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If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and at least 18 years old, you can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada. Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents.If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and at least 18 years old, you can sponsor certain relatives to come to Canada. Your relatives can live, study and work in Canada if they become permanent residents.

Sponsor your spouse, partner or dependent children

Who can become a sponsor

You can become a sponsor if you are:

  • a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident
  • at least 18 years old
  • living in Canada:
    • If you are a Canadian citizen living outside Canada, you must show that you plan to live in Canada when your sponsored relative becomes a permanent resident.
    • You can’t sponsor someone if you are a permanent resident living outside Canada
  • If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor.
  • able to prove that you have enough income to provide basic needs for your spouse or partner’s dependent children. You must submit documents showing your financial resources for the past 12 months only if the spouse or partner you are sponsoring has a grandchild who is coming with them (see subsection 1(3) of the IRPR for more details).

You can’t be a sponsor if you:

  • were sponsored by a spouse or partner and you became a permanent resident less than five years ago
  • sponsored a previous spouse or partner and three years have not passed since this person became a permanent resident
  • are in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking, an immigration loan, a performance bond or family support payments
  • are still going through the process of bankruptcy (undischarged bankruptcy)
  • receive social assistance for a reason other than a disability
  • were convicted of a violent or sexual offence, an offence that caused bodily harm to a relative or you attempted or threatened to commit any of these offences
  • are in a penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison
  • are under a removal order
  • have already applied to sponsor your current spouse, partner or child and a decision on your application hasn’t been made yet.

Who you can sponsor

  1. You can sponsor your spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner if:
    • your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner is at least 18 years old
    • your relationship is genuine (real) and was not entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or privilege under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

If your spouse or common-law partner is applying in the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada class, he or she must cohabit (live) with you in Canada.

  1. You can sponsor your dependent child as long as the child meets the definition of a dependent child. If you are sponsoring more than one dependent child, you must submit a complete set of application forms and documents for each one. Applications to sponsor dependent children are processed outside Canada.

To be eligible for permanent residence, the principal applicant and any dependants must not be inadmissible to Canada.

Read more about eligibility requirements in the Complete Guide.

Sponsors living in Quebec

The province of Quebec has its own immigration rules. Find out how to sponsor someone if you live in Quebec.

After your application is received, we will send you an email or letter with instructions about how to apply to the Quebec government to become a sponsor. If Quebec approves you as a sponsor, you will get a Quebec Selection Certificate.

We encourage you to prepare your Quebec sponsorship application in advance to avoid delays.

If you need help, contact the Quebec ministry for immigration.

Complete Guide: See all eligibility requirements

Sponsor your parents and grandparents

Parents and grandparents may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

There must be a sponsor for any relative immigrating to Canada within the Family Class. Both the person sponsoring a relative and the person wishing to immigrate to Canada must meet certain requirements.

Applicants for permanent residence must go through medical, criminal and background checks. An applicant with a criminal record may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to enter Canada. An applicant may have to provide a certificate from police authorities in the home country. Medical, criminal and background checks are explained in the application kit.

Sponsoring a parent or grandparent

You can sponsor your parent or grandparent if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 years of age or older.

You may not be eligible to sponsor your parent or grandparent if you:

  • failed to provide the financial support you agreed to when you signed a sponsorship agreement to sponsor another relative in the past
  • defaulted on a court-ordered support order, such as alimony or child support
  • received government financial assistance for reasons other than a disability
  • were convicted of a violent criminal offence, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence—depending on circumstances, such as the nature of the offence, how long ago it occurred and whether a record suspension (formerly called “pardons” in Canada), was issued
  • defaulted on an immigration loan—late or missed payments
  • are in prison or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Other factors not mentioned in this list might also make you ineligible to sponsor a relative.

When you sponsor a parent or grandparent to become a permanent resident of Canada, you must promise to support that person and their dependants financially. Therefore, you have to meet certain income requirements. If you have previously sponsored relatives who later turned to the Canadian government for financial assistance, you may not be allowed to sponsor another person. Sponsorship is a big commitment, so you must take this obligation seriously.

To be a sponsor:

  • You and the sponsored relative must sign a sponsorship agreement that commits you to provide financial support for your relative if necessary. This agreement also states that the person becoming a permanent resident will make every effort to support themselves. Dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign this agreement. Quebec residents must sign an “undertaking” with the province of Quebec—a contract binding the sponsorship.
  • You must promise to provide financial support for the relative and any other eligible relatives accompanying them for a period of three to ten years, depending on their age and relationship to you. This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s immigration sponsorship requirements after we approve you as a sponsor.

To sponsor your parent or grandparent, you must be living in Canada.

Sponsor your adopted children and other relatives

Some relatives may be eligible to immigrate to Canada as permanent residents.

If you have relatives who want to immigrate to Canada under the Family Class, you must sponsor them. You and your relatives must meet certain requirements.

Your relatives must have medical, criminal and background checks. They may not be allowed to enter Canada if they have a criminal record or are a risk to Canada’s security. They may have to get a police certificate from police in their home country. The application kit explains medical, criminal and background checks.

  • Sponsoring an eligible relative
  • Who you can sponsor

Sponsoring an eligible relative

You can sponsor certain relatives if you are a citizen or permanent resident of Canada and if you are 18 or older.

You may not be able to sponsor a relative if you:

  • sponsored another relative in the past and did not meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement,
  • are in default of alimony or child support payments,
  • got government financial help for reasons other than being disabled,
  • were convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case, such as
    • the type of offence,
    • how long ago it was and
    • whether a record suspension was issued
  • did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments,
  • are in prison, or
  • have declared bankruptcy and have not been released from it yet.

Other things not on this list may stop you from being able to sponsor a relative.

To be a sponsor you must:

  • meet set income guidelines, and
  • agree in writing to give financial support to your relative and any other eligible relatives coming with them for up to 10 years, depending on their age and how you are related. (This time period begins on the date they become a permanent resident.)

The person you sponsor must promise to try to support themselves. Dependent children under age 19 do not have to sign this agreement.

If you live in Quebec, you must also meet Quebec’s conditions to be a sponsor after Citizenship and Immigration Canada approves you as a sponsor. For instance, you must sign an “undertaking” with the province—a contract that binds the sponsorship.

If you are a Canadian citizen who lives abroad and you plan to return to Canada when your relatives immigrate, you may sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner, or dependent children who have no dependent children.

To sponsor any other eligible relatives, you must live in Canada.

Who you can sponsor

Depending on your circumstances, there are two options for who you can sponsor.

Option 1 – Orphaned close relatives

You can sponsor close relatives, related by blood or adoption, such as brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren only if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • They are orphaned,
  • They are under 18, and
  • They do not have a spouse, common law partner, or conjugal partner.

Option 2 – Other relative

You may sponsor one relative, related by blood or adoption, of any age if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • you do not have a spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, or one of the following living relatives you could sponsor instead:
    • son or daughter,
    • parent,
    • grandparent,
    • brother or sister,
    • uncle, aunt,
    • nephew or niece.
  • you do not have any of the above-named relatives who is a:
    • Canadian citizen,
    • permanent resident, or
    • registered Indian under the Indian Act.

If the relative you want to sponsor has a spouse, partner, or dependent children who will come with them to Canada you must include them on the same sponsorship application.

If your relative does not qualify for sponsorship they may still be able to come to Canada as a skilled immigrant through Express Entry. Express Entry manages applications for certain economic immigration programs and selects applicants for their skills, experience and ability to contribute to Canada’s economy. Express Entry candidates may be awarded points for having a family member living in Canada.