able to be sponsored under the family sponsorship program, common-law partners have to meet the following requirements:

    • Not be legally married to the Canadian sponsor.
    • Have been living with the Canadian sponsor for at least one year in a conjugal relationship without long periods spent without each other.

    As for conjugal partners, they need to meet the following criteria:

    • Not be legally married or be in a common-law relationship with the Canadian sponsor.
    • Have been in a conjugal relationship with the Canadian sponsor for at least one year.
    • Have been living in the US or another country that is not Canada before submitting the application.
    • Not be able to get married in their home country because of immigration and legal reasons such as being a same-sex couple in a country where homosexual marriages are not legal.

    Family sponsorship for dependent children

    Children can be sponsored under the family sponsorship program if they meet the following requirements:

    • Are younger than 22 years of age
    • Are your biological or adopted child, or are your spouse’s dependent child
    • Are not married
    • Are older than 22 years of age but also unable to financially support themselves because of mental or physical disability
    • Were dependent on you financially before they turned 22.

    To be able to immigrate to Canada thanks to the family sponsorship, the child has to continue to meet these requirements until the application process is finalised.

    Family sponsorship for parents and grandparents

    Canadian citizens and permanent residents can also sponsor their parents and grandparents if the following requirements are met:

    • The Canadian citizen or permanent resident is their biological or adopted child
    • The person sponsored is a partner of a parent or grandparent of the Canadian citizen.

    To sponsor a parent’s or grandparent’s partner the Canadian citizen has to include them in the application as dependents of the principal applicant. Dependent children of any parent or grandparent can also be included in the application.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration lawyers to learn how to apply for the family sponsorship. Contact us

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      How to apply for family sponsorship?

      To sponsor a US spouse, partner, or child, the Canadian citizen has to apply to become a sponsor and, at the same time, the sponsored family members have to submit their application for permanent residence in Canada.

      If Canadian citizen wants to sponsor a parent or grandparent, they first need to wait for their application to become a sponsor to be approved. Only then can the parents or grandparents apply for permanent residence.

      Canadian citizens wanting to become sponsors can submit their applications online on the website of the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

      The next step is to pay the application and biometrics fees and then, finally, submit the application for their relatives.

      How can Total Law help?

      Here at Total Law, we understand the importance of family and we want to help families avoid separation. Our lawyers have helped many clients successfully immigrate to Canada on various visas and under the family sponsorship program. Going through the application process alone can be stressful but if you hire an immigration lawyer you will have access to constant professional support.

      Our immigration lawyers will guide you through each step of the process and will answer any questions you might have. They will help you complete all the forms and gather all the required documents. They will also make sure that there are no mistakes in your application.

      Thanks to the help of our immigration lawyers the whole process of applying for family sponsorship will be straightforward.

      To find out more about how our lawyers can help, call us today on +1 844 290 6312.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                Those who want to apply for family sponsorship have to pay the following fees:

                • $75 – processing fee for the sponsor
                • $75 – processing fee for the principal applicant
                • $475 – processing fee for the dependents of the principal applicant
                • $490 – the right of permanent residence fee
                • Biometrics fee that varies depending on location.

                The processing time of the family sponsorship applications varies depending on the relationship between the Canadian sponsor and the sponsored individual. Applications for spouses and children of Candian citizens are usually processed within 12 months, while applications for parents or grandparents take 20 to 24 months.

                The family sponsorship program is designed to reunite families by allowing Canadian citizens to sponsor their foreign relatives for permanent immigration to Canada. Individuals who can be sponsored under this initiative include spouses, common-law partners, children, parents, and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

                The processing time of family sponsorship applications for parents and grandparents tends to be longer than the one for spouses and children. First, the Canadian citizen has to wait for their application to become a sponsor to be approved by IRCC. Only after they receive the approval can the family sponsorship application for parents and grandparents be submitted. Then, the waiting time takes between 20 to 24 months.