Family Class

One of the objectives of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act) is to see that families are reunited in Canada. The Family Class category is for applicants who have a close relative who is not a Canadian Citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada. A family class can be defined as a class of persons who may become permanent residents on the basis of the requirements provided under the  Act.  Members of the family class include:

  • Spouse, common-law or conjugal partner;
  •  Dependent children including children adopted overseas;
  • Father or mother;
  • Grandfather or grandmother;
  • Orphan under age 18, if sibling, niece or nephew, or grandchild of the sponsor;
  • Child under age 18 to be adopted in Canada;
  • A relative, if there is no member of the family class who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or  permanent resident or who could be sponsored.

The family class category seeks to promote family reunification rather than national economic goals.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada is of the opinion that the support of the sponsors assists new

immigrants in achieving self-reliance and expediting their contribution to their Canadian community.

Sponsors and Co-Sponsors

Sponsors assume a legal obligation to help the Foreign National being sponsored and therefore, may  have to meet certain income requirements set out by the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

The Sponsor and any Co-Sponsor are responsible for providing the essential needs for the person being sponsored and their dependents for a period of three to ten years after their relative’s arrival in  Canada. Should the Canadian Sponsor fail to support the Foreign National, and the Foreign National  receives social assistance, the Authorities may take legal recourse.

Co-Sponsors become necessary when a single individual cannot meet the minimum financial  requirements. Married and common-law partners who are Canadian Permanent Residents or  Canadian citizens may be Co-Sponsors. Co-Sponsors assume the same obligations and responsibilities  as the sponsor, and must also sign the application forms for sponsorship.

Sponsorship Obligations: The undertaking shall be given to the minister or if the sponsor lives in a province which has criteria regarding such undertaking, then to the competent authority of such  province (Only in Quebec). The undertaking is a binding contract between sponsors and the Minister  of Citizenship and Immigration. Sponsors (and co-signers) promise to provide the sponsored person  with basic requirements from the day they enter Canada until the end of the specified period of the undertaking. The undertaking for a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner is 3 years from the date of becoming a permanent resident.

Who is not eligible to sponsor

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 social assistance for reasons other than being disabled,
  • Were convicted of

o an offence of a sexual nature,
o a violent crime,
o an offence against a relative that resulted in bodily harm or
o 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 which has yet to be discharged.

Our experts will help you with preparing your application and a complete list of the documents required for the Family Class Sponsorship

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