This class includes all sponsorship applications that are submitted by Canadian citizens or permanent residents to sponsor their immediate family members such as spouse/partner, child, or extended family members such as parents and grandparents, or other relatives mentioned in the regulations. Family class is also sometimes called the family reunification class.
Family Member versus Member of a family class.
These are two different but often confusing concepts, therefore, let us look into the details of each term one by one.
The term family member only applies to certain people, which includes all or any of the followings:
(a) the spouse or common-law partner of the person.
(b) a dependent child of the person or of the person’s spouse or common-law partner; and
(c) a dependent child of a dependent child.
Family class is an umbrella term used for all permanent residence applications that are based on blood ties or family relationships. When you submit a spousal sponsorship application, it comes under the family class, when you sponsor parents and grandparents, it comes under the family class, etc.
Specifically, the Family class includes the followings:
(a) the sponsor’s spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner.
(b) a dependent child of the sponsor.
(c) the sponsor’s mother or father.
(d) the mother or father of the sponsor’s mother or father.
(f) a person whose parents are deceased, who is under 18 years of age, who is not a spouse or common-law partner and who is
- a child of the sponsor’s mother or father,
- a child of a child of the sponsor’s mother or father, or
- a child of the sponsor’s child.
(g) a person under 18 years of age whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada
(h) a relative of the sponsor, regardless of age, if the sponsor does not have a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner, a child, a mother or father, a relative who is a child of that mother or father, a relative who is a child of a child of that mother or father, a mother or father of that mother or father or a relative who is a child of the mother or father of that mother or father:
- (i) who is a Canadian citizen, Indian or permanent resident, or
- (ii) whose application to enter and remain in Canada as a permanent resident the sponsor may otherwise sponsor.
Family Class Sponsorship Requirements
You can sponsor certain family members if you are a Canadian citizen, an Indian (under the Canadian Indian Act) or a permanent resident of Canada. The following requirements are for the sponsors of each of the upcoming categories.
Current residence: If you are a Canadian citizen, you can sponsor even if you are outside of Canada, but you have to prove that you are planning to live in Canada when your application is accepted, and the sponsored persons arrive in Canada.
If you are a permanent resident, you must be in Canada to sponsor, you can not apply if you are outside of Canada.
Age: You must be at least 18 years old.
Settlement fund: You should not be on any kind of social assistance other than disability assistance.
Financial responsibility: You must promise that you are financially able to take care of the sponsored persons for a certain period of time which are:
- Spouse/partner: 3 years,
- Dependent child: 10 years or until age 25, whichever comes first,
- Dependent child over 22 years (Type C dependent): 3 years,
- Parents, and grandparents: 20 years,
- Other relatives: 10 years.
If you live in Québec, please refer to the family class under Québec immigration. Refugees and protected persons do not need to meet financial sponsorship eligibility for sponsoring spouses/dependents.
And Finally, of course, you the sponsor and the applicants should not be inadmissible to Canada.
How to sponsor your spouse, partner, or dependent children?
You can sponsor your spouse (legal marriage), your common-law partner (not legally married but who co-habits with you), your conjugal partner (not legally married and is not cohabiting with you), your dependent children under 22 years (if over 22 years, then special requirements must be met).
The eligibility requirements for sponsoring your spouse or dependent children are previously explained under the family class. Please note, spousal sponsorship applications are a sub-class of the family class.
Forms and Documents Checklist for Spousal Sponsorship Application
You have to generate your checklist, forms, and instructions online and submit them through your online Permanent Residence Portal. Paper applications are no longer accepted. Generally speaking, you will need the following forms and documents for your spousal sponsorship application.
Part A: Forms
1: Document Checklist – Spouse (Including Dependent Children) (IMM 5533)
2: Application to Sponsor, Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking (IMM1344)
3: Receipt of the Application fee and the Right of Permanent Residency Fee and other expenses for a total of $X.00 CAD. You should break down the fee if you have paid for multiple items.
4: Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008)
5: Country-Specific Requirements (the following three requirements are for Afghanistan, check your own country and see if there is any country-specific requirement):
a: Supplementary Information – Your travels (IMM 55620)
b: Details of Military Service (IMM 5546)
c: any old, expired passports.
6: Additional Family Information (IMM 5406)
7: Schedule A – Background / Declaration (IMM 5669)
8: Relationship Information and Sponsorship Evaluation (IMM5532)
9: Use of Representative Form (IMM 5476)
Part B: Supporting Documents
10: Status in Canada: Sponsor’s Permanent Residence Card
11: Employment/sources of Income: Appointment Letter issued by the X Employer.
12: Employment/sources of Income: Tax returns for X year.
13: Identity Documents:
a: Passport copies for Principal Applicant and her dependent children.
b: Birth certificates for each family member.
c: Copy of National Identity Cards (Tazkira) of each family member.
14: Civil Status Documents:
a: English translation of Marriage Certificate (Waseeqa Nikkah).
b: A scanned version of the original Marriage Certificate (Waseeqa Nikkah). The original marriage certificate can be provided upon request. Please do not send the original document unless requested for inspection purposes, always send a scan or a certified copy initially.
15: Original Police Certificate for Principal Applicant.
16: Two photos each for the principal applicant, and her X dependents. The photos were taken on X Date, by a professional photo studio called ZYZ Photo studio, located at XYZ address. A business card of this photo studio is included for reference purposes.
17: Proof of relationship to sponsor:
a: WhatsApp text messages and call records between the principal applicant and sponsor. (X number of pages)
b: The sponsor could not visit his family in Afghanistan due to security and immigration reasons.
c: Birth Certificate of each child. (English translation and a copy of the original document).
d: Wedding Photos (20 photos) and additional family photos.
18: Documentary evidence of financial support (money and phone top-ups sent to the principal applicant by the sponsor).
Part C: Background Documents:
Please include a reference to your original PR and proof of how you got your own permanent residence.
If you can’t provide the required documents, don’t worry, simply explain in detail why you are not able to provide such documents, not all life matters can be 100% programmed, so things can happen.
You need to scan or upload the original of all of these documents and submit them online.
How to Sponsor your parents and grandparents?
If you want to sponsor your parents and grandparents, you will need to submit “interest to sponsor” during a specific period of time which is annually announced by IRCC. Once you were invited to submit a completed application, only then you are able to submit an application for your parents or grandparents to come to Canada as permanent residents. The invitation is based on random computerized selection. Oftentimes, IRCC will prioritize those applicants who were not selected in previous draws over the new applicants.
Therefore, if you are thinking of permanently sponsoring your parents or grandparents, it is advisable to submit your intention as soon as the window opens. If you want them to come to visit you for an extended period of time, then it is advisable to apply for a super visa program.
How to Sponsor your adopted child from outside of Canada?
If you want to sponsor your adopted child, you must complete and submit the “application for sponsorship”. Once that application is processed and finished, only then you would be able to apply for your child’s permanent residence so he/she/they can come to Canada. After your child arrives in Canada as a permanent resident and the adoption process is completed, then you can immediately apply for your child’s citizenship. Further information about the adopted children’s citizenship application is provided under the citizenship section.
Can you Sponsor your orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild?
Yes, you can sponsor your orphaned brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild if they are your blood relatives or are adopted, their both parents have died, they are under 18, and they are single.
Can you Sponsor your other relatives?
Yes, you can sponsor any other relative under special circumstances. You can sponsor any one relative (by blood/adoption) of any age, if you do not have any living family member that you can sponsor and you do not have any relatives in Canada that are PR, citizen or Indian.