How to sponsor your spouse, partner, or child ?

IRPA s.12(1) Family Reunification

Selection of Permanent Residents

12.(1). A foreign national may be selected as a member of the family class on the basis of their relationship as the spouse, common-law partner, child, parent or other prescribed family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

What is the difference between “Member of the Family Class” and “Family Member”?

“Member of the Family Class” refers to those who can be sponsored as per R117. “Family Member” is more generic term which is used throughout the Act and Regulations to refer to dependents of an applicant for permanent resident.

Regulation R1(3): definition of family member – spouse, common law partner, dependent child of the person or their spouse, and dependent child of dependent child.

What is the length of a sponsorship for a spouse, partner, or a child?

The length of a sponsorship requirement, which ranges from 3 to 20 years, depending on the relationship of the foreign national to sponsor. An exemption for spouses and dependent children from the medical grounds of inadmissibility (grounds related to medical condition placing excessive demand on health and social services). [A38 (1)(c) and no right to appeal in case where a family member is found inadmissible for reason of security (s.34), human or international rights violation (s.35), serious criminality (s.36(1)), or organized criminality (s.37).

The “length of undertaking” is the time period you’re financially responsible for the person you sponsor. It starts on the day the person you sponsor becomes a permanent resident.

Person you sponsor Length of undertaking for all provinces except Quebec
Spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 3 years
Dependent child (biological or  adopted) or child to be adopted in Canada under 22 years of age 10 years, or until age 25, whichever comes first
Dependent child 22 years of age or older 3 years
Parent or grandparent 20 years
Other relative 10 years

Who is eligible to sponsor a spouse, partner, or a child?

To sponsor a member of family class, one must:

If you want to sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent child then you must be:

  • a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada.
  • at least 18 years old
  • reside in Canada (exception for Canadian citizen R130.2.
  • have filed a sponsorship application in accordance with R10.
  • Must NOT have sponsored a spouse within the last 3 years (to sponsor a new spouse) (duration of undertaking = 3 years).
  • Must not have been sponsored as a spouse with in the last 5 years (to sponsor a new spouse).
  • Must be able to prove that you’re not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability.
  • Must be able to provide basic needs of any persons you want to sponsor.

R (130(1) Image

What are the requirements for an eligible sponsor?

  • Must meet definition in R130
  • Must intend to fulfil the requirement of the undertaking
  • Must mot be under a removal order
  • Must not be in jail
  • Must not be convicted of a sexual offence or an indictable violent offence, or an offence causing bodily harm against a relative(previous 5 years)
  • Must not be in default of a prior undertaking or support payment
  • Not an undischarged bankrupt
  • Must meet Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) of it applies – Definition of MNI in R2 [LICO]

What is an Adoption of a child?

When you apply, you’ll have to complete and sign a form that includes the undertaking and the sponsorship agreement.

What is the Income requirement for sponsoring a spouse or child?

In most cases, there isn’t an income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner or dependent child. You only need to show that you have enough money to meet the income requirements if:

  • you’re sponsoring a dependent child that has 1 or more dependent children of their own, or
  • you’re sponsoring a spouse or partner that has a dependent child, and their dependent child has 1 or more children of their own.

Who can’t sponsor their spouse, partner or child?

You can’t sponsor your spouse, partner or child if:

  • you’re less than 18 years old
  • you won’t live in Canada when the persons you want to sponsor become permanent residents
  • you’re not a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident of Canada, or a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act
  • you’re a temporary resident, that is you’re visiting, studying or working in Canada on a visa or permit
  • your permanent residence application is still in process
    • You must have permanent resident status at the time you submit your sponsorship application.
  • you don’t have enough money to support the persons you want to sponsor (if applicable)

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner if you:

  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than 5 years ago
  • are still financially responsible for a previous spouse or partner that you sponsored. This means you’re still bound by the 3 year undertaking to take care of this person.

You may not be eligible to sponsor your spouse, partner or child if you:

  • you have already applied to sponsor the spouse, parent or child you are currently seeking to sponsor and a decision on that application hasn’t been made
  • are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary
  • didn’t pay back:
    • an immigration loan
    • a performance bond
    • court-ordered family support payments such as alimony or child support (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
  • didn’t give the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor someone else in the past (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
  • declared bankruptcy and are not discharged (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • you were convicted of attempting, threatening to commit or committing a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence inside or outside Canada
  • can’t legally stay in Canada and must leave the country because you received a Removal Order

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