Family Class Immigration

If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, you can sponsor your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative to become a permanent resident under the Family Class (FC).

Following are the requirements to sponsor a family member: There are different processes for sponsoring your family under the FC. One process is used for sponsoring your spouse, conjugal or common-law partner and/or dependent children. Another process is used to sponsor other eligible relatives.

family visa

Sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, or dependent children to come to Canada as permanent residents.

You are a spouse if you are married to your sponsor and your marriage is legal.

If you were married in Canada:

  • each applicant must hold at least 10 percent of the voting rights in the business, and

If you were married outside Canada:

  • the marriage must be valid under the law of the country where it took place and under Canadian law, and
  • the marriage, if performed in an embassy or consulate, must follow the law of the country where it took place, not the country the embassy or consulate represents.

All individuals being sponsored must meet the eligibility requirements.

Your family member must have medical, criminal and background checks. If they have a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security, they may not be allowed to enter Canada.

They may have to get a police certificate in their home country. The instruction guides explain medical, criminal and background checks.

People who cannot be sponsored
You cannot be sponsored as a spouse, a common-law partner or a conjugal partner if:
  • you are under age 18,
  • you (or your sponsor) were married to someone else at the time of your marriage
  • you have lived apart from your sponsor for at least one year, and either you or your sponsor are the common-law or conjugal partner of another person,
  • your sponsor applied for permanent residence but did not include you on their application as someone who should be examined or
  • your sponsor has sponsored another spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner in the past, and three years have not passed since that person became a permanent resident (or five years if your application was received on or after March 2, 2012).

Parents and Grandparents sponsorship
The Family Class sponsorship program includes a stream for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Successful parents and grandparents under this program will receive Canadian permanent residence and may be able to apply for Canadian Citizenship four years thereafter.

To be eligible for Family Class sponsorship, the sponsor in Canada must meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident;
  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Exceed the minimum necessary income level for this program. If married or in a common-law relationship, the income of both persons can be included;
  • The sponsor and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits the sponsor to provide financial support for the sponsored relative, if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support him or herself. Dependent children under age 22 do not have to sign this agreement. Quebec residents must sign an “undertaking” with the province of Quebec —a contract binding the sponsorship; and
  • The sponsor must promise to provide financial support for the sponsored relative for a period of 20 years. This time period begins on the date the sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
  • Sponsors will have to prove that they meet the minimum income requirements by submitting notices of assessment issued by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) in support of their sponsorship and they must also demonstrate they have met the minimum necessary income level for 3 consecutive years.