Common Sponsor Laws in Canadian Immigration
- You can help your relatives come to Canada by sponsoring them as Family Class immigrants. Your relative, and you as a sponsor, must apply as a Family Class immigrant through Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Your relative can begin this process from inside or outside Canada, but you must reside in Canada to apply as a sponsor. As of 2010, the application fee to sponsor a relative as a Family Class immigrant is CA$75.
- You are eligible to be a sponsor if you are older than 18 and are a permanent resident or citizen of Canada. You must also sign a sponsorship agreement. By signing this agreement, you commit to financially support your sponsored relative when he comes to Canada. You must also sign an agreement with the person whom you are sponsoring, saying that you both understand your mutual obligations and responsibilities.
Whom You Can Sponsor
- You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents or your parents' dependent children. If you are sponsoring your spouse, your marriage must be valid in the jurisdiction where it took place, as well as Canada. For common-law and conjugal partners, you must be able to prove that you have been in a conjugal relationship with your partner for at least one year. Dependent children generally must be younger than 22 and not be married.
- When you agree to sponsor a relative, you are agreeing to be financially responsible for that person for a period of time. This means that if your relative receives any government benefits, such as welfare, within that time period, you will be in violation of your sponsorship obligations and may need to reimburse the government for the amount of the benefit. The length of financial obligation depends on the type of relative whom you sponsor. You are responsible for your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner for three years after she gains permanent residence, for your dependent children until they reach the age of 25 and for your grandparents or parents for 10 years after they gain permanent residence.
- You cannot sponsor a family member if you are in default on a previous sponsorship, an immigration loan or court-ordered payments to a spouse or child. You are also ineligible to sponsor a relative if you are in prison, under bankruptcy protection, were convicted of a sexual or violent offense against a family member, have previously supplied false information to the CIC or are under a CIC removal order.