Canadian Advantage
Skilled Worker
Business Class
Family Class
Immigration Assessment

A. Canada recognizes the importance of reuniting families. Family reunification is the cornerstone of Canadian Immigration policy. As pointed out by Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration:

"Canada has a long tradition of supporting the reunification of Canadians with their close family members from abroad. On the one hand this tradition has enriched the lives of the families and assisted them in achieving self-reliance. On the other hand, it has enriched Canadian society by ensuring social integration and the building of stronger communities. Family reunification enriches the lives of those involved and strengthens Canadian communities."

If you have a close family relation in Canada then the Family Sponsorship program may be of interest to you. The Canadian government will admit between 59,800to 63,700 family class applicants in 2002. Only certain family relations qualify you for this class.

As a sponsor you must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada who is at least 18 years of age. You may sponsor your:


  • 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 years 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.
You must also sign an agreement with the government promising to support the relative or family member and accompanying family members for a period of three to ten years.

B. Although the Immigration Act requires all immigrants to apply for and obtain an immigrant visa from outside Canada, exceptions to this rule do exist. In some cases, you may sponsor your spouse or common-law partner who is already living with you in Canada under the  “Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class”. To apply for processing as a spouse from within Canada:

  • Your spouse must be of the opposite sex and married to you and your marriage must be legally recognized both by Canadian federal law and the laws in the country where your marriage took place

  • Your common-law partner must have lived with you for at least one year in a conjugal relationship.
Your spouse or your common-law partner must also:

  • Have valid, legal status in Canada as a visitor, student or temporary worker;

  • Be living with you in Canada;

  • Have a valid passport or travel document;

  • Be 16 years of age or older;

  • Be your spouse or common-law partner for genuine reasons and not primarily for the purpose of obtaining permanent residence in Canada; and

  • Not be subject to enforcement proceedings.

A If you wish to sponsor a relative from abroad you must:

  • sign an undertaking in which you promise to take care of your relatives’ essential needs for 10 years and ensure that they do not receive welfare during this time,

  • be at least 19 years of age,

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident,

  • physically reside in Canada,

  • provide information on your financial resources and obligations for the 12-month period before the date you submit your sponsorship application. Your income must come from a Canadian source,

  • meet the Low Income Cut-Off figures for the size of your family unit (unless you are sponsoring your spouse or your dependent children),

  • sign an agreement (contract) with your sponsored relative(s) which confirms that each of you understands, and will fulfill, your mutual obligations and responsibilities,

  • you must meet medical, criminal, and security clearances.