Saturday, April 13, 2024

How to Apply for Family Sponsorship in Canada

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Jillian Castillo
Jillian Castillo
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Having been involved in the immigration sector as a dedicated officer, I have a wealth of experience to share about the family sponsorship application process in Canada. Whether you’re hoping to sponsor a spouse, a child, or another family member, this detailed guide based on my professional experience will serve as a roadmap to navigate the application journey.

Family Sponsorship

The Family Class Sponsorship program is one of the three primary categories of immigration in Canada, allowing Canadian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor relatives for Canadian immigration. The goal of the program is family reunification, a fundamental aspect of Canada’s immigration policy.

Who Can Sponsor?

Before exploring the application process, let’s review who can be a sponsor. As a sponsor, you must:

  • Be a Canadian citizen, a person registered in Canada as an Indian under the Canadian Indian Act or a permanent resident living in Canada.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Reside in Canada.
  • Agree to provide financial support for the basic needs of your sponsored family members.

Who Can Be Sponsored?

As a sponsor, you can sponsor the following individuals:

  • Spouse, common-law or conjugal partner
  • Dependent children
  • Parents or grandparents
  • Brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren who are orphaned, under 18 years of age and not married or in a common-law relationship.

How to Apply for Family Sponsorship in Canada

Now, let’s move on to the application process based on my professional experience.

Step 1: Check Your Eligibility

Before initiating the application process, ascertain whether you meet the necessary eligibility criteria to sponsor a family member. You should also ensure that the person you’re planning to sponsor meets the requirements. On the Government of Canada website we can cross-check the eligibility requirements.

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Step 2: Prepare the Necessary Documents

The next step involves gathering all the necessary documents. The list may include proof of status in Canada, proof of relationship to the person being sponsored, proof of income, and so forth. Remember, the documents required might vary based on who you are sponsoring.

Step 3: Fill Out the Forms

The forms you need to fill out will depend on who you’re sponsoring. Carefully read the instructions before you begin, and ensure you provide accurate and complete information. One common mistake I’ve noticed is applicants filling out forms hastily and making avoidable errors. So, take your time and fill them out correctly.

Step 4: Pay the Application Fees

The Government of Canada requires you to pay processing fees and, in some cases, biometrics fees. These fees can be paid online. Ensure you print the receipt of your payment to include it with your application.

Step 5: Submit Your Application

After you’ve completed the forms and paid the fees, it’s time to submit your application. Mail your completed application package to the address provided in your application guide. I would recommend sending it via a method that provides tracking, so you know when it arrives.

Step 6: Wait for the Decision

Once the application is submitted, the waiting process begins. During this period, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) review your application. It’s essential to keep an eye on your email or IRCC account during this time for any updates or requests for additional information.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I sponsor a family member to come to Canada?

To sponsor a family member to come to Canada, you need to check your eligibility, fill out the necessary application forms, gather required documents, pay the processing fees, and then submit your application to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.

2. How much money is required to sponsor a family in Canada?

The required money varies based on the size of the family being sponsored and the sponsorship type. You need to cover processing fees, right of permanent residence fees, and in some cases, biometrics fees.

3. Who is eligible for family sponsorship?

A sponsor should be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, be at least 18 years old, reside in Canada, and agree to provide financial support for their sponsored family members. Family members that can be sponsored include a spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, parents, grandparents, and certain relatives under specific conditions.

4. How long does it take to get a family sponsorship in Canada?

Processing times vary depending on the type of family member being sponsored and the volume of applications received by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada.


The family sponsorship program is a wonderful opportunity for families to reunite in Canada. As an immigration officer, I’ve witnessed the joy it brings to families, and I understand the anxiety that can come with the application process. However, remember that every form you fill out, every document you gather, and every fee you pay brings you one step closer to reuniting with your loved ones.

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While the process may seem daunting, knowing what to expect can make the journey more manageable. As you work through your application, remember the words of advice shared here and the resources available to you. Your efforts will bear fruit when you and your loved ones can call Canada home.

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