USA and the UK
What are Canadian Family Visas?
If you’re planning to move to Canada, you might wonder about Canadian family visas. What are they? Do you need one? Let’s take a closer look.
Simply put, a Canadian family visa is a document that allows your family members to move to Canada with you. The family members include:
- Common-law partner
- Conjugal partner
- Dependent children under the age of 22 (including adopted children).
Keep in mind that each family member will need their own visa.
So do you need a Canadian family visa? It depends. If you’re moving to Canada alone, you won’t need a family visa. But if you’re already a canadian or permanent resident in Canada and want to bring your family over, you’ll need to apply for one.
The good news is that the process for applying for a Canadian family visa is relatively straightforward. You’ll just need to fill out some forms and submit them, along with any supporting documentation to the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate. Once your application is approved, your family members will be able to join you in Canada. An in-depth explanation of the requirements for each member is provided in the section below.
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Not be inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissible means that they are not allowed to enter Canada for reasons such as security, human rights violations, serious criminality, or organized crime.
- Undergo a medical exam.
- Have a police certificate from each country they have lived in for more than six months since the age of 18 if required.
- If they are already living in Canada on a temporary visa, they must apply to extend their stay before applying for permanent residence.
Also, you, as the sponsor, must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.
- Be registered in Canada as an Indian as per the Canadian Indian Act
- Live in Canada. If you are a Canadian citizen living abroad, you can still sponsor your spouse as long as you plan to live in Canada when they arrive. You will need to provide proof of this, such as a job offer or the ownership of property in Canada.
- Meet the minimum necessary income requirements. This varies depending on the size of your family, but you can use the Income Requirements Calculator to get an estimate.
- Not be inadmissible to Canada. Inadmissible means that you are not allowed to enter Canada for reasons such as security, human rights violations, serious criminality, or organized crime.
- Have enough money to support your spouse and any other dependent family members, even if they are not coming with you to Canada. You will need to provide proof of this, such as bank statements or pay stubs.
- If you have been sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident in the past five years, you cannot be a sponsor until five years have passed.
- If you are living outside Canada and you are on permanent resident status, you can only sponsor your spouse if you plan to live in Canada when they arrive. You will need to provide proof of this, such as a job offer or the ownership of property in Canada. If your previous spouses or common-law partners are still alive, you cannot sponsor another spouse until your previous partner has passed away.
- If you have been legally married or in a common-law relationship for less than two years, your spouse can only come to Canada on a temporary basis. They will need to apply for an extension of their stay once they are in Canada. If your relationship is still going strong after two years, then they can apply for permanent residence.
- You agree to financially support your spouse for three years from the date they become a permanent resident. This includes providing them with food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and any other necessities.
- You also agree to help them find employment if they are unable to do so on their own.
- You are not allowed to sponsor your spouse if you have previously sponsored another spouse who did not obey their undertaking. This means that your previous spouse did not live with you for the entirety of the sponsorship period or that they became a public charge during that time.
Who cannot sponsor spouses or partners?
The following people are not allowed to sponsor spouses or partners:
- People who are in prison
- People who have been convicted of a violent crime, sexual offense, or an offense against a relative that resulted in a jail sentence of two years or more.
- People who defaulted on their previous undertakings (meaning they did not follow all the conditions of their sponsorship e.g failed to pay child support payments)
- People who are receiving social assistance for reasons other than a disability
- People who had a previous sponsorship application denied in the last five years
- People who have declared bankruptcy in the last seven years
- People who have defaulted on an immigration loan
- People who have submitted an application to sponsor a spouse or partner within the last 12 months and the decision is pending.
- People with no legal permission to stay in Canada (such as those in Canada on a visitor visa).
- Under the age of 22 and not married or in a common-law relationship
- A biological child, stepchild, adopted child, or grandchild
- Orphaned (under the age of 18) and not married or in a common-law relationship
If you want to sponsor an orphaned grandchild, they must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be 18 years of age or younger
- Have no living parents or only one parent who is unable to care for them
- Be related to you by blood, marriage, common-law partnership, or adoption
- Be unmarried or not in a common-law relationship
If you want to sponsor a child who is over the age of 22, they must:
- Be unable to financially support themselves because of a physical or mental condition
- Have depended on you for financial support since before the age of 22
How to sponsor your dependent child to be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident
To apply to sponsor your dependent child, there are two forms that have to be filled out. The first form is the Sponsorship Application, and the second is the Undertaking. The Sponsorship Application is completed by the Canadian sponsor and must be sent to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) along with the application fee and undertaking fee. The Undertaking is a legal document that is signed by both the Canadian sponsor and the sponsored person. It outlines the responsibilities of both parties and is valid for 20 years or until the child turns 22, whichever comes first.
Here are some of the stages of the sponsorship process:
- Acquire the application forms both for the sponsor and the dependent child. Here you have to make sure that you qualify to be a sponsor. Get the Canadian police certificate for anyone over 18 who will be included in the sponsorship application. Gather all of the required documents and fill out the forms.
- Pay the fees. The fees include the Right of Permanent Residence Fee, the Principal Applicant processing fee, the sponsorship fee, and the biometrics fee (if applicable).
- Submit your application. You can do this online or by mail. If you submit it by mail, you have to include all the required documents and the fees.
- Receive a decision from Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) previously known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada. If your application is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction. This letter will tell you when you have to submit your passport so that a visa can be issued.
How Long Does it Take to Sponsor Dependent Children to Canada?
It is not possible to give an exact time frame for how long it will take to sponsor a dependent child to Canada.
The processing time depends on the Canadian visa office that is responsible for your application, as well as how many applications they are processing at the time.
Generally, the sponsorship application takes around 12 months to process.
However, if you are applying from outside of Canada, it can take longer.
How to sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada
Here is the process for sponsoring parents and grandparents to come to Canada:
- The Canadian sponsor completes the sponsorship application and sends it, along with the required fees, to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
- The sponsored person(s) complete the immigration application and submit it, along with the required fees, to IRCC.
- If the sponsored person is from a country that requires them to get a medical exam, they must do this and submit the results to IRCC.
- If the sponsored person is from a country that requires them to get a police certificate, they must do this and submit the results to IRCC.
- IRCC will review the applications and make a decision. If the applications are approved, the sponsored person(s) will receive a Letter of Introduction.
Who can sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada?
To be eligible to sponsor parents and grandparents to come to Canada, the Canadian sponsor must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident living in Canada
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Live in Canada
- Have enough money to support the sponsored person(s), as well as any other members of their household
- The Canadian sponsor must also sign an undertaking which is a promise to the Canadian government that they will provide financial support for the sponsored person(s) for a period of time. The undertaking is valid for 20 years.
The Canadian sponsor must pay a sponsorship fee and the Right of Permanent Residence Fee. The Sponsorship (SF) Fee is $75 for each person being sponsored. The Right of Permanent Residence (RPR) Fee is $515 per person. Principal Applicant Processing (PAP) Fee $490.
In addition to these fees, the Canadian sponsor will also have to pay for any required medical exams, police certificates and biometrics fees.
Below is a table of the fees for sponsoring a family member to come to Canada:
|Category||Type of sponsorship||Fee|
|Sponsor spouse or partner||SF fee ($75), PAP fee ($490) and RPR fee ($515)||$1,080.00|
|without RPR fee||$565|
|Sponsor child||SF fee ($75), PAP fee ($75)||$150 (per child)|
|Sponsor child and spouse or partner||PAP fee ($155)||$155 (per child)|
|Biometrics||Biometrics fees||$85 (per person)|
|Biometrics||Per family of 2 or more||$170|
What is the minimum income requirement for Canadian family sponsorship?
General consensus is that the minimum income requirement for Canadian family sponsorship is $32,270 per year.
This figure is based on the government’s Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) guidelines, which are used to determine whether a household is living in poverty. According to the LICO guidelines, a family of four needs to earn at least $48,167 per year to be considered above the poverty line.
Therefore, sponsors need to demonstrate that they are earning at least this amount in order to be eligible to sponsor a family member, and this must be approved by the Canada Revenue Agency.
While the minimum income requirement for sponsorship may seem high, it is important to remember that sponsors are responsible for supporting their family members financially once they arrive in Canada.
Therefore, it is essential that sponsors are able to provide for their own families before they can sponsor another family member.
- Application to Sponsor form
- Undertaking form
- Sponsorship Agreement form
- Canadian sponsor’s proof of income (e.g. tax returns, pay stubs, etc.)
- Canadian sponsor’s birth certificate or Canadian passport
- Canadian sponsor’s proof of permanent residence in Canada (if applicable)
- Canadian sponsor’s current valid status in Canada (if applicable)
- Canadian sponsor’s marriage certificate or proof of common-law relationship (if applicable)
- Sponsored person’s birth certificate or passport
- Sponsored person’s proof of any previous Canadian immigration status (if applicable)
- Sponsored person’s police certificate(s)
- Sponsored person’s medical exam results
- Sponsored person’s proof of relationship to the Canadian sponsor (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.)
- Application fees receipt
- Notice of Assessment from the Canadian sponsor’s most recent tax year (if applicable)
- Proof that a child under the age of 22 is dependent on you (if applicable)
How long does it take to process a Canadian family sponsorship application?
The average processing time for a sponsorship application is about 12 months, but it can take longer if there are any complications with the application. In some cases, the processing time can be as long as 24 months.
This means that if you’re hoping to sponsor your family members to become permanent residents of Canada, you’ll need to be patient. The good news is that once your application is approved, your family members will be able to live and work in Canada indefinitely. So the wait will be worth it in the end!
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:09 am
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