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The Government of Canada recognizes the value of helping families from foreign countries to be reunited in Canada. It established the Family Class Sponsorship Program for its citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their families and other relatives to become permanent residents of Canada.

As a guide, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has provided the following information for persons who are eligible to be sponsored in the Immigration Program:

Relationship Between Sponsor and the Sponsored Person Guidelines


(applicable to either opposite sex or same-sex)

Marriage should be legally recognized according to both Canadian law and the law of the place or country where the marriage happened.
Common-law Partner (applicable to either opposite sex or same-sex) Relationship must have a minimum of a continuous and uninterrupted 12-month period.

Conjugal Partner

(applicable to either opposite sex or same-sex)

Relationship requires the same level of commitment as a marriage or a common-law relationship but there are exceptional circumstances that prevent both parties from marrying or living together.

Dependent Children

under 22 years of age

Son or daughter must not have a spouse or common-law-partner when the application is received and will maintain the status of not getting married nor being involved in a common-law relationship until they enter Canada after the visa is issued.

Dependent Children

over 22 years of age

Son or daughter must be a full-time student and is financially dependent on the parent (sponsor) and must be continuously studying when the application is received until the visa is issued.


Son or daughter is dependent on the parent (sponsor) for financial support since before the age of 22 due to disability.

Other Close Relatives Include the following:
  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Brother or Sister /Nephew or Niece / Grandchild
  • who is orphaned, who is under 18 years old and not married or in a common-law relationship

  • Accompanying dependents of the relatives identified above (such as spouse, partner and dependent children)
The Family Class Sponsorship Program also provides that if a citizen or permanent resident of Canada has no living family member or relative identified in the table, and there is no other relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, any relative regardless of age or relationship may be sponsored. However, only one relative may be sponsored under this circumstance.

On the other hand, children, brothers / sisters and other relatives who are over 22 years of age are not allowed to be sponsored unless they have been in regular fulltime attendance at  a recognized school since turning 22. Even if they do not qualify as a dependant,. They can, nevertheless, apply for Canadian immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Class and will be able to get additional points for adaptability due to having a relative in Canada.

It is critical to note that CIC has set specific requirements for the sponsor under the Family Class. Sponsoring under this immigration program requires the sponsor to meet applicable income requirements in order to financially support the family member or relative being sponsored . Failure to fulfill this commitment makes the sponsor ineligible to sponsor in the future.

We can help ensure a successful sponsorship under the Family Class. Fill out the free consultation form and we will get in touch with you to discuss your options.