Bringing Loved Ones Together: A Guide to Family Sponsorship Canada

Canada is known for being a welcoming and inclusive country that places a high value on family. For this reason, the Canadian government has established a family sponsorship Canada program to help reunite families who have been separated due to immigration restrictions.

The family sponsorship program is a way for Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their family members who are living abroad to come and live with them in Canada. According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), over 94,000 family sponsorship applications were received in 2020, and over 68,000 were approved.

Eligibility Criteria for Canadian Family Sponsorship

To be eligible for Canadian Family Sponsorship, there are certain criteria that both the sponsor and the sponsored family member must meet. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Who can sponsor family members in Canada?:

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are at least 18 years old are eligible to sponsor their family members. They must demonstrate that they have the financial means to support their family members and that they will provide for their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing.

Who can be sponsored?:

A wide range of family members can be sponsored, including spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, and grandparents. In some cases, other relatives may also be eligible for sponsorship.

Relationship requirements:

The sponsor must have a genuine relationship with the family member being sponsored, and the relationship must meet certain criteria depending on the type of family member being sponsored. For example, a spouse must be legally married to the sponsor, while a dependent child must be under the age of 22 and not married or in a common-law relationship.

Other eligibility criteria:

Some other eligibility criteria must be met, such as passing a medical exam, undergoing a criminal record check, and being admissible to Canada. In some cases, certain medical conditions or criminal convictions may make a person inadmissible to Canada and prevent them from being sponsored.

According to IRCC, the most commonly sponsored family members are spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children. In fact, in 2020, over 44,000 spouse/partner applications were approved, while over 17,000 dependent child applications were approved.

The Family Sponsorship Process in Canada

The family sponsorship process in Canada can be complex and lengthy, but it is well worth it to bring your loved ones closer to you. Here’s a breakdown of the steps involved:

Determine eligibility:

The first step in the family sponsorship process is to determine whether you and your family member(s) are eligible for sponsorship. This involves meeting the eligibility criteria outlined by IRCC, which includes factors such as relationship requirements, financial requirements, and admissibility.

Submit the application:

Once you’ve determined your eligibility, you can submit your application for family sponsorship. This involves filling out the appropriate forms and providing supporting documents, such as proof of identity, proof of relationship, and financial documents.

Wait for processing:

IRCC will process your application after you submit it, which can take several months, depending on the type of application and the volume of applications being processed at the time.

Complete additional steps (if necessary):

Depending on the specifics of your application, you may need to complete additional steps, such as undergoing a medical exam or providing additional documentation. IRCC will inform you if any additional steps are required.

Receive a decision:

IRCC will send you a decision after processing your application. If IRCC approves your application, your family member(s) will receive a permanent resident visa and can come to Canada to live with you.

It’s important to note that the family sponsorship process can be complex, and it’s important to ensure that you submit a complete and accurate application to avoid delays or complications. According to IRCC, the average processing time for spouse/partner sponsorship applications in 2020 was 12 months, while the average processing time for parent/grandparent sponsorship applications was 20 months.

Benefits of Canadian Family Sponsorship

Family Sponsorship Canada can bring numerous benefits, both for the sponsor and the sponsored family members. Here are some of the top benefits:

Reunification with loved ones:

One of the most significant benefits of family sponsorship is the opportunity to reunite with your loved ones. Whether it’s a spouse, child, parent, or grandparent, being able to live together in Canada can bring immense joy and support.

Social support and community connection:

Having family members in Canada can provide a sense of social support and community connection. Which can be particularly important for newcomers to Canada. Family members can help with everything from navigating the healthcare system to finding housing and employment.

Economic benefits:

Family sponsorship can also have economic benefits, both for the sponsor and the sponsored family members. For example, if the sponsored family member can work in Canada. They can contribute to the Canadian economy and help support their family financially. Additionally, having family members in Canada can provide a sense of security and stability. Which can make it easier to settle and succeed in Canada.

According to a study conducted by Statistics Canada, immigrants who arrived in Canada through the family class (including spouses, partners, children, parents, and grandparents) had higher employment rates and earnings than those who arrived through other streams.

Tips for a Successful Family Sponsorship Application

If you are considering sponsoring a family member to come to Canada. it’s important to know that the application process can be complex and time-consuming. Here are some tips for a successful family sponsorship application:

Start early and prepare thoroughly:

The family sponsorship process can take several months or even years, depending on the category of sponsorship and the country of origin of the sponsored family member. It’s important to start the process as early as possible and to prepare all the necessary documents and forms thoroughly.

Provide accurate and complete information:

One of the most common reasons for delays or refusals in family sponsorship applications is incomplete or inaccurate information. Make sure you provide all the required information and supporting documents, and be honest about any relevant information, such as previous immigration or criminal history.

Meet the eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for family sponsorship, both the sponsor and the sponsored family member must meet certain criteria. Such as age, relationship, and financial ability to support. Make sure you meet all the eligibility requirements before submitting your application.

Seek professional assistance:

Navigating the family sponsorship process can be challenging, especially if you’re not familiar with Canadian immigration law and procedures. Consider seeking the assistance of a qualified immigration lawyer or consultant to help you with your application.


Family sponsorship Canada is a valuable pathway for reuniting families in Canada. It allows Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their eligible family members to come to Canada and live with them permanently. However, the application process can be complex and challenging, requiring careful preparation, accurate information, and patience.

By understanding the eligibility criteria, the application process. The benefits of family sponsorship, you can increase your chances of a successful application. Additionally, following the tips outlined in this article can help you navigate the process more smoothly and efficiently.

Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton
Elizabeth Barton is a writer and digital marketer with over 10 years of experience. I'm passionate about using my skills to help people learn and grow. My blog, The News Columnist, covers a variety of topics, including Business, Finance, and technology and many more. I'm also a regular contributor to several online publications.
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