Immigration Firm in Scarborough, Toronto
What is Family Sponsorship or Family Reunion and How It Works:
Any Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents who are at least 18 years old or older can sponsor their family members and certain relatives. The intent of the family class immigration program is to reunite Canadian citizens and permanent residents with close family members. By undertaking to support sponsored members of the family class, the sponsor promises that, for a specified duration, they will provide for the basic needs of their family members so they do not have to rely on social assistance.
Sponsorship applications involving spouses, common-law or conjugal partners, dependent children and children to be adopted and orphans are given priority. There are no processing priorities for other members of the family class.
Family sponsorship application is less complex. However, sponsors (Canadian or Permanent Resident) must be free from any criminal chargers, bankruptcy and able to support financially.
Categories of Family Sponsorship
Canadians or Permanent Residents can sponsor anyone who are qualified under these categories:
- Spouse – Overseas, Inland, Same-Sex
- Common Law partner – (restrictions apply)
- Conjugal partner – (restrictions apply)
- Dependent children
- parents – (Additional conditions apply)
- grandparents – (Additional conditions apply)
- brothers or sisters, nephews or nieces, granddaughters or grandsons who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship
- another relative of any age or relationship but only under specific conditions
- Accompanying relatives of the above (for example, spouse, partner and dependent children).
When assessing a family class application, officers should be satisfied that a genuine relationship exists. A relationship that is not genuine or that was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege will be refused. Majority of the family sponsorship applications get refused for lack of demonstration of the genuineness of the relationship.
In most cases, there isn’t an income requirement to sponsor your spouse or partner or dependent child. However, you will have to meet the income requirement if you are sponsoring your parents, grandparents and their dependents.
Income Requirement for Sponsoring Parents and Grandparents
The minimum necessary income (MNI) requirement for the sponsorship of a parent or grandparent is equal to the low income cut-offs + 30%, taking into account the number of family members for whom the sponsors are or will be financially responsible. IRCC assesses whether or not the sponsor has a total income that is equal to or greater than the MNI that sponsors and a co-signer (where applicable) must meet to satisfy IRCC that they are able to provide the basic requirements, e.g. food, clothing, and shelter for themselves, the person(s) being sponsored and any other persons for whom they are responsible (including the sponsors themselves).
As evidence of meeting the income requirements, the sponsor must provide their Notice of Assessment from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) for each of the 3 taxation years right before the date of submitting application. For example, if you were invited to apply in 2020 and had your 2019 Notice of Assessment when you applied, you must submit your Notices of Assessment from 2019, 2018 and 2017.
The following table applies to residents of all provinces except Quebec. If you live in Quebec, the Quebec ministry in charge of immigration will assess your income.
Minimum Necessary Income for 2021:
Family Sponsorship FAQ:
- Which family members can I sponsor?
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada can sponsor the following members of their family: spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner (opposite or same-sex), dependent children, parents, grand-parents, children adopted from abroad, and under specific circumstances, other relatives. The applicant is required to declare all their family members in the application.
- Can my spousal sponsorship application get refused?
The answer is yes. A spousal relationship or common-law partnership that is not genuine or that was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege will be refused. You will have to prove to the officers that the relationship between you and your partner is real by providing all the mandatory documentation (such as your marriage certificate) as well as other supporting documentation (such as wedding invitations and photos, statement of relationship, documentary evidence of financial support between the principal applicant and sponsor, etc.). It is on the principle applicant to prove that their relationship with the sponsor is genuine.
- Can I sponsor a child who is over 19 years old?
On October 24, 2017, the age limit for dependents changed from “under 19” to “under 22.” You can sponsor a child who is 22 years of age or older if they meet both of these requirements:
they have depended on their parents for financial support since before the age of 22, and
they are unable to financially support themselves because of a mental or physical condition
- What it means to financially support the basic needs of my family?
When you agree to sponsor, you sign an undertaking, promising to give financial support for the basic needs of the people you’re sponsoring, and any of their dependent children.
Basic needs include:
- food, clothing, shelter and other needs for everyday living
- dental care, eye care and other health needs not covered by public health services
Before signing the undertaking agreement, you should make sure that those you sponsor won’t need to ask the government for financial help. If they receive social assistance, you’ll need to pay back what they received. You won’t be able to sponsor anyone else until you have repaid the amount.
- What if I do not meet the income requirement for sponsoring my family?
If you have to meet financial requirements and do not have enough money to sponsor your relatives on your own, your spouse or common-law partner may help you meet the income requirement by co-signing the undertaking.
The co-signer must:
- meet the same eligibility requirements as the sponsor;
- agree to co-sign your application to sponsor; and,
- agree to be responsible for the basic requirements of the persons you want to sponsor and their family members for the term of the undertaking.
The co-signer will be equally liable if commitments are not met. If you are sponsoring a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, you cannot have a co-signer. If you are sponsoring a dependent child who does not have children of his or her own, you do not need a co-signer.
- Who is eligible to sponsor their parents or grandparents?
If you would like to sponsor your parents or grandparents to enter Canada you must be a 18-year-old-or-older Canadian citizen or permanent resident and meet the minimum income requirement.
You may not be eligible to sponsor your parents or grandparents if you
- you won’t live in Canada when you apply to sponsor your parents and grandparents and/or when your parents and grandparents become permanent residents
- have already applied to sponsor the family members you are currently seeking to sponsor and a decision on that application hasn’t been made
- declared bankruptcy and are not discharged (not applicable if you live in Quebec)
- receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
- 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
- are in jail, prison, or a penitentiary
- are under a removal order
- 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)
Family sponsorship is a useful immigration program for those who do not qualify under the Express Entry - Federal Skilled Worker or the Canadian Experience Class. However, sponsorship application is an elaborate and complicated process where the applicant could easily be denied or rejected if there is a lack of crucial information or the detailed rules and procedures are not followed. Seeking assistance from licensed immigration professionals is the simplest and safest way to minimize chances of refusal or unnecessary delays of your sponsorship application. Contact Springwind Immigration today and we will help you with our professional consultation and documentation preparation.