Canadian Child Immigration Sponsorship Lawyer

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can sponsor their foreign-born dependent child or children to immigrate to Canada. A dependent child means a child under the age of 22 who is unmarried and not in a common-law relationship. The child may be your biological or adopted child.

Contents of this page:

Requirements To Sponsor

To be eligible to sponsor your child, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at 18 years of age.
  • Reside in Canada.
  • Be willing to sign a 10-year undertaking to be financially responsible for the child once he or she arrives to Canada.

Residency Requirements Of Sponsor

Permanent residents must reside in Canada while their sponsorship application is processing.
Citizens are exempt from this requirement and may live abroad while their application is processing.
However, citizens living abroad will need to provide proof that they intend to return to Canada once the sponsored child or children have been granted permanent residency.

No Minimum Income Requirement

There is no minimum income requirement to sponsor a child. However, the sponsor must provide proof that he or she has sufficient income and/or assets to support the sponsored child or children once they arrive to Canada.

If the immigration authorities believe that the sponsor has insufficient income and/or assets to support the sponsor child or children, then the sponsorship application may be refused.

It should be noted that the sponsor is financially responsible for the sponsored child or children for 10 years or until the age of 25, whichever comes first.

Requirements to qualify as a dependent child

To begin with, the child must meet Canada’s definition of a dependant in order to qualify for sponsorship as a dependent child.

For a child to be considered for immigration to Canada under child sponsorship program he/she:

  • Must be under 22 years of age and unmarried and not in a common law relationship. However, the child may have dependent children of his/her own.
  • For children who are above 22 years old, it must be proven that they are unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition and have depended on their parent for financial support since before reaching the age of 22.

You can only sponsor your own biological child. For adopted children, the sponsoring application process is different.

Any sponsored family member, whether a child or spouse/partner, must not be inadmissible to Canada. For instance, if the person has committed a criminal offence in the past or has a medical condition that poses a risk to Canadian public health and safety, he/she may be declared inadmissible to Canada and you cannot sponsor this person whether it’s a child or spouse.

If your child sponsorship application is denied due to inadmissibility, a child immigration sponsorship lawyer can advise on the next steps to take. This is because there are certain exemptions from medical inadmissibility for sponsored family members. For instance, if a child has a medical condition that requires costly treatment, they may not be denied immigration to Canada based on that condition. Having sound legal advice will ensure that you understand your rights and get the help needed to increase your chances of a successful application.

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Foreign-Born Children Born To Canadians May Automatically Be A Canadian Citizen

It should be noted that not all children who are foreign-born need to be sponsored for permanent residence.

Foreign-born children born to Canadian citizens who themselves were not born abroad will automatically be considered Canadian citizens.

In this regard, foreign-children who meet these criteria must be registered as citizens. This requires a applying for a Canadian citizenship certificate which our firm can also assist you with.

Adopted Children

Children who are adopted outside of Canada, or will be adopted once they arrive in Canada, can be sponsored for permanent residence, or in some cases can apply directly for Canadian citizenship.

The adoption must conform to the legal requirements of both the birth country and of Canada.

When processing such applications, the immigration authorities will assess whether they believe that the adoptive relationship is a genuine child-parent relationship, or whether the adoption it is simply intended to facilitate the immigration of the child to Canada, the latter being a ground for refusal.

The immigration authorities will also assess whether they believe the adoption to be in the best interests of the foreign child.

If they believe that the child’s interests would be better served by remaining in the home country, they may reject the sponsorship application on this basis. In all cases of adoption, the genuine and informed consent of the biological parents must be obtained.

Sponsoring An Orphaned Child Of A Close Relative

An orphan is a child whose parents are both deceased. Orphans under the age of 18 and who are unmarried can be sponsored by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, provided that the orphan is the brother or sister, nephew or niece, or grandchild of the Canadian sponsor.

Situations That Can Result In A Parent Being Ineligible To Sponsor Their Child

Parents, who are at least 18 years old and are Canadian citizens or permanent residents may not be allowed to sponsor their child in the following situations:

  • If the parent is a permanent resident but is residing outside of Canada. Permanent residents must reside in Canada in order to sponsor a foreign child. In some cases, a visitor visa (TRV) may be obtained for the child if it is born outside of Canada so that the child can return to Canada with the permanent resident parent and be sponsored from within Canada.  Canadian citizens residing outside of Canada can file a child sponsorship application, however, they must demonstrate their intention to live in Canada with the sponsored child once the application is approved.
  • If the parent is receiving social assistance for a reason other than a disability.
  • If the parent has been imprisoned or committed a criminal offence especially offences against relatives.

Parents will usually not be required to meet an income requirement unless the dependent child that is being sponsored also has dependent children of their own. In this case, the parent must show that they are able to support the financial needs of the dependents.

How Can We Help?

As your legal representatives, we will assist you in navigating through complex immigration rules and procedure from beginning to end. We will assist you in the following manner

  • complete and review all necessary immigration forms,
  • devise a plan to collect and review supporting documents,
  • provide legal submissions to support your sponsorship application,
  • manage all communications with the immigration authorities,
  • Respond to all fairness letters issued the immigration authorities.

Other Relative

Where a Canadian sponsor does not have any spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, child, parent, grandparent, sibling, uncle, aunt, nephew, or niece living in Canada, and no relative living abroad who may be sponsored under the regular categories, then they may sponsor any other relative regardless of their age.