Immigration for Families
The objective of Family Class of immigration is to reunite close family members in Canada. The Family Class allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their dependent children, parents and grandparents, spouse, common-law, or conjugal partners. The Government of Canada strongly supports reuniting families in Canada; therefore the processing of Family Class applications is given the highest priority at Canadian Visa Offices.
Spousal and Common-law Partner Sponsorship
The Spousal Sponsorship program is a subsection of the Family Class immigration category.
Under this program, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident may sponsor a spouse or common-law partner for Canadian Permanent Residence.
Both the Canadian citizen or permanent resident (the ‘sponsor’) and the sponsored foreign national spouse (the ‘applicant’) must be approved by Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in order for the applicant to receive a visa.
In order to receive a visa through this immigration program, the sponsor and sponsored person must prove that their relationship qualifies under one of three categories:
- Common-law Partner
- Conjugal Partner
- Canada recognizes same-sex marriage, and same-sex partners may be eligible to apply under any of the above three categories, provided they meet all eligibility requirements.
An application under the spousal sponsorship category will be subject to terms and conditions after the applicant is granted permanent residence, including:
- The sponsor is financially responsible for the person sponsored for three years after the sponsored person becomes a permanent resident.
- Individuals who come to Canada as spouses are barred from sponsoring a spouse for five years after receiving Canadian permanent residence
Parent / Grandparent Sponsorship
A Canadian or permanent resident living in Canada, 18 years or older, may sponsor a parent or grandparent.
To be a sponsor:
- The sponsor and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits the sponsor to provide financial support for the sponsored relative. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves.
- The sponsor must commit to providing financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
- If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) approves you as a sponsor.
The Super Visa is a temporary resident visa which allows parents or grandparents to apply for a type of visitor visa that permits them to remain in Canada for up to two years at a time without the need to renew their status every 6 months. Parents and grandparents who are from visa-exempt countries are also eligible to apply for the Super Visa.
An application for a super visa requires:
- documentation demonstrating that your child or grandchild in Canada meets a minimum income threshold
- a written statement from that child or grandchild that he or she will give you financial support
- valid Canadian medical insurance coverage for at least one year and completion of an immigration medical exams