Family sponsorship

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. Eligible relatives include: spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent or grandparent and other relatives under specific conditions.

Spousal sponsorship applications take up to 70% of all sponsorship applications ever year. Over the past years, the number of fraudulent marriages has been increasing. The CIC report identifies China and India as the “high risk” countries.

Starting from October 25th, 2015, as a sponsored spouse or partner, you may be required to live with your sponsor in a genuine relationship for two years from the day you get permanent residence status in Canada. This applies to you if at the time of the sponsorship application: you have been in a relationship with your sponsor for two years or less; you have no children in common.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may bring their parents and grandparents to Canada through Family Class sponsorship. The sponsor needs to meet the income level in order to sponsor their parents or grandparents.


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.