Canada Family Class Sponsorship Eligibility


canada-family-class-sponsorship-eligibilityWho can be sponsored to Canada under the Family Class?

Canadian Family Class immigration involves sponsorship by a qualifying individual- the sponsor. A successful Canadian sponsorship includes many elements, but hinges on the relationship of the permanent resident applicant to the sponsor.

The following persons may be sponsored:

  • Spouses
  • Common-law partner
  • Dependent children
  • Children intended for adoption
  • Parents, grandparents and their dependent children
  • Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren if they are either orphaned, not a spouse or common-law partner and under 18
  • Any relative if the sponsor is alone in Canada and has none of the above family members to sponsor

A permanent resident or Canadian citizen can sponsor a person as a spouse if the marriage is legally valid civil marriage. If the spouse is of the

  • Opposite sex and the marriage took place outside Canada, the marriage must be valid both under the laws of the jurisdiction where it took place and under the Canadian law
  • Same sex, the marriage will be recognized for immigration purposes, where the marriage;
  • Was legally performed in Canada
  • If performed outside Canada, the marriage must be legally recognised according to both the law of the place where the marriage occurred and under the Canadian law

Eligibility to Sponsor a Spouse and Children

A permanent resident or citizen of Canada can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner (partner), or dependent children. To be a sponsor, the permanent resident or citizen must be 18 or older.

Sponsorship is a big responsibility that should be taken seriously. When a permanent resident or citizen sponsors one of these relatives to become permanent residents of Canada, he/she must support them financially. If a permanent resident or citizen has sponsored relatives to come to Canada in the past, and they have later asked the government for financial help, the permanent resident or citizen may not be allowed to sponsor another person.

To be able to sponsor, a permanent resident or citizen must:

  • agree in writing to give financial support to his/ her relative, if they need it
    • for a spouse or partner, this lasts for three years from the date they become a permanent resident
    • for a dependent child, this lasts for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first
  • The sponsored spouse or children must also agree to try to support themselves.

What Relationships are excluded from the Family Class Sponsorship?

The Regulations exclude persons from membership in the family class by virtue of their relationship to the sponsor, if they were not examined as part of the sponsor’s application for permanent residence and they were required to be examined. The Regulations prescribe relationships that exclude an applicant from membership in the family class.

Applicants in the following situations are not members of the family class:

  • the spouse or common-law partner is under the age of 16
  • bigamy or polygamy – either the sponsor or the spouse was married to someone else at the time of the marriage
  • the sponsor has an existing undertaking to support a previous spouse or common-lawpartner and the three-year duration of the undertaking in respect of that undertaking has not yet ended
  • the sponsor and the applicant have been separated for at least a year, and either one is in a common-law relationship with another person
  • when the sponsor applied for permanent residence, the applicant was a non-accompanying family member of the sponsor and was not examined

A foreign national is not considered a spouse if the marriage or relationship is not genuine and was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege. In addition, the relationship between two persons that has been dissolved for the primary purpose of acquiring status or privilege under the Act and is then resumed is an excluded relationship and the foreign national shall not be considered a spouse under the Regulations.

Responsibilities of the Applicant under Family Class Sponsorship

When a permanent resident or citizen agrees to sponsor a family to Canada, he/she must sign a contract called an undertaking with the Minister of citizenship and immigration. The undertaking is a promise to provide financial support for his/her spouse’s basic requirements and those of the spouse’s dependent children.

Basic requirements are:

  • food
  • clothing
  • utilities
  • personal requirements
  • shelter
  • fuel
  • household supplies
  • health care that is not provided by health care (eye and dental care)

The undertaking ensures that these persons and their family members do not have to apply for social assistance. Its length varies according to the age and relationship of the sponsor and person being sponsored. The obligations of the sponsor begins the moment his/her family members arrive in Canada.

Who Cannot Sponsor a Family to Canada?

A permanent resident or citizen may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:

  • did not meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past
  • did not pay alimony or child support even though a court ordered it
  • get government financial help for reasons other than being disabled
  • were convicted of
    • an offence of a sexual nature
    • a violent crime
    • an offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or
    • an attempt or threat to commit any such offences, depending on the details of the case, such as
      • the type of offence
      • how long ago it occurred and
      • whether a record suspension was issued
  • were sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner in the past and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
  • are in prison
  • has declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet

Can I Sponsor under Family Class if I am convicted of a Crime?

The sponsorship bar stops people who have been convicted of certain crimes from sponsoring a family member to Canada. If a permanent resident or citizen has been convicted of a crime that caused bodily harm to any of the relatives below, cannot sponsor anyone under the Family Class.

  • Partner which includes common-law and conjugal partners
  • Current or ex-spouse/partner and/or their children
  • His/her parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, nice/nephew, aunt/uncle, or cousin
  • the current or ex-spouse/partner and children of the above
  • the parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, nice/nephew, aunt/uncle, or cousin of his/her current or ex-spouse/partner or children
  • the current or ex-spouse/partner and children of any of the above
  • his/her child’s spouse, partner or children
  • his/her spouse’s, partner’s or child’s ex-spouse or ex-partner and children
  • his/her partner’s or ex-spouse/partners (and their children) of any of the above
  • a foster child who is or was cared for by him/her
  • his/her current or ex-spouse/partner or their children
  • his/her parent/grandparent, child/grandchild, sibling, aunt/uncle or cousin
  • the current or ex-spouse/partner (and their children) of any of the above
  • his/her current or ex-boyfriend/girlfriend, their spouse or common-law partner, and their dependent children

If I Owe Money or are in Debt Can I Sponsor my Family to Canada?

A permanent resident or citizen cannot sponsor if he/she commits the following defaults:

  • Default in previous undertaking: He/she may not sponsor until he/she repays the full amount of any social assistance or welfare payment or repay the debt to the satisfaction of the government authority that issued the benefit or ordered the sponsor to pay.
  • Default in immigration loan: He/she received a transportation, assistance or right of permanent residence fees (previously called Landing Fees) loan and have missed payments or are in arrears. He/she may not sponsor until he/she repays all the arrears of the loan.
  • Default in support matter obligations
  • Default in performance bond

What Akrami and Associates can do for you!!

An application for sponsorship is often approved for immigration with great reluctance and examination by the government. In the process that applicant has to extensively and clearly explain and prove relationships. The government tries to pierce the veil of the relationship and look at the intent of the applicants and the sponsors. This often comes with very difficult questions and tough answers that are emotionally difficult for the applicants. This is where our professional experience can help you through the process like we have helped hundreds of families. Whether you have a question, or are looking to book a consultation in person or over the phone with one of our representatives, feel free to give us a call today at 416-477-2545 or toll free at 1-877-820-7121

If you are look forward to file the application for sponsorship of your spouse on your own, we can still help you with our Do It Yourself Immigration Kit which you can purchase from us. The kit details the process for you on how you can file your application on your own like a pro!! We do not leave you at that. If you buy the Do It Yourself Kit bundle, you get consultation and final review of your application by one of our representatives. We are there to help you throughout the process.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!