Family sponsorship

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and at least 18 years old, you can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada. Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents.

Sponsor your spouse, partner or children

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your:

  • spouse,
  • common-law or conjugal partner, or
  • dependent children

to immigrate to Canada.

If you sponsor a family member to immigrate to Canada, you must provide proof that you can:

  • meet basic needs—such as food, clothing and shelter—for yourself and your family,
  • support your relative financially and
  • make sure your spouse or relative does not need to ask for financial help from the government.

You can sponsor a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner (partner), or dependent children if you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. To be a sponsor, you must be 18 or older.

When you sponsor one of these relatives to become permanent residents of Canada, you must support them financially. This means you have to meet certain income guidelines.

If you have sponsored relatives to come to Canada in the past, and they have later asked the government for financial help, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take it seriously.

To be a sponsor you must:

  • agree in writing to give financial support to your relative, if they need it
    • for a spouse or partner, this lasts for three years from the date they become a permanent resident, and
    • for a dependent child, this lasts for 10 years, or until the child turns 25, whichever comes first.

Your relative must also agree to try to support themselves.

You may not be eligible to be a sponsor if you:

  • did not meet the terms of a sponsorship agreement in the past,
  • did not pay alimony or child support even though a court ordered it,
  • get government financial help for reasons other than being disabled,
  • were convicted of
    • an offence of a sexual nature,
    • a violent crime,
    • an offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or
    • an attempt or threat to commit any such offences, depending on the details of the case, such as
      • the type of offence,
      • how long ago it occurred and
      • whether a record suspension was issued
  • were sponsored as a spouse, common-law or conjugal partner in the past and became a permanent resident of Canada less than five years ago
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Sponsor your parents and grandparents

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada, you may be able to sponsor your parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident under the Family Class (FC).

If you sponsor your parent or grandparent to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you must make every reasonable effort to provide for your own essential needs and those of your parent or grandparent. You are responsible for supporting your parent or grandparent financially when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your parent or grandparent does not need to seek social assistance from the government.