Raising a family in Canada has a number of benefits. Canada boasts of some of the top educational institutions across the world that will guarantee your children a bright future. The Canadian government also offers a number of social programs that citizens can benefit from. This country also offers a number of work opportunities. These are some of the reasons why a number of people choose to immigrate to Canada each year.
Canadian citizens with family abroad can sponsor their applications to become permanent residents. This brings them one step closer to citizenship and allows families to live together. Under this program, a citizen or a permanent resident of Canada can sponsor applications for their spouse, conjugal partner, common-law partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents, siblings and certain other relatives. Adopted children are also covered by this program.

Fast Facts

  • Capital: Ottawa
  • Location: Northern Section of North America
  • Total Area: 9,984,670 km2
  • Population: 35,151,728 (2017)
  • Time difference: GMT -4, -5, -6, -7
  • Languages: English, French;
  • Calling Code: +1
  • Religions: 3.2% Non-religious, 67.2% Christianity, 23.9% Islam, 1.5% Hinduism, 4.1% Other.
  • Government Type: a federation, parliamentary democracy, and a constitutional monarchy;
  • Industries: Energy, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Automotive
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar (CAD);
  • Exchange rate: 0.77 CAD = 1 USD (2018)

Sponsorship Program Qualifications

At the time of application, the individual being sponsored may be living in Canada or abroad. Once their application is accepted, the applicant may study, live and work in Canada indefinitely. They will also be able to access various social benefits provided by the Canadian government such as subsidized education and healthcare. When an application is sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the point based system is not applicable. However, there are a few conditions that must be met by the individual sponsoring the application and the applicant. These include:

Eligibility criteria for Sponsor

  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or Indian registered under the Canadian Indian Act
  • Must be above the age of 18 years
  • Must not have a criminal record
  • Must be financially sound
  • Must not be a recipient of social aid (except aid for disability)
  • Must not have sponsored a relative in the past who did not meet the sponsorship agreement terms
  • Must be able to provide financial support to the applicant if needed
  • Must not have threatened to attempted to commit a violent or sexual offense against any relative
  • In the case of sponsoring a spouse, the marriage must be legal according to the Canadian law.
  • Must not have sponsored another spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner who became a permanent resident less than 3 years ago.
  • In the case of common law partners, the couple should have been residing together for at least 1 year.
  • In the case of sponsoring parents and grandparents, the sponsor should be willing to stay with them and be able to financially support them without social aid.

Eligibility criteria for Applicant


  • Marriage to sponsor must be legal under Canadian law.
  • Must not have been married to anyone else at the time of the wedding.
  • Must not be a common-law partner or conjugal partner of any other person.
  • In the case of marriages that have taken place in embassies, the marriage must also be legal according to the laws of the country where it took place.
  • Should intend to live with the sponsor in Canada

Common Law Partners:

  • Should be in a genuine, ongoing relationship with the sponsor
  • The relationship should have started at least 1 year from the time of submitting the application.
  • Should have been residing with the sponsor at a common address for at least a year.
  • Should intend to live with the sponsor in Canada.

Conjugal Partners:

  • Should have maintained a conjugal relationship with the sponsor for at least a year
  • Should have been kept from residing together to getting married only because of
      immigration barriers

    1. marital status
    2. sexual orientation
  • A sponsor’s fiancé cannot apply for sponsorship as conjugal partners.
  • Conjugal partners who could have stayed with the sponsor but chose not to, are not eligible for sponsorship.

Dependent Children:

  • Must be under the age of 22 years
  • In the case of children above the age of 22, they must be financially dependent on the parents because of a mental or physical disability or because of being full-time students.
  • Must not be married or have a common-law partner.

Parents and Grandparents:

  • Must be able to prove their relationship with the sponsor
  • Must be willing to stay with the sponsor


  • Unmarried, orphaned siblings, nieces, nephews and grandchildren under the age of 18 years
  • Children adopted outside Canada
When sponsoring relatives, a sponsorship form filled out by the sponsor and the applicant’s application for permanent resident status must be filed together. The steps to be followed are:

  • Get the application package
  • Fill out and submit the application with
    1. Proof of income
    2. A statement from relatives saying that they will support themselves
    3. A statement saying that you will provide financial support for a set amount of time if need be
    4. List of all relative’s dependent children
    5. Other documents mentioned in the application checklist
  • Pay application processing fee online. This is nonrefundable
  • Pay the right of permanent resident fee. This is refundable
  • Link application to an online account. If the application file is incomplete, additional documents may be requested or the application will be returned. If the application is complete, an email or letter confirming receipt of the same will be sent.
  • Track your application. The time taken to process an application varies from case to case.

Application fees for sponsoring a relative are nonrefundable and must be paid directly to the Canadian government. This includes

  • Sponsorship fee: CAD $75;
  • Principal applicant processing fee CAD $475 (in the case of sponsoring a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner)
  • Processing fee for dependent children included on the spouse or partner’s application: CAD $150;
  • Processing fee for dependent children: CAD $75;
  • Processing fee for overage dependent children: CAD $475;

Processing fees for other sponsoring other relatives may vary. Please contact us for more details.
In addition, a refundable right of permanent residence fee amounting to CAD $490 must be paid. This fee is not payable in the case of dependent children.