Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Canada, 18 years of age or older, may sponsor close relatives or family members who want to become permanent residents of Canada. Sponsors must promise to support the relative or family member and accompanying family members for a period of three to 10 years to help them settle in Canada.
Family members eligible for sponsorship are:
- spouses, common-law or conjugal partners 16 years of age or older;
- parents and grandparents;
- dependent children, including adopted children;
- children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt;
- brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans, under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship; and
- any other relative if you have none of the above relatives or family members, either in Canada or abroad.
A son or daughter is dependent when the child:
- is under the age of 19 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;
- became a full-time student before the age of 19 and has been substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since that time;
- became a spouse or common-law partner before the age of 19 and has been substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since that time; or
- is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 19 because of a disability.
If you want to sponsor any of the above listed relatives or family members, you may have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives or family members who have received social assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a considerable commitment so you should take this obligation seriously. To sponsor a relative or family member you must sign a legal contract with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. This is called the Undertaking. You must also sign a Sponsorship Agreement with your relative or family member that outlines your mutual commitments to each other.