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Family Sponsorship

Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply to sponsor their family memberships abroad to join them in Canada.


Spouse, Common-Law or Conjugal Partners and Dependent Children Abroad


Canadian citizens and permanent residents are allowed sponsor their spouses, common-law or conjugal partners and dependent children who live abroad for permanent residence in Canada. The sponsor must meet an eligibility test and demonstrate that they are willing and able to support their family members upon arrival in Canada.


Spousal Sponsorship Applications – These applications have the highest priority in terms of processing times. If refused, there is a right of appeal at the Immigration Appeal Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.


Common-Law Partners – In order to qualify as "common-law", a couple must establish that they have lived together in a conjugal relationship for at least one year in a continuous, uninterrupted 12-month period.


Conjugal Partners - This category is for partners (either same-sex or opposite-sex), who, for exceptional circumstances beyond their control, do not qualify as common-law partners or spouses.

Spouse, Common-Law and Dependent Children In-Canada


Processing times for spouses in Canada is generally longer. They are unable to work (unless already on a work permit) until a provisional acceptance of the application is grated. If the application is refused, there is no right of appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division.

Supervisas for Parents and Grandparents


Parents and grandparents can no longer be sponsored for permanent residence. However, they are allowed to visit Canada and remain here for up to 10 years on a "supervisa".  Hosts must meet an income test and purchase medical insurance coverage for the visitors.

Other Eligible Family Members Under the Family Class

  • Sponsor's half-siblings or step-siblings who are orphaned
  • Children of the sponsor's step-siblings who are orphaned
  • Grandchild of the sponsor who is orphaned
  • A child under 18 whom the sponsor intends to adopt in Canada (subject to conditions)


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.