Family Sponsorship

Process and applications

Family Sponsorship

A family sponsorship visa allows relatives to reunite in Canada. Approximately 30% of Canadian immigrants are sponsored by family members. Here is what you need to know about family sponsorship visas and how to apply.

What is family sponsorship?

A family sponsorship visa entitles its holder to permanent residency in Canada.


To sponsor relatives you must be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A permanent resident or Canadian citizen, residing in Canada at the time the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident who was not sponsored by a relative for permanent residency less than 5 years ago
  • In the financial position to support your relative for a period of 3-10 years (depending on the type of relative you wish to sponsor - see the different time periods here )
  • Not receiving social assistance funds for reasons other than disability
  • Not currently serving a jail or penitentiary sentence 
  • Not convicted of a violent criminal offence 

Relatives being sponsored must not have committed a crime making them ‘inadmissible’  to Canada and must be the spouse, partner or child of an eligible sponsor.


Spouses, common-law or conjugal partners (partners unable to marry or live with the sponsor for reasons outside of their control ie. immigration regulations, religious beliefs etc.) can normally be included in your own immigration application provided the marriage or civil partnership ceremony was legally recognised in the country in which it took place or the conjugal relationship existed for at least 12 months.


Biological and adopted children under the age of 18 both can be sponsored to live with their parents in Canada. Children with mental and/or physical disabilities of all ages may also be considered for sponsorship.


In most cases, parents, grandparents and other relatives are not immediately eligible for sponsorship. However, they may still be sponsored if they co-sign a sponsorship agreement stating the sponsor will support them financially for a period of 3-10 years if they are not able to find a job or they become unemployed.

Sponsorship application process 

Step 1:

Get and complete the Application package 

This includes: 

  • The application for the Canadian residents or citizens to become a sponsor (including their undertaking guaranteeing they will provide basic necessities for the sponsored family member throughout the required time period ).
  • The relation's application for permanent residency. For further information see our article on permanent residency

Step 2: 

Pay application fees online  (for a spouse or a partner it costs $1,050 CAD, while fees for sponsoring a child, parent, grandparent, or any other relative are $150 CAD) and print two copies the receipt as you will need to attach one of these as proof of payment to your sponsorship application.

Step 3: 

Send all forms together to the address found in the instructions guide included in the Application Package.


  • It is recommended that you place the checklist on top of your complete Application Package so your application can be processed as quickly as possible.
  • You can check the status of your application online .
  • As for all permanent residency applications to Quebec, family members being sponsored must apply to the Ministère de l’immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion  for a permanent residency visa.
  • The annual income required for sponsorship in Quebec may differ from the rest of Canada. The minimum annual income for the province currently stands at $23,855 CAD and increases by $5,171C CAD with each additional dependent.
  • The sponsor of the relative seeking permanent residency in Quebec must submit their undertaking to the Direction de l'enregistrement et de l'évaluation comparative .

Further reading

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