Canada is one of the most developed first-world countries, where people from all over the world look to immigrate and settle in hopes of living a fulfilling life. Canada welcomes people and has special programs designed to facilitate them in immigrating and settling in Canada.
To make life easier for people immigrating to the country, the Canadian government has launched programs where permanent residents and Canadian citizens can sponsor their partners, relatives, and loved ones and invite them to live with them in Canada. In this blog, let’s take a look at how you can sponsor people in Canada and what are the conditions that need to be met.
Sponsoring Your Spouse or Common-Law Partner
Spousal sponsorship refers to an application made to bring a married partner to Canada for the purpose of living together. It is important to note that for a marriage to be recognized in Canada, it must be legally recognized in the country where it took place.
To sponsor a spouse, the applicant must fulfill specific requirements and provide evidence of the marriage’s legitimacy. The process involves submitting two applications: the family sponsorship application and the permanent residence application for the spouse.
These applications can be modified or updated if there are changes in the circumstances during the process, such as separation, divorce, or the couple becoming parents.
The eligibility criteria for spousal sponsorship include:
- The sponsor must be at least 18 years old.
- The sponsor must be a permanent resident or a Canadian citizen.
- If the sponsor is a permanent resident, they must provide proof of residing in Canada.
- If the sponsor is a Canadian citizen, they must ensure their presence when their spouse arrives in Canada or obtains permanent residence.
- The sponsor must provide proof of the marriage, such as a marriage certificate, supporting documents, or wedding photos.
- The sponsor must demonstrate financial stability to support their spouse’s basic needs, including food, clothing, and shelter.
- Proof of income may be required, although it may not be necessary in all cases.
- The sponsor must not have any criminal records, sexual or violent convictions, or declared bankruptcy.
- The sponsor must not be under a removal order.
It is essential to provide valid proof of marriage to qualify for spousal sponsorship. It’s worth noting that fiancés cannot be sponsored under the spousal sponsorship program, even if there are plans to marry in the future. In such cases, alternatives like common-law sponsorships or conjugal sponsorships should be considered.
A common-law couple refers to a pair of individuals who are in a relationship and live together but are not married. To meet the eligibility criteria as common-law partners, the couple must reside together for a minimum of one year. It is important to note that living together entails sharing day-to-day responsibilities and activities as a married couple, despite not being legally married.
Common-law partners are permitted to have temporary absences from their shared homes due to reasons such as work, studies, or travel. The eligibility criteria for common-law sponsorship are pretty similar to those for spousal sponsorship, with a few differences. The requirements include:
- Being above the age of 18.
- Having Canadian citizenship or permanent residency.
- Residing in Canada at the time of the partner’s arrival in the country if the sponsor is a Canadian citizen.
- Demonstrating financial stability to support the basic needs of the partner.
- Submitting form IMM5409 (Statutory Declaration of Common-Law Union)instead of a marriage certificate and related documents.
- Providing evidence of the common-law partnership through documents and photographs.
- Having a clean criminal record without any convictions related to violence or sexual offenses.
- Proof of income may be required in certain cases.
To sponsor a partner with whom you are in a relationship but have not married, you need to submit a sponsorship application under the category of a common-law partnership. To establish the existence of the relationship and living together, various forms of proof can be submitted, such as:
- Documents demonstrating shared ownership of residential property in another country.
- A joint rental agreement or lease.
- Documents with the same address, such as driver’s licenses, personal identification, or insurance policies.
- Shared utility accounts, such as phone, electricity, gas, etc.
- Shared bank accounts.
A conjugal couple refers to a pair of individuals who are in a relationship but have not been married or lived together for a minimum of one year, making them ineligible for common-law partnership status due to circumstances beyond their control. Due to this, the Canadian government has established a specific category called conjugal sponsorships to accommodate such couples.
To qualify for a conjugal sponsorship, it is necessary to provide evidence of the relationship. This can be achieved by submitting various documents and proofs, including photographs of the couple together, evidence of custody of children (if any), a short essay or story describing the relationship, and any relevant events.
Certain circumstances can make couples unable to live together or marry. These circumstances include:
- Same-sex couples facing legal prohibitionsagainst same-sex marriages and partnerships in their country of residence.
- Couples with different religious backgrounds, who cannot marry or live together due to religious constraints.
- Couples with different cultural backgrounds, who are facing obstacles to marriage or living together due to cultural differences.
- The financial instability of one or both partners prevents them from being self-sufficient and living independently.
- One partner is separated from the other due to work or study commitments lasting for a year or longer.
The eligibility criteria for conjugal sponsorships are the same as the ones for common-law sponsorships.
Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents
Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada as long as they meet specific financial requirements and can demonstrate the ability to support them financially.
The eligibility criteria to sponsor parents include:
Citizenship or Permanent Residence
You must be a Canadian citizen, a registered Indian under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident of Canada.
You must be at least 18 years old.
As a sponsor, you must meet the minimum necessary income requirement, which is determined by the size of your family and your province of residence. The income must meet or exceed the minimum necessary income for three consecutive years prior to the sponsorship application.
Intention to Support and Undertaking
As a sponsor, you must commit to providing financial support to your parents or grandparents and ensure they do not need to rely on social assistance from the government.
You must sign an undertaking agreement, which is a legal document that states your commitment to financially support your parents or grandparents and repay any social assistance provided to them by the government.
Medical Examination and Admissibility
Your parents or grandparents will be required to undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet the health requirements for entry to Canada. They may be denied admissibility if they are diagnosed with an untreatable or contagious illness.
Violation of Immigration Laws or Criminal Records
Your parents and grandparents must not have any criminal charges or have violated immigration laws in the past to be eligible to be sponsored.
Sponsoring Siblings and Half-Siblings
Generally, Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their siblings to come and live in Canada under the Family Class sponsorship program. Here are some key eligibility criteria:
- You must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You can sponsor your siblings if they are your biological or legally adopted brother or sister.
- Half-siblings or step-siblings may also be eligible if the relationship can be proven and meets specific criteria set by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Age of Siblings and Marital Status
- Your sibling or half-sibling must be less than 18 years old
- Your sibling or half-sibling must not be married or have a common-law partner
Financial Responsibility and Undertaking
- As a sponsor, you need to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial resources to support your sibling and their dependents, if applicable.
- You will need to provide financial documentation to prove your ability to meet the financial obligations of sponsorship.
- As a sponsor, you will be required to sign a sponsorship undertaking, which is a legally binding agreement. By signing this undertaking, you commit to providing financial support for your siblings and ensuring they do not rely on government assistance for a specific period.
Medical and Criminal Inadmissibility
- Both you (the sponsor) and your sibling (the sponsored person) must undergo medical examinations to ensure you meet the health requirements for entry into Canada.
- You and your sibling must not have any criminal convictions or be considered a security risk.
If you’re planning to sponsor a relative, you should work with an experienced immigration lawyer to boost the chances of success in your application. The immigration lawyers at Nanda & Associate Lawyers can help you.
We are a trusted law firm in Canada and have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who can help you with your sponsorship applications. Moreover, we also have personal injury lawyers, family lawyers, real estate lawyers, and business lawyers.
Reach out to us now for further details.