Family life is highly valued in Canada, which is why the IRCC makes it easy for families to reunite with loved ones through family and spousal sponsorship.
In addition, foreigners sponsored by family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents have a higher chance of acquiring permanent residency. Unlike Express Entry, Canada Experience Class, and the Skilled Foreign worker programs, spousal sponsorhip has less stringent rules and qualification criteria.
What’s the process of Sponsoring a Spouse, Partner or Child to Move to Canada?
The first determinant to be able to sponsor a spouse, partner or child is for you, the sponsor, to be a permanent resident of Canada or a Canadian citizen. Other than that, you also must be:
- Over 18 years old
- Living in or planning to return to Canada once your sponsee is granted permanent residency
- Have the means to meet your sponsees basic financial needs for at leat 3 years
If you meet the criteria above and have enough proof to ascertain your relationship with your sponsee, you can start applying to become a sponsor.
How to Apply to Sponsor Your Spouse, Partner or Child to Canada
Applying to sponsor a loved one for Canadian permanent residence is a two-step process:
Step 1: Apply to become a sponsor
Step 2: Ask your sponsee to apply for permanent residence
Both of these applications should be sent together simultaneously. The sponsorship process is slightly different for adopted children. Additionally, if you’re a resident of Quebec, you’ll need to chek out Quebec’s requirements for close relative and spousal sponsorship.
To start the application process, you’ll need to:
- Obtain The Application package
Applying for family member or spousal sponsorship can be tedious and disappointing if you don’t follow the right directions. The application package features a complete checklist, set of forms to fill, and instruction manuals to help you apply correctly.
Without it, there’s a high likelihood of overlooking a critical part of the application process, which would either render your application void or lengthen the period it takes for your application to go through.
- Pay the Application Fees
Like with most other Canadian Immigration programs, there are several application fees you’ll need to settle. These include the principal applicant processing fee ($475 CAD), sponsorship fee ($75 CAD), right of permanent residence fee ($500 CAD and the biometrics fee ($85).
These add up to a total of $1,135 CAD. While it’s still a significant amount for many people, it’s way below what most other immigration programs require. Most importantly, sponsors are not required to be employed or show proof of funds at the time of application.
However, it’s crucial to remember that the government will hold you accountable for not providing the minimum basic financial needs of your sponsee for a minimum of 3 years after they’re granted residency.
Other than the federal fees above, you may need to pay other separate fees to get police clearance for the sponsee and a medical exam.
- Submit the Application
Once you and the person you’re sponsoring have finished your applications and paid all the fees, it’s time to mail your application to the IRCC. The mailing instructions will be in the application guide obtained in step 1.
Typically, the process of sponsoring a loved one takes a minimum of 12 months. However, those times have been affected by COVID-19 and may take longer. Before you seal the package and mail it, ensure it’s complete and contains accurate information and that the fees are paid.
Otherwise, the IRCC will return any incomplete applications or those with fee balances.
- Look Out for Our Correspondece
During the processing period, the sponsor and the sponsee need to be on the look out for IRCC communication. THe migration authority will communicate to request the sponsees documents such as medical exam results and police clearance among others.
The IRCC will also communicate when it’s time for the person being sponsored to give their biometrics. Looking out for communication throughout the process wil ensure you all adhere to guidelines and instructions and that your application process progresses without delays.
While this pretty much covers the basics of the process of sponsoring a loved one to immigrate to Canada, it’s only the tip of the iceberg. If you’re considering sponsoring a spouse, partner or child and don’t know if you’re eligible, where to start, or hos to start, get in touch with our team and we’ll help you navigate the process.