Family Class Sponsorship

Family Class Sponsorship

The Family Class Sponsorship provides Canadian citizens with an opportunity to sponsor their family members to live with them in Canada and become Canadian permanent residents. Family reunification is one of the three pillars of Canadian immigration program, which permits both the recent immigrants and long-established Canadians to be reunited with members of their family.


Who can become a sponsor?

A sponsor is:

  • at least 18 years old
  • a Canadian citizen, or a permanent resident, who is living or intends to live in Canada
  • not receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability, and
  • able to provide the basic needs of the person sponsored


Who can you sponsor?

The Family Class broadly consists of the following three categories of sponsorships:

  1. Spousal, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner Sponsorship
  2. Parents, Grandparents and Relative Sponsorship
  3. Children and other dependents


An applicant must not be ‘inadmissible’ under the Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA) and must go through:

–          Medical exams

–          Criminal checks

–          Background checks

Spousal, Common-Law or Conjugal Partner Sponsorship

Parents, Grandparents & Relative Sponsorship

Children and Other Dependants

Need Legal Help for Sponsorship application under the Family Class Sponsorship

 A spousal sponsorship allows a Canadian national to sponsor his or her spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner to live in Canada.

  • The sponsor and the sponsored person must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Age: They both must be at least 18 years old.
    • Motive of relationship: They must demonstrate their relationship as genuine and is not entered just to become permanent resident in Canada.
    • Intention: They must prove their intention to live together in Canada.
    • Common law partners, including both opposite-and same-sex, who have been living together with another person in a marriage-like setting for more than 12 consecutive months or a period of one year, can sponsor if they meet the eligibility requirements.
    • Conjugal partner, including both opposite-and same-sex relationships, who is living outside Canada and has had a binding relationship with the sponsor for at least one year, but could not live with their partner.

Eligible sponsors can sponsor their parents, grandparents or any relative within the family class sponsorship, if they meet certain requirements.

  • The sponsor must meet eligibility requirements which are given as follows:
  1. Age: The sponsor must be 18 years of age or older
  2. Status and residence: The sponsor must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and must be living in Canada
  3. Family class member: The sponsor must be sponsoring a member of the family class
  4. Income requirements: The sponsors must meet the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) in last three years.
  5. Undertaking: The sponsor is required to commit to support the sponsored person and their dependants financially and provide for the basic requirements
  6. Sponsorship agreement: The sponsor must sign a mutual agreement with the sponsored person to confirm that both of you understands your mutual obligations and responsibilities.

Latest Update on PGP Sponsorship: on January 11, 2019, IRCC announced that the Parents and Grandparents (PGP) Program interest to sponsor form will be available to potential sponsors starting at noon EST on January 28, 2019.

The launch of the 2019 PGP Program includes a new and improved intake process. Potential sponsors should submit an interest to sponsor form as soon as possible once it’s available online. The onus is on potential sponsors to ensure they are eligible before submitting an interest to sponsor form.

Here’s how the new process will work:

Step 1: Potential sponsors indicate their interest: Under the new process, as in previous years, the interest to sponsor form will be available online and eligible potential sponsors can let IRCC know they wish to sponsor their parents and grandparents. The enhanced version of the interest to sponsor form will require potential sponsors to upload a copy of a status in Canada document.

Step 2: Invitations to sponsor are sent. Once the interest to sponsor period has ended and the form has been removed from the website, IRCC will review the submissions and remove duplicates and then invite interested potential sponsors to submit a complete application to sponsor their parents and grandparents, in the order it was received.

Step 3: Applications are submitted. Those who are invited to apply will be given 60 calendar days for IRCC to receive their complete application. Those who submit an interest to sponsor form and receive a confirmation number, but do not receive an invitation to apply in 2019, will have their form retained by IRCC for consideration in 2020.

Quick facts

  •  The interest to sponsor form will be available at noon EST on January 28, 2019.
  • IRCC will accept form submissions on a first-in basis. As soon as enough submissions are received, the form will no longer be available.
  • To submit the Interest, you will need an electronic copy of your proof of status in Canada (new requirement for 2019)
  • IRCC will invite a total of 20,000 applications.
  • Once invited, potential sponsors will have 60 calendar days from the date of their invitation to ensure IRCC receives their complete application for sponsorship.
  •  In 2018, after removing duplicates, IRCC received 93,836 interest to sponsor forms.
  • Eligible sponsors can sponsor their dependent child/children, both natural and adopted, as the principal applicant(s) within the family class sponsorship.
  • The dependent child must meet the following eligibility requirements:
    • Dependency: The sponsored person must be less than 22 years of age and must not be a spouse or a common law partner, or is 22 years of age or older and is unable to support financially due a physical or mental condition
    • Nature of relationship: the sponsored person must be either the biological child of the parent if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common law partner, or the adopted child of the parent
  • A sponsorship application may take long even if the government considers the processing of such applications a priority. In addition, a single error or misrepresentation of information may lead to a refusal. It’s important to seek legal help for sponsorship application, in order to:
    •  Ensure quick processing of application
    •   Reduce even the slightest chances of errors
    •  Ensure that your application stands the best chance to be accepted
    • Make the entire process smooth

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