It's a given that an individual applying to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class must have a sponsoring relative. If you have a parent or grandparent you'd like to join you in Canada, the first step is to check if you are eligible to be a sponsor.
If you have made up your mind to explore this possibility, you must meet the following conditions:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Live in Canada;
- Be either a Canadian citizen, registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident of Canada;
- Meet sufficient income requirements so you can support your own family as well as the family member you intend to sponsor and any of their dependents who will be joining them for immigration;
- Be willing to sign an undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the family member you hope to sponsor;
The last is particularly important as the Canadian government wants to ensure that you relative won't be needing social or welfare assistance.
Ineligibility to apply as a sponsor.
You may not qualify to sponsor your parent or grandparent if you:
- Are under a removal order;
- Defaulted on an immigration loan, that is have late or missed payments. Immigration loans include those for transportation, assistance or Right of Permanent Residence Fee;
- Have declared bankruptcy and haven’t been discharged from it yet;
- Are receiving government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability;
- Didn’t pay a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support;
- Didn’t provide the financial support you agreed to for another relative so he received social assistance or welfare while your sponsorship agreement was still valid;
- Are detained in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison;
- Were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on circumstances;
As an applicant under the Family Class, your relative must prove himself eligible as well by passing:
- medical exams
- criminal checks
- background checks
Sponsorship isn't as easy as it seems though since you and the relative you intend to sponsor will be signing an sponsorship agreement that stipulates (among others):
- Your willingness and readiness to provide financial support for all your eligible relatives who will be immigrating under the Parent/Grandparent Class;
- The relative you will be sponsoring will have to ensure that he will do his best to be able to support himself as soon as possible;
- Your agreement that you will be responsible for your relative for a number of years which may be up to 20 years;
- The sponsorship agreement will begin on the date your relative and their dependents, gain Canadian permanent residency.
The agreement is a promise to provide financial support and basic requirements for the family members you are sponsoring.
- Basic requirements as follows:
- personal requirements
- household supplies
- Healthcare benefits not included in public health services such as eye and dental care
Your spouse or common-law partner (the conjugal relationship must be at least one year duration before acting as your co-signor) may co-sign the agreement so you will meet the income requirement for sponsorship.
In addition, your spouse or common-law partner must:
- Meet the same eligibility requirements you did;
- Agree to co-sign the undertaking and be equally liable if obligations are not fulfilled;
- Agree to be responsible for the basic requirements of the relative you want to sponsor and his dependents for the validity period of the undertaking.